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by Ky.

Resilience Assessment – Learning what resilience is to you and how to utilise it.

I love this resilience tool and hope you will too, but first I must get something very clear. Resilience is not about sucking it up and getting on with your job. It is NOT about piling on the pressure and carrying on anyway. Sadly far too many poor managers and HR reps seem to confuse that. Mid pandemic, my client R.D. who works in a very stressful executive position, was given a “unique” form of what the coach called ‘resilience coaching’. In reality, various leaders of different teams were bought together into one Zoom call, expected to open up about themselves and then given ways to “keep calm and carry on”. This doesn’t help your team, your production, or yourself. All it does is increase pressure, the likelihood of burnout, and demotivate employees. That’s why I find the brilliant work Dr Amanda Potter has put into this assessment to be a cornerstone of healthy operating. If you’re repeatedly in a high-stress environment or facing challenges, this tool helps us to create a plan that works for you.
Individuals who are self-aware and resilient recognise how their ability to utilise their strengths at work is impacted by other factors.
– © BeTalent

The resilience assessment from BeTalent is one of the most prescient tools in my toolkit. It asks questions to find a base level of the way you operate and handle situations, from there we can build strategies to help you improve your stress management techniques to avoid burnout, look at coping methods to overcome pressure, flag those events and entities which send you spiralling and harness all that works for you to drive your success. In short, it’s a crib sheet to your life in turbulent times.

What is Resilience?

Resilience, or the ability to bounce back quickly from difficult situations or challenges is an invaluable tool to assist in all aspects of an individual’s life. It is the power to use situations that cause us stress or anxiety to further ourselves, learn and grow.

Having a balanced level of resilience is critical to being successful and performing well in the workplace as well as in some situations outside of work. The phrase ‘take it on the chin’ and move on is exactly what resilience is. Sometimes things do not go right. There are unexpected factors, complaints, technical issues and more that all have the ability to impact your day. Being strong enough and resilient enough to accept the issue, deal with it and move on is what resilience is all about. With a huge impact on mental wellbeing, productivity and even physical wellbeing, learning and examining your own resilience can help you to become healthier, happier and more successful within your role.

3 key areas help to define resilience. Firstly, personal attributes. A person’s self-belief, courage, positivity and confidence. Then social support. A person’s support network of friends, family, colleagues and managers. People who they can ask for help or resources available to them. Finally, biological make up. There are things ingrained in our make up as a person, such as how we react to stressful situations. Are we able to self soothe? Do we recover quickly or is it a struggle? Identifying what fuels our own resilience is the first step to accepting and managing it, leading to a calmer, more productive and efficient you.

The Definitions Involved

This assessment uses a range of definitions which range from a Low End to a High End. Whilst the names given to these sometimes have negative and positive connotations, it’s worth noting that in this case they are purely relational to the way in which you are able to process resilience. What’s more, as idealistic as we may like to be, it’s not possible to be an ideal of ourselves when working to understand ourselves.

Here’s an example of one of the scales involved:

Low DefinitionHigh Definition
Anxious and worried, or have unpleasant feelings of dread. On a bad day, this anxiety is often accompanied by nervous behaviours such as pacing back and forth and is exacerbated by feelings of uncertainty. They need things to happen to a high quality, otherwise their unease can turn into frustration. They experience pressure more acutely than most and as a result their mood and temperament can rise and fall.Peaceful and calm and is unlikely to worry or experience anxiety. They do not experience apprehension or concern due to critical or challenging events, or worry about the future. They are less likely than most people to become apprehensive or dwell on what might not go to plan or might go wrong. They have few emotional peaks and troughs and have a consistent mood and temperament.

How can I use it?

Having self-awareness of what your specific strengths and risks are, allows you to control them or learn to cope with them. It is vital to identify your individual attributes and accept the negatives allowing you to learn how to use them to improve. It is all about harnessing the risks and balancing them with your strengths. Be aware though, even strengths can be damaging if they are overused or underused due to extreme pressure. Everyone has a natural inclination that moulds how successfully or unsuccessfully they deal with challenging or stressful situations. Examining your own resilience at a basic and raw level is the key to managing and controlling both the strengths and risks in a balanced way and using your coping toolkit to react positively and be the absolute best you can be in the workplace and in your personal life.

Why is it important?

