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Getting to grips with resilience

Updated: May 4, 2020

We’ve been working with resilience and positive psychology ideas for many years. Many approaches have common threads, such as connectedness and giving to others.

So, it’s good to get to grips with the latest research and thinking. The Resilience Institute’s Global Resilience 2018 Report paints a fascinating and detailed picture.

The basics: top and bottom six

The top six factors that overall increase resilience are:

  1. Assertiveness

  2. Decisiveness

  3. Focus

  4. Fulfillment

  5. Optimism

  6. Presence

And the six factors that reduce resilience are:

  1. Apathy

  2. Disconnected

  3. Hostility

  4. Joyless

  5. Rumination

  6. Sadness

All interesting stuff.

Focus for resilience

What’s fascinating is the overwhelming importance of focus. Being able to focus was the common thread between the most resilient people. 94% of the most resilient people reported a strong ability to focus. And only 4% of the least resilient reported they could focus.

Gender differences: bad news for women

This research shows women in the workplace lag behind men in terms of nearly all resilience factors. Women experience more distress than men and have done so consistently since 2009.

But in four categories women are more resilient than men:

  1. Positivity

  2. Insight

  3. Connection

  4. Compassion

But they’re nowhere near strong enough to compensate for high levels of female distress and stress etc.

So, is there a case for different resilience development for men and for women? Yes, very probably.

Millennials stumble

They struggle with all the key factors that lead to high resilience. Is this an age or experience thing? Or do they suffer from information overload and sleep deprivation? Possibly both.

Again, is there a case for separate resilience development for millennials? We think so.

A simple action to take away? Let’s get back to that idea of focus. Spend deliberate time focusing on activities you find purposeful, give you joy and get you into that all-important state of flow.


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