How you can use the Corona crisis to strengthen your resilience
Having hopefully survived the worst of the Corona crisis, we have been given, not entirely willingly, the gift of resilience. Resilience is a process by which individuals respond to challenges by adjusting their behaviour.
The Harvard Business Review recently published two studies on resilience. One study looked at sources of resilience, methods for assessing resilience and the best ways to build resilience in oneself, employees and colleagues. A second study surveyed 25 000 entrepreneurs, freelancers and professionals in 25 countries to uncover global and socio-demographic differences in resilience.
According to both studies, resilience is hardly dependent on gender, age group or nationality, but there are some surprising correlations:
First finding: the more a person was exposed, the higher their resilience. People who had 5 or more connections to people who had COVID-19 were on average almost four times more resilient than those who had no or only one connection. This suggests that resilience is developed and strengthened precisely in the face of suffering and adversity.
Second finding: the more real or substantial the threat to a person, the more resilient they become. People who had experienced multiple changes (5 or more) in their workplace were 13 times more likely to be highly resilient than those who had experienced no change or only one change. The changes considered here were e.g. working hours, income levels, higher use of technology, redundancies, etc. This suggests that resilience is built especially when faced with unexpected change.
Third finding: people are particularly able to cope with adversity and adapt to difficult circumstances when they have transparent, truthful and direct information. This applies equally to companies, the self-employed and employees.
Resilience is often associated with other strengths such as determination, perseverance and the ability to grow, qualities that are essential especially in professional and business life. Resilience enables us to recover quickly from sources of stress and difficulties and to regenerate mentally healthy afterwards. Our ability to deal with unexpected challenges and life changes grows with each experience and we emerge stronger from crises.
COVID-19 is far from the only source of resilience in our lives. Many other difficult situations help us to develop resilience throughout our lives. Let us use resilience as a special power that we carry within us to shine brightly in the darkest times.
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This article was published in the Freelancing.HK-News 07/2021.