10 protective factors and a model for Resiliency

How good are you at protecting and promoting YOUR resiliency?

Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back and subsequently flourish following adversity (Lutherar & Cicchetti, 2000). The Liberty Mutual Olympic commercial touts “Every setback sets the stage for a comeback”, which is true if you are resilient. Without resilience, both leaders and followers stand a greater chance of not reaching goals and desired outcomes.

Resilient leaders produce superior results, are more productive and are better positioned physically, emotionally and mentally for the long term. Today’s leaders are challenged with an ever-changing environment filled with uncontrollable, external demands. Resilient leaders are adept at navigating emotionally and relationally demanding situations while also meeting or exceeding performance standards. Resilient leaders relentlessly search for the learning opportunity associated with the hardship and/or crisis.

Drs. Nicole Detling, Stephen Gonzalez, and Nick Galli, sport psychology consultants, developed a framework for resiliency in sports, which has been adapted for application to leadership:

resilient leadersip the 10 protective factors

This framework characterizes the development and demonstration of resilience. Resilience begins with protective factors, which underpin resilient qualities and behaviors. The experience of adversity itself along with positive adaptation and behavior regulation promotes resilience. Finally, [INS: f :INS] eedback gained though the positive adaptation phase supports learning and solidifies resilient behaviors into professional habits.

The first step in the process is to develop your protective factors. The 10 protective factors of resilient leadership according to Trigena H. Halley, PCC, BCC and Dr. Nicole Detling are the following:
* Difficult Opportunities – growth opportunities through difficult situations, usually voluntary.
* Self Care – strategies to support physical needs (sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress management).
* Flexible Perspectives – ability to hold multiple perspectives at the same time and flex your viewpoint with incoming information.
* Thought Awareness – intentional awareness of thoughts and their personal impact, reframing.
* Emotional Wisdom – understanding and using emotions as wisdom.
* Optimism – possibility thinking and positive perspective.
* Failure = Feedback – moving forward differently based on feedback.
* Determination and Tenacity – long haul thinking and incremental steps.
* Solid Social and Personal Networks – cultivating relationships and networks.
* Strong Selfies – self-esteem and self-confidence.

The presence, and more importantly, the development of protective factors counterbalance and buffer adversity. Flexibility and optimism as well as the viewpoint held on failure have a significant impact on one’s ability to reality test. Reality testing is the ability to see the situation as it really is, which has an impact on optimism, determination and tenacity. Thought awareness and social/personal networks greatly contribute to resilience both individually and within a team.

The second step in the process is the development of resilient qualities and behaviors. Over time, resilient qualities and behaviors appear when protective factors are supported and reinforced. Resilient behaviors and qualities will be different for each individual; the key is tapping into and building upon the qualities that work best for each individual. Resilient qualities and behaviors include (but are not limited to) the following:
* Emotional regulation and communication
* Independence
* Growth mindset (Carol Dweck)
* Focus
* Ability to manage change
* Taking calculated risks
* Conflict resolution
* Flexibility
* Problem Solving
* Strong interpersonal relationships
* Emotional intelligence
* Encouraging self talk

As individuals intentionally and consistently focus on their resilient behaviors they become professional habits, which can be utilized with confidence in times of adversity.

The third step in the process is the adversity experience itself. In a business context adversity shows up in the loss of a sale, substandard performance, missed promotion, being fired, demoted and/or part of a reduction in force, financial and/or operational mistakes, etc.

The final step is positive adaptation, which is the ability to utilize resilient professional habits in the face of adversity. In the context of business, the hallmark of positive adaptation is successful performance. Other indicators of positive adaptation include responding to stress more optimistically, strong relationships and the ability to regulate and communicate emotional responses both personally and professionally. This step also provides powerful feedback to the individual in terms of gaps and opportunities as it relates to step’s one and two.

Resiliency is a key leadership (and personal) trait for continued forward progress. Resiliency starts with the development of protective factors and ends with professional habits. These professional habits are tested and refined as adverse situations occur.

Want to learn more about how to develop leadership resiliency? Contact us today about our workshop on Resilient Leadership and learn how Dr. Nicole Detling and myself can customize a solution to meet your goals!

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