Building Resilient Leaders cont...

Research shows that highly resilient people respond to challenges with flexibility, bounce back from challenges, and even find opportunities within workplace stress. They perform more effectively in their jobs, are healthier, more engaged with their work and have higher commitment to their organisations. The good news for employees and organisations is that resilience can be learned and developed.

Last month our ‘Building Resilient Leaders’ edition certainly created interest amongst our members. A number of you contacted me to learn more about our ‘Adaptive Mindset for Resiliency’ program. And one of the key questions asked by leaders was ‘How can I overcome my reactive responses to stressful situations throughout my work day and become more productive?’

Dr Natalie Wolfson – Organisational Research Consultant for the TRACOM Group, provides four useful tips in developing the calm rational brain required of a great leader.  We are pleased to share these tips with you to provide a greater understanding of the importance and positive outcomes you can achieve through becoming a ‘Resilient Leader’.

1. Practice mindfulness
Counter productive tendencies have developed over centuries - our brains are constantly producing negative thoughts about others and ourselves. We have a habit of reliving the past or ruminating about the future. The network of brain regions that generate this thinking originally developed to help us plan tasks, review the past and improve future behavior. However, as the brain evolved, some of these brain functions could go too far and cause suffering. 

We seldom live in the present moment, which is why researchers highly suggest practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is directing our attention to the present moment.  When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings with acceptance, without judging them as good or bad. Meditation is one form of mindfulness.  People who meditate demonstrate greater connectivity between their prefrontal cortex and their limbic system.  The structural connection between these two brain regions allows the ‘thinking’ brain to calm the ‘feeling’ brain.

2. Know your emotional hot buttons
To increase your emotional awareness, write down your emotional triggers: what causes you to feel frustrated, angry or stressed.  Triggers aren’t always major events, such as arguments with a co-worker; they can also be small disturbances, like unwelcome noise around your work area.

A full awareness of your triggers is critical because it’s the first step to understanding your emotions.  Once you understand the sources of your difficult emotions, you can take steps to manage your environment, regulate your emotions and damp down your stress response.

3. Analyse first to avoid over-reacting
Sometimes we misinterpret events or jump to conclusions, which leads to needless fear and worry.  You can counteract this tendency by slowing down and mentally reframing your thoughts and beliefs.

Whenever you experience a strong negative emotion, such as anger or anxiety,  pause before allowing the emotion to control your behavior.  Do a reality check. By reappraising your thoughts and interpretations of events, you force the logical and  reasoning part of the brain to solve a problem. It also results in a much more accurate understanding of external events.

4. Challenge your ‘self talk’
Research indicates that people speak to themselves endlessly, using hundreds of words every minute.  Humans have a bias toward negative thinking rather than positive thinking.  If much of what you say to yourself is negative, it will affect your outlook.

If you step back and watch these thoughts, evaluate them and correct them so they’re more realistic, this can change how you view yourself and the world,
and how you respond to stress.
Stress isn’t the problem; it’s the way you react to it.  By following these tips you’ll learn to better control your emotional responses during stressful times.

Would you like to learn more about our new ‘Developing a Resilient Mindset’ program?

1. Simply click here to obtain an outline of our one-day ‘Adaptive Mindset – Developing a Resilient Mindset’ program
2. Email to receive TRACOM’s Resilient Mindset Model whitepaper.
3. Call +61 2 9527 2280 to see how we can work with you, your leaders and teams and help develop and improve their levels of resiliency.

If you would like to catch up on any past Progress Matters editions, find out more about Social Styles or any of our other people development or private coaching programs, go to our website

For further information on how Progress Training Systems can help your organisation Progress further, call today on +61 29527 2280.

You can’t stop Progress!

Janelle Nisbet
Managing Director

P +61 2 9527 2280     E

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