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Resilience and Digital Disconnection

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

As we move into the new financial year, we have the opportunity to reflect on what may have been a challenging period, and consider what we can do differently this time around, to ensure we are working productively towards our high priority goals. In Australia, it is fast becoming a primary goal of many organisations to cultivate a workplace which promotes good mental health and wellbeing.

In every workplace every person encounters difficulties and frequently things don’t go to plan. Projects run over time, a key collaborator becomes unwell for an extended period of time, technology fails, staff come and go. This being the case, it is important to possess resilience and to provide opportunities for the development of resilience in your workforce.

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties so that you can continue to move forward. Resilience allows us to cope with unexpected challenges and changes in life and adapt our behaviour accordingly.

Resilience can be created through self-awareness, knowing our beliefs, strengths, and passions. It is known as the ability to cope with unexpected situations and challenges in your life. It is impossible to successfully prevent and eliminate all stressful and challenging situations. However, it is possible to strengthen your capacity to deal with these challenges.

People who improve their resilience are more capable of managing demands placed upon them. They are better at handling constantly changing priorities and heavy workloads.

Why resilience matters, in four points:

  1. Allows individuals the courage to take risks and the confidence to make mistakes (which are essential for learning and progress)
  2. Enables individuals to deal with ambiguity
  3. Enables individuals to confront situations when conflict arises and develop workable solutions
  4. Enables individuals to minimise the impact of distractions (such as personal problems, conflict between team members, technology problems) and move forward in the face of said distractions

To build resilience, you have to know your strengths, build self-esteem, and create healthy relationships where you can ask for help when required. Building resilience at work can be done by finding the balance, developing mental toughness, supporting your colleagues and creating a positive environment.

You can work on building your resilience outside of the workplace and the benefits will have transferrable value to your work. For example, the thought of leaving your laptop at home whilst travelling for leisure may cause significant anxiety. What if I miss an update from XYZ? We convince ourselves we will absolutely miss something important if we don’t have all of our devices always on and always on us. To diminish our anxiety, we cave in and take our laptop away with us, just for safe measure. But then, we never really switch off from work and our break is not as restorative or refreshing as we hoped. So why not try a bit of digital disconnection? If leaving your laptop at home while you travel seems too hard, a good place to start is by disconnecting your email after work hours on the weekdays. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in this manner is one of the most reliable ways to enhance your resilience. You’ll begin to develop trust in yourself and in others that whatever problems might arise overnight can be aptly dealt with the following day. In developing resilience on the outside, you can come back into the workplace mentally healthier and more prepared to tackle the challenges in the organisation.

TMS consulting has experience and expertise implementing strategies which develop resilience in your workforce. If you would like to know more about our resilience building solutions, please contact us at solutions@tmsconsulting.com.au

About the author

Larena Emhart (Support Consultant)