Change & Resilience

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Change & Resilience

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This post is an Eric Hannan, two-fer. Two thought-provoking LinkedIn posts by my friend and colleague, Eric Hannan that I thought I would share.

Change seems to only happen at two points:

  1. Someone is ecstatic about the change

  2. They feel the pain of the current situation and see the need for a change

This is probably overly simplistic as there may have been extraneous variables related to the pain that caused person number one to seek change, but this isn’t a peer-reviewed journal entry this is just some musings of my mind.

I’ve been thinking about change recently because I was working on a new process for our organization and upon reflection, I realized I am square in the middle of one and two.

Each changing point requires different actions to accomplish the change. Point One may require more curation in my opinion, as the stress that comes with the change may thwart full adoption unless people embrace not just the enthusiasm for the change but also the value of the change. The perceived value of the change must be greater than the stress of the change otherwise people will abandon the change when things get rocky. Thus, consistent curation of enthusiasm and value (they why) must be done.

Point Two, on the surface, seems like it might require less curation of the change itself, but as I write this (and I don’t want to go back and re-write my opening thoughts), it may actually require the same amount of curation, just a different focus. At Point Two, people may be more prone to slip into despair or apathy if the perceived energy to achieve the change seems unrealistic.

Or, are those just two sides of the same coin? Do both points actually require the same thing? Is a consistent curation of the why (enthusiasm and value) needed for both to change?

Both points seem to be teetering on a razor’s edge that is the fickleness of our emotions. Although, there does seem to be more lasting change if the pain and or risk of not changing is great enough.

In summary, change from the point of pain feels like it may require more coaching techniques while trying to create change from a place of homeostasis feels like it may require more sales techniques.

What do you all think?

Resilience has been the word of the week for me. It has come up in many different contexts. I was originally thinking about resilience as the ability to withstand seemingly unrelenting forces or opposition.

However, a quick google search provided a rather important distinction:

  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity

Resilience isn’t about not getting knocked down. It is about the ability to get back up again. But how do we build up resilience?

In Atlas of the Heart, Brene Brown writes “One way to build up resilience is to practice thinking about the temporary nature of most setbacks as a part of how we look at adversity on a daily basis. We can’t afford to wait to build this skill until we’re up against something huge in our lives.”

I could see how reframing our setbacks as things of a temporary nature could be helpful, but what else can we (I) do to build resiliency? This is a timely thought exercise for me as this last week has been incredible. Brene says to build the skill before your back is against the wall, so what to do…

  1. Hope – To continue to get back up after getting knocked down, there has to be some element of hope that fuels the recovery. That can be tricky because when things are going well, how do you cultivate hope? Hope doesn’t necessarily drive you during the good times. For me, I think this comes from having a vision or dream that I’m chasing after. If I don’t know where I’m going, what am I hoping for?

  2. Vulnerability-based trust, specifically with those who have earned it and can help pick you up when you are falling. We aren’t meant to do this alone. We need each other. Perhaps a way to build resiliency is to build vulnerability-based trust with your people. You know who those people are.

  3. Build habits that help you live your values. A good workout routine is important to me. I find if I can get into a routine in the good times, it helps make it easier in the hard times. What are the habits you can build in the good times that will help you get back up during the hard times?

  4. Lastly, I think we can build resiliency by killing perfectionism. It’s hard, nearly impossible, to get back up if things need to be perfect. Instead, we must embrace progress even over perfection. One small step in the right direction is progress. Heck, sometimes even one small thought in the right direction is progress.

How do you build resiliency to help you get back up when you get knocked down?

If you’ve read my work, you know that I usually weigh in with an opinion or reaction. I won’t do that here. Instead, I’ll let Eric’s words land and speak for themselves.

Stay agile my friends,


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