5th July 2015

Building Resilience

Today’s blog is by Dr Emma Plunkett @emmaplunkett

I read an article by a psychologist called Marytn Newman recently. It was called “What’s the No. 1 skill children need to succeed?” The answer: resilience.

Resilience is a term increasingly bandied about in healthcare. What does it really mean? There are complicated definitions out there but, as is so often the case, google comes up with a good answer.   Resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”. It sounds good to me. I think we all need it to succeed.

So what gives us resilience? Some people seem to naturally have more of it than others, so a certain amount must come down to personality. But some must be related to learned behaviours and there is no reason why we cannot develop our resilience as adults. In Martyn Newman’s article he lists 7 ways we can help our children to develop resilience, he calls them his 7 rules. Rule number 3 is building “The Twin Towers”; self-liking (self-esteem) and self-competence.

Having a sense of self-esteem and self-competence is crucial for us functioning well at work and it can be easily lost if we are constantly told that we are doing things wrong or could do better. Those of us who work in the NHS can testify that morale is low. There is only a certain amount of motivation that can be done with a stick. Building our self-esteem and awareness of our self-confidence is essential to motivate and enthuse us. Not optional. Essential. We can develop this by learning from what it is that we have done well. We can build our resilience (and that of our colleagues) by learning from our moments of excellence.   So let’s start telling each other about what we do that’s good. Let’s learn from excellence and build our resilience together. After all, it’s the workers who make the NHS and a resilient team will make for a resilient organisation. We all want that.

PS If you’re interested the article I read – you can find it here: http://eqroi.com/whats-the-no-1-skill-children-need-to-succeed/

One thought on “Building Resilience

  1. Thank you Emma. How very refreshing. Have you looked Kerry Jones – Mind the Gap research? She talks about the generation gap and how this might affect resilience in the young workforce. It is an issue for us all and is witnessed in all professions, not just health care. Thank you for your blog. It is very thought provoking.

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