I had a great conversation yesterday with a group of MBA students about resiliency. We discussed how every setback we encounter provides us with a choice: to assume responsibility or to play the victim. Clearly this was a timely conversation for these students as they prepare for leadership roles inside organizations at a time of so much uncertainty.
Our conversation focused on the steps we can take to build and practice resiliency. It takes a focused and consistent effort to increase our capacity to deal with setbacks and to bounce back well and it starts with acknowledging reality and assuming responsibility for our part in creating that reality. Next is the challenge to separate facts from stories, to quiet the fantasies we create about why something bad has happened and get clear on what is real in the situation. From here we can start to explore our willingness to risk again and make a plan to act that will help us step forward with confidence and a new resolve.
This is not easy stuff and it’s certainly not easy to do alone. But, with the help of a respected mentor, a thoughtful and involved manager or a qualified business coach it’s a lot more likely that we will come through our disappointment better-equipped to face the next one.