Workplace burnout and stress is a very real and concerning issue. Its causes include being overworked, taking on extra roles, high pressure environments, unhappy workplace relationships, external influences and many more. Common signs of early burnout include changes to sleep patterns, appetite changes, low mood, nail biting, short tempers and other general changes to an individual’s personality. Workplace stress does not just stay in the workplace. Much like external events in your home life impact your work, work life can impact your home life causing issues in relationships and your general happiness. From a business perspective it can be detrimental to the workplace culture which can have an effect on overall wellbeing and the perception of being a caring company as well as logistical issues such as distribution of work and costs to the company because of absences.

Resilience within the workplace is vital, particularly in fields where stress levels can be very high and destructive. The benefits of knowing your own and your employee’s resilience levels are many, including enhanced productivity as when we are feeling resilient, we are more likely to perform at our best. Reduced workplace accidents due to increased alertness, reduced absences, a more open and inclusive culture and an overall increase in general health and wellbeing to name just a few.

Whilst most businesses are doing everything they can to ensure a supportive and stress-free environment for their employees, sometimes it is just not possible. The workplace or the role can be stressful just because of what role it is. Because of this business managers should make sure they are offering further support not only to employees but to themselves.

Why Not to do this?

To start – psychometrics can be powerful and effective ways to get a deeper look into ourselves. However, they’re not something to do without reason or on a whim. They won’t give you miracle results but can give you insight which you can combine with work/growth to reach progress towards your goals and in order to reach future successes.

More specifically, this tool isn’t one to use when you’re looking to establish your future or goals. There are many exercises and tools we can use to do this, but this tool could cloud matters.

How do I use it to my advantage?

This is where I can help using BeTalent’s Resilience tools. Developed by Dr Amanda Potter, scientifically researched and designed to identify and understand how people operate under pressure and to help offer coping mechanisms to use during difficult or challenging situations. The basis for the scientific research was the 9 bipolar scales of mental wellbeing, including carefree or anxious, inpatient or composed and self-conscious or self-assured, traits considered to be the key aspects of resilience. Using these 9 scales and a control group or ‘norm’ group consisting of 645 people globally the study was validated then further tested using 1179 managers and professionals around the world. This wide test group gives us a great comparison for other people to learn their own scales and use it to better themselves.

Using a Likert scale questionnaire and a card sorting exercise, we can examine your key strengths and risk areas. The answers to the questionnaire and card sorting help to define your strengths and risks into 9 different dimensions including optimistic or pessimistic, fierce or calm and vulnerable or fearless. Knowing where you score on each of these compared to a global control group allows us to figure out a plan going forward. The opportunity to understand your emotions and how you think and feel at work will make it easier to put into practice the coping mechanisms that we will work out during the follow up coaching session to manage the stress levels at work and prevent burnout. Resilience is an ever-changing emotion depending on whether you are having good days or bad days, the events taking place at the time or even just your mood so I suggest being calm and relaxed when you take the questionnaire. Try not to rush it or be too busy. The most helpful results will come from total honesty and calm.

What’s the cost?

There are 2 report options available to you, the mini personal report and the standard report. Each report offers an in-depth and detailed insight into your results and attributes as well as which areas could be adjusted or improved for better resilience and well-being. We will use the reports during the follow-up coaching session to examine your results and together we will work out how to bring solutions to your resilience.

The fees involved depend on the coaching programme you’re currently working on. Generally, it’d be £50-£80 for the assessment, plus the cost of your coaching session which we’ll use for your feedback session.

What did Ky learn from this?

It’s really hard to explain what I learned in this process. Mainly because it’s all handled at such a personal level, that I’d need to give you a 3 hour backstory first!

In summary – I established that resilience is something ground into me to some extent. I’ve learned to adapt using my tendency to give thorough thought to things to help me stay grounded in tough times. My ability to be composed under stress can be useful. However, there are flip sides I need to look out for. Being composed is part defensive and my tendency to be self-conscious is easily turned into a liability. Additionally, I tend to be pessimistic and my tendency to be aware of the worst can come in handy – especially in contingency planning, but optimism is a crucial part of success. I need to be able to see the positive outcomes as well as the negative.


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“Coaching works because it’s all about you. When you connect with what you really want and why – and take action – magical things can happen.” 

Emma-Louise Elsey
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