Four steps to building resilience

There are many different frameworks and tools available to support how you can build resilience, all of which are helpful. However, I like to keep things simple and wanted to share these 4 stages below from the book, Building resilience at work: Kathryn Jackson. What I like about these – firstly there are only 4 which makes it easier to remember! but most importantly I believe that they are equally as relevant for individuals as they are for businesses:

Emotional honesty:

As an individual, 3-4 weeks ago when the scale of the change started to become clear, I experienced a whole range of emotions – shock, sadness and a sense of loneliness to name a few! Some of which and others I’m sure you also experienced. At the time I kept reminding myself that we’re all human, these are natural and it’s healthy to identify and name how we are feeling rather than bottle them up which would mean I’d more likely implode or worse still explode! (emotional honesty); I told myself that although different, things will be OK and then I’d ask myself what can I control? I can’t control the lock down, or the prescribed time we have to stay at level 4, but what I can influence is how I’m going to act and do everything I can to help minimise staying at level 4, I can influence how I think - my mindset about the situation and how I’m going support and work with my bubble on what each other needs! … which with 2 very hungry young adults, plus one extra staying…we needed food ration boundaries!! 😊 Through conversations with colleagues, friends, family and clients what struck me from a business perspective are asking for and providing emotional honesty really well, they are maintaining transparent and honest communication and they’re simply just asking their people how are you?...some others are not which is eroding the employer/employee relationship.


Now, this is a very overused word at the moment, nonetheless it’s still very important. Be that just taking time and permission to read a book, meet with your bubble for lunch or take a walk - there’s certainly more people out walking than I’ve ever seen must be to compensate for all that missing flour and baking! Jokes aside, it got me thinking, “how can people and businesses continue this importance on self-care in our new normal whatever that will look like?”, “what if we consistently encourage our people to stay resilient and fit for the long game?”


Of course, “Debbie makes a living out of developing people, so she is going to promote this” I hear you say! Yes, there are lots of things I would love to support you with over the coming months/years, however, I look at this from 3 angles:

1. What do YOU want to learn? Is now the time to enroll for that course you’ve been wanting to do? Gain deeper knowledge on that sustainable garden you’ve wanted to plant? Or simply expand your thinking and assumptions by listening to pod casts?

2. How can I continually develop the TEAM? Personal leadership, secondment to projects, increased technical knowledge or the perhaps around the importance of self-care!

3. What can I learn to future proof the BUSINESS? What new systems do I need to put in place? How can I increase efficiencies? What stands me apart from other businesses? How can I learn from others?


Last, but by no means least is connection. If we’ve all learnt one thing during this period of lock down, it’s the power of connection. Be that with family and friends, between teams and colleagues or employer to its people. Going forward how can we continue to remove barriers, open access and create space to meaningfully be present and connect?

I hope this model inspires some good conversations with your teams and your families to help as and as we continue to navigate through the many future phases of Covid-19.

I’ll leave you with one final thought – in a world that’s been racing to grow technology, it’s the people that ground things to a stop - how can we pay attention and find a balance that ensures both thrive?

#positivedirection #learnandgrow #connectandengage #peoplecount