Newsletter

R U OK?, Building Connection - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

At the heart of what we do at AccessEAP is caring for others’ wellbeing – particularly their emotional health. For all of us directly affected by the lockdowns around Australia – and that’s now most of us – our emotional wellbeing is probably being tested. For example, many of us are missing physical touch – when was the last time you hugged a friend? I miss the regular face-to-face catch-ups with friends and family that, up until COVID, was a very regular part of my life. And most of us are now regularly seeing our work colleagues on a computer screen, rather than in person.

R U OK? Day on Thursday 9th September is a very timely reminder of the vital importance of checking in with each other – especially in these times of separation. R U OK? Day was founded by Gavin Larkin as a response to the suicide of his father. Gavin was determined to try to help others. He championed the fact that a conversation, starting with “are you OK?” can change a life – perhaps save a life. Out of that was born an extraordinary Australian organisation whose mission is to inspire and empower people to meaningfully connect with those in their world and lend support when they are struggling.

R U OK? Day creates an opportunity for us all to start a dialogue about mental health, to create an environment of acceptance, and to normalise asking for help. At work, Managers play a vital role in the culture of their workplaces. The most direct way to encourage discussion is through talking and encouraging others to talk, especially about what might be uncomfortable topics for some – such as their mental health. This is particularly relevant during these times of lockdown when it is hard for everyone and where we may feel fatigued and unsure of how we can help others.  Leaders can empower their employees and facilitate a culture where it is normal to talk about how you feel and for others to actively listen without trying to ‘fix’ anyone. R U OK? Day is an opportunity to discuss the importance of learning the steps and skills on how to have the conversation.  Lots of great guidance can be found on their website.

Our emotions are our friends. They tell us how our inner world is going. Learning to listen patiently to our emotions, to hear what they are telling us, and then acting in a way that adds to our wellbeing, is a skill learnt over the course of a lifetime. Talking with others about how we feel can help clarify what we need to do to take good care of ourselves. Having someone ask you, genuinely, “are you OK?” and then them waiting quietly for what you have to say, might be the difference between you feeling confused and lonely or feeling there is hope and a way forward. When we as leaders are experiencing similar challenges as our employees and also feel responsible for our employees’ wellbeing, it is important to remind yourself that checking in and connecting with others is just as valuable and powerful for yourself. It’s okay to not have all the answers and to reach out for support when you need it.

 

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Mental Health in October 2021

The theme for this year's Mental Health Month is Tune In.
  • Tune in to yourself – What can you sense right now? What can you feel?
  • Tune in to others – What might people around you be feeling? How can we connect?
  • Tune in to your communities – What is happening that you can be part of, or that you can help others be part of?
  • Tune in to stigma – How do attitudes and understandings of mental health and wellbeing impact on people’s ability to live the lives they want? How can we help?

See more information here.

This awareness month encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have a lived experience of mental illness or not. This month also gives us the opportunity to understand the importance of mental health in our everyday lives and encourages help-seeking behaviours when needed.
  
Depending on your location, Mental Health Awareness may be marked by a day, week or month. Mental Health Day, 10th October is also a worthwhile day to recognise within Mental Health Month. Some great resources can be found on their website.
 
 
 
For more information on Mental Health Month or to arrange a Mental Health Awareness Training, please speak to your Relationship Manager.
 
To arrange an appointment, contact us on 1800 818 728.

Women's Health Week 2021

#WomensHealthWeek 6-10 September 2021

With the stress COVID has placed on everyone's lives, it’s now more important than ever to look after your overall health and wellbeing. This September, Women’s Health Week will be a great reminder to take time out to check in on your health and to keep making positive changes that can last a lifetime.

For more information and free resources visit the Jean Hailes' Women's Health Week Website. It's time to put your health first.

With so many competing demands and expectations, the struggle to keep up with both work and home commitments can be extremely stressful. When stress persists to a point that a person feels they aren’t coping, it can affect the functioning of their day-to-day life as well as their overall wellbeing. The stressors of too much ‘juggling’ together with trying to do things well and be ‘good’ at everything is impacting on women and their ability to sleep, think clearly and make decisions.

For more information about Women's Health and Wellbeing contact your Relationship Manager who can go through our Women's Wellbeing Training and Webinar options.

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Reach out this R U OK? Day

10 Tips on How to Have a Conversation on R U OK? Day

You don’t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time. You just need to be able to listen to their concerns without judgment and take the time to follow up with them.

1. Know your colleagues

Relationship building is very important when it comes to mental health in the workplace. You will need to feel comfortable to approach a colleague that you may be concerned about. Also in order to pick up that someone is behaving out of character you will need to know how they usually behave.

