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Society often associates struggles with uncertainty and weakness. In his new book, Bruce Daisley clearly states that he believes this is untrue and tells us all about resilience. According to Cambridge Dictionary, we should describe resilience as the ability to be happy or successful again after something difficult or bad has happened.
During our time at school, we probably didn’t hear as much about resilience as we do now. “Where does it come from? And if there is so much training about this subject, why do people report they are feeling less resilient than ever?” Bruce asks himself.
In addition, the phrase resilience has been politicised to a certain extent. The average working day has increased 3 hours in the last 50 years and no less than 45 minutes since COVID. A working day is now 2 hours longer than 15 years ago.
“So anyone who refers to the old days has to understand it was a completely different world when they started working. People would go home at the end of the day and have an uninterrupted evening. For some people to say workers aren’t as resilient as they used to be, is a fundamental misinterpretation.” Bruce states.
When it comes to resilience, there are three main topics to keep in mind: control, identity and community.
There’s nothing better than feeling in control. If you open your calendar on Monday morning and see back-to-back meetings, you might feel like you can’t get everything done. “A sense of powerlessness pushes us into burnouts. When you give people small amounts of control it has a massive impact. A meeting-free day is an example.” says Bruce.
Identity is the second pillar of fortitude. Understanding who we are in the world and understanding what we stand for is a vital part of achieving a balance in our lives. When you ask people to tell you their story, those whose lives are a random assembly of events prove to have less strength than those who are able to share a coherent, developing narrative of themselves.”
Bruce demonstrates how we can draw on those around us to empower ourselves and build our inner-strength. And it’s definitely not by just walking up to someone and telling them to be more resilient.
Bruce: “Having a best friend at work is the best sign of wellbeing and motivation. Amongst hybrid workers, only 17% say they have a best friend at work, and this is the lowest level I can remember.”
For companies, the importance of community is one of the main reasons to hire a community manager. In the old days, it might have been an office manager who arranged lunch. Now we work in virtual environments and it’s about trying to show colleagues they have an identity connection at work (LGBTIQ+, runners, etc.). They need to believe that what they do or feel like is reflected at the office. Celebrating individuals is a way of doing this.
In other words, make sure you’ve got space in your life for the richness of other people. Resilience is the strength we get from other people. We need to make sure that we try to create a sense of connectedness, togetherness.