The 4 building blocks of resilience that morph obstacles into opportunities

At the 2019 SAPPHIRE NOW conference, Linda Hoopes discussed strategies on how to tackle challenges and solve problems.

The secrets to a successful digital transformation initiative Ben Shea spoke with TechRepublic at the 2019 SAP SAPPHIRE NOW conference about how communication and teams determine successful digital innovations.

Across all industries, all professionals face key challenges and frustrations in their personal and professional lives. To properly handle those challenges, enterprise professionals must remain resilient in nature, said Linda Hoopes, president of Resilience Alliance, in her session at SAP SAPPHIRE NOW on Wednesday.

SEE: Tips for building and advancing your leadership career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Resilience is "the ability to deal with high levels of disruption, while maintaining high levels of effectiveness and well-being," said Hoopes. "It's a quality that people have, a process they apply, and ultimately an outcome."

Individuals need resilience to not only do their best work, but to lead a happy and productive life, according to Hoopes. Living in an unpredictable, ever-changing world and workforce, professionals must be ready to face challenges with resilient energy.

Whether it's challenges in digital transformation initiatives, communication, or innovative technology integration, we all face both long-term and short-term challenges, Hoopes noted.

The danger in challenges lies in the way people choose to handle them. People struggling through challenges become overloaded, said Hoopes. And overloaded employees cause the organization as a whole to suffer through poor communication, errors and accidents, more conflict, ineffective teamwork, apathy, negativity, illness, absenteeism, and turnover, Hoopes added.

Resilience is similar to a muscle, which means it is stronger in some people more than others, Hoopes said. Those with weaker "resilient muscles," however, can take steps to strengthen them and grow.

Hoopes outlined the following four building blocks to resiliency for enterprise professionals.

1. Calming yourself

"The first thing we want to do is recognize [the challenge], and be able to bring ourselves back to a place where our system knows it is okay," said Hoopes, which we can do by remaining calm.

Calmness is different from relaxation, as relaxation typically results in rest. Being calm is a positive, aware, and alert emotional state, said Hoopes, improving one's ability to respond in a productive manner.

"We can practice calming," Hoopes said. Whether it's meditation, breathing, or thoughtful consideration, individuals must find their own strategies for calmness that work best for them.

2. Choosing strategies

When a challenge surfaces, professionals can handle the situation through a combination of three strategies: Reframing the challenge, changing the situation, and accepting what it is, said Hoopes.

Most often, these strategies won't be used in a silo, but in accordance with one another. "We find a way to look at [the challenge] that makes it look less scary or problematic," said Hoopes.

Once calming ourselves, we need to determine if the challenge is something we can change. We can do so by reframing the situation in different ways, and if we find the challenge isn't changeable, we find a way to accept it and make peace with that outcome, Hoopes noted.

3. Solving problems

"When we solve a problem in ways that help us use our energy most effectively, we have stronger resilience," said Hoopes.

To effectively problem solve, individuals must tap into their resilience characteristics. Hoopes outlined the following resilience characteristics, along with how they help pave the way for successful problem solving:

  • Positivity: Helps you see possibilities and find hope in challenging situations.
  • Confidence: Helps you appropriately engage your energy in the midst of adversity.
  • Priorities: Helps you direct your energy towards the most important initiatives.
  • Creativity: Helps you create a wider range of ideas.
  • Connection: Helps you use your connections as resources and support.
  • Structure: Helps you allocate energy efficiently towards your organization or discipline.
  • Experimenting: Helps you learn through action, finding answers in uncertainty.

4. Managing energy

"Challenges take physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy," said Hoopes. "But we have a finite supply of these energies."

Individuals use an exhausting amount of energy when having to adjust to situations that don't fit their expectations, according to Hoopes. And at some point, that energy runs out. Because of this, professionals must preserve, build upon, and recharge their energy—both physically and mentally.

This combination of calming ourselves, solving problems, choosing strategies, and managing energy will ultimately result in successful personal and business outcomes, Hoopes said.

To learn how to promote healthy habits for your employees, check out this TechRepublic article.

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Image: iStockphoto/simonapilolla