Personality Matters in Resilience
by Jennifer Munro
Author: Personality Matters. Maintaining the Fire and Passion of Entrepreneurial Thinking.
In the ongoing effort to maintain and enhance outstanding performance in the workplace, there is always an IT trait. The successful have IT! It describes what it takes to make something happen and create successful outcomes. That IT trait seems to be the differentiating factor that guarantees, or generates, success. These traits seem self evident though they differ from time to time, and some are more important than others, including vision, accountability, decisiveness, empathy, consensus building, relationships building, empowerment and so on.
What these all have in common is that no matter how much we write about them, or train about them, or wish for them, they are not readily seen across the board of employees, or leaders. What makes them a topic of interest and intention is their scarcity. Personality Matters in whether these traits are present or not.
The new IT trait is Resilience. What is Resilience? Definition:
1: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.
2: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
Resilience | Definition of Resilience by Merriam-Webster
It is my experience that those who have vision, passion, accountability, initiative and other important traits usually have resilience or are resilient. It is also my experience that those who are lacking in these traits are usually lacking in resilience. Why is that?
Who is likely to demonstrate resilience?
1). People with vision. If you are capable of connecting the dots between where you are and where you want to be, if you can see what that looks like, if you can see that something is not going to work ahead of everyone else, and see what will work, you have vision. If you can see what it looks like, it is easier to maintain focus on the end outcome and adapt however you need to accomplish it. Focusing on the goal and not the obstacles builds resilience.
2). People who are confident. If you have the ability to see where you need to be, and how to get there and what to avoid on the way, you will have the confidence to adapt your strategies, and decisions and act effectively and confidently. Being able to change strategies and direction with the end result in mind is resilience that comes from the confidence of Knowing what needs to happen, not guessing, or hoping, or trying, but knowing.
3). People with good relationships. If you have a wealth of resources in relationships and friends who have significant talents, skills and knowledge, you can tap into these resources to find new ideas, new ways and new information that keeps you innovative and creative. Not being stuck on a repetitive strategy and process, but open to new ideas and people makes you resilient.
4). People who are passionate about their goals. If you are passionate enough to overcome naysayers, grumblers, and obstructionists who think the status quo is enough, you will be resilient over whatever obstacles, arguments and complaints that come your way.
5). People who are self aware. If you know what drives you, what you need to thrive, your strengths and your blind spots, you will be capable of greater awareness of others, and know more readily whom you can depend on, whom to trust and who to take along with you. Having real insight into people, and making the right choices about them makes you more resilient. Dr. Jordan Peterson, in Twelve Rules for Life, urges us to “be friends only with those who want the best for us.”
Why can’t others be resilient?
1). Fear. If you are afraid to make a mistake, and have to have all of the answers before you begin, or before you make a decision, you will become immobilized when challenges and obstacles come up.
2). Insecurity. If you are looking to lock in security, or avoid anything that may threaten what you view as security, you will hesitate and wait when you need to move forward or maximize opportunity.
3). Rigidity. If you have very structured views and are dependent on traditional processes, systems and rules, any digression from what you believe will interfere with resilience. Many opportunities and options are missed when they do not fit into rigid belief systems often generated from a dependence on credentials.
4). Isolated. If you are locked in to being a loner, doing things by yourself, and afraid to share ideas, invite help or engage with others who might want to share the journey with you, the distrust and suspicion generated decreases the options and alternatives that are necessary for resilience.
5). Envious. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others and think they are just luckier when they succeed, the result is resentment and blaming which both destroy passion and intention and the joy of expanding, growing and learning.
Resilience is not magic; not rocket science either. Resilience describes your capacity to thrive in the face of significant trauma, or change, challenges and obstacles. Cultivating a resilient nature means you won’t give up. Personality Matters because some people naturally have the vision and passion, and confidence to be more resilient. Those who do not could cultivate it if they are willing to relinquish those things that get in their way, the fears of criticism, making a mistake, losing security, and feelings of envy, jealousy and resentment. Cultivating resilience requires self reflection and tough questions of one’s self.