Resilience is identified as one of Matter’s top soft skills that is linked to performance and career success. Contrary to popular belief, soft skills like resilience can also be learned and developed just like any hard skills. Matter helps professionals tease out blindspots and areas for growth in skills like resilience through regular peer-to-peer feedback.

What Is Resilience

Definition of Resilience: Recovers quickly from difficulties or setbacks.

Resilience has often been described as the ability to pick yourself back up more times than you’ve been knocked down, but that’s only part of true resilience. Even more than merely picking yourself back up, resilience is about the attitude you adopt and the actions you take once you start again. Your ability to recover quickly from setbacks and move on without losing a positive outlook can be hugely important to your personal and professional success.

Resilient Leaders You May Know

Marie Curie: Throughout her life, Curie faced skeptism and discrimination from the scientific community purely due to her gender. Despite being an equal contributor to the discovery of Radium and Polonium with her husband, the Nobel Prize Nominating Committee originally wanted to omit her recognition. Nevertheless, Curie overcame these deep-rooted gender biases and became the first person to ever receive two Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry.

J.K. Rowling: Not only did the world-renowned author have her “Harry Potter” manuscript rejected by several publishers in a row, she also struggled to make a life for herself as a single mother on government assistance while she wrote it. Today, Rowling is one of the world’s most celebrated authors and her magical universe continues to inspire millions.

Stewart Butterfield: Butterfield’s communication platform, Slack, is considered to be the fastest-growing business in existence. However, it started out as nothing more than a communication tool built around a multiplayer gaming project that ultimately failed. His ability to get back up and focus on the potential around Slack is a true demonstration of resilience.

Why Resilience Is Important

  • Growth Mindset: When you have resilience, mistakes become learning opportunities. You can learn to quickly redirect your energies and change course without dwelling on temporary business setbacks that will inhibit your growth.
  • Inspiration: Resilience is contagious. When you believe in yourself, you inspire other people to believe in you and themselves. A positive, confident outlook is hard to ignore or dislike.
  • Strategic Thinking: When you learn from your mistakes, you aren’t just relying on a positive attitude to help you overcome adversity. You’re making use of new information to avoid making the same mistakes and come up with better solutions.

What Resilience Isn’t About

  • Blind Faith: A positive mindset is important, but it’s equally important to look at every decision with skepticism and examine it for potential issues.
  • Rigidity: Stubbornly pursuing the exact same goal without making necessary adaptations and expecting better results can be counterproductive. Resilience is about learning from your mistakes.
  • Blame: When something goes wrong, it’s time to fix it, regardless of whose fault it may be. If the mistake was yours, feeling guilty won’t help, but action will.

Abilities That Lead To The Mastery of Resilience

Being Optimistic: Staying optimistic during unpleasant times can be difficult, but maintaining a hopeful outlook is an important part of resiliency. Optimism does not mean ignoring the problem in order to focus on positive outcomes. It means understanding that setbacks are temporary and that you have the skills and abilities to combat the challenges you face.

Keeping Things in Perspective: Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

Looking for New Ways to Grow: One important habit shared by people who demonstrate strong resilience is creating new goals. When you have a list of things you want to achieve, you don’t let setbacks derail you. Instead, look for new ways to grow and concentrate on other dreams you still hope to pursue.

Spending Time with Resilient People: Resilient people tend to seek out and surround themselves with other resilient people, whether just for fun or when there’s a need for support. Supportive people give us the space to grieve and work through our emotions. They know how to listen and when to offer encouragement without trying to solve all of our problems with their advice.

Taking Breaks to Recharge: When your work is especially stressful and competitive, it might make more sense to skip the break and just go straight to work. But these little pockets of rest are essential in ensuring that you recharge to avoid suffering from burnout. It usually happens when you’re overwhelmed by too much work.

Taking Care of Yourself: Exercise regularly. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy, find relaxing and take your mind off of work. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.

Taking Decisive Actions: Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away..

Explore Roles That Benefit From Resilience

Who can benefit from practicing resilience? Matter is helping professionals at all levels get actionable feedback to improve their resilience.

  • CEOs who are looking to become better leaders and cultivate company culture
  • Designers who want to grow their professional and soft skills
  • Freelancers who work without a traditional team and want feedback
  • Project Managers looking to improve their cross-functional collaboration skills
  • Software Engineers who aspire to become a tech lead or manager

Explore Complementary Skills to Resilience

Resilience shouldn’t be practiced in a vacuum. Improve your resilience by exploring and developing these complementary skills.

  • Delegation: Assigns manageable tasks, responsibilities, and authority to others appropriately
  • Empathy: Possesses the ability to connect with other people’s thoughts and emotions
  • Multitasking: Handles more than one task at the same time with ease
  • Productivity: Accomplishes an above average amount of work without excessive stress
  • Resourcefulness: Overcomes challenging problems in an effective way

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