2. Approach the person

It may be difficult to do, feeling a little anxious about approaching a colleague to ask them if they are OK is normal, it is necessary that we do it none the less. Think about whether you are the right person to approach your colleague, and if for any reason you think you may not be the best person, employ the appropriate person to approach your colleague you are concerned about. Make sure this is done with discretion and confidentially.

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Wellbeing Tips via AccessEAP LinkedIn

At AccessEAP we're here to make it easier for you and your people to access support. Along with our website and AccessMyEAP App, we post frequently on our AccessEAP LinkedIn Page. We will keep posting so you can have resources to share on your organisation's LinkedIn or intranet.

Follow us for tips on keeping mentally healthy, supporting your people, self-care and more. You may even see some AccessEAP pets who are a part of the AccessEAP extended family! 

  Follow the AccessEAP LinkedIn Page here.

Constructive conversations in times of stress - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP

I want to start by acknowledging the effect of the lockdowns and increased restrictions on us all. AccessEAP are here to support you and help you face each challenge. This month we are focusing on Constructive Conversations because we know that communication and connection are so very important for our overall wellbeing.   

Conflict happens in the most harmonious of working environments. I think we have a great culture at AccessEAP, but conflict still occurs. So it’s not about avoiding conflict, which can create an ‘elephant in the room’ situation - it’s about enabling it to happen in a constructive way. One of my favourite authors, Patrick Lencioni, talks about fear of conflict in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Great relationships require “productive conflict in order to grow”1. By engaging in productive conflict at AccessEAP, it helps the Executive Leadership Team discuss and resolve issues more competently without any resentful feelings.

Psychological Safety is something we aim for at AccessEAP. The Center for Creative Leadership defines it as “the belief that you won’t be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.” As a leader, I aim to nurture an understanding we are here not just to be responsible for our roles but to contribute without fear in a way that gives voice to our care about the organisation, the work we do, and our own and others’ wellbeing. It’s about speaking up. I think of teachers who say when inviting questions, “there’s no such thing as a silly question.” That’s creating psychological safety.

When I am in a conversation where conflict might occur or is occurring, I remember the importance of creating safety. I listen carefully to what undercurrents are happening – I try to hear who is feeling hurt, or unheard, angry or scared. Is there someone who hasn’t voiced their opinion yet and they need some encouragement? As a Leader, I encourage those I work with to respectfully and truthfully say what is going on for them to help avoid misunderstandings.

If something that happened in the past needs addressing, the Center for Creative Leadership has a model for structuring a constructive conversation.

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Healthy Body & Mind

Exercise 

  • Exercise provides a mood boost and a more energised outlook on life thanks to the release of endorphins. Exercise can help to lift low mood.
  • Exercising with a buddy, provides a sense of belonging through the sharing of common interests. It also helps motivate and keep you on track toward your health goal.
  • Participating in a sport or reaching a personal physical goal promotes a sense of mastery, accomplishment and increases self–esteem. Set yourself a physical goal no matter what your current fitness level is. Remember tackling small ‘chunks’ of a larger goal will see you mastering your chosen activity in no time! For example, commit to a 20-minute power walk each morning and increase this by 10 min increments each week until you are walking an hour a day.
  • Exercise improves cognitive function. It has been proven decision-making and problem-solving ability improves after exercise. We all know the feeling of going out for a walk and coming back with a ‘clear’ mind. Some may even choose to use their lunch break as an hour to hit the gym, go for a jog, walk or train in a group.

Sleep

  • A good night's sleep helps foster both mental and emotional resilience. Chronic sleep disruptions set the stage for negative thinking, depression, anxiety and emotional vulnerability. Being physically active throughout the day can help you get a restful sleep. See here for more tips to sleep well. 

Nutrition 

  • Every meal should include protein to ensure a continuous supply of the amino acid tryptophan to the brain Tryptophan is proven to boost mood. Add some fish, turkey, chicken, meat, eggs, legumes, milk, cheese, yoghurt, nuts or seeds to your meal.
  • Studies suggest omega-3 oil can reduce symptoms of depression. You can include oily fish such as salmon in your diet or even take a daily supplement. Vegetarians get similar benefits from flaxseed oil, walnuts and chia seeds.
  • Excessive weight loss through extreme dieting can make your mood worse and should be avoided. Rapid weight loss and lack of good nutrition will deprive the brain of glucose and other nutrients that control mood. If you are planning to lose a few kilos do it sensibly with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.

Water

  • An adult can lose up to 2.5 litres of water daily through the lungs as water vapour, through the skin as perspiration, and through the kidneys as urine. If you do not drink enough fluids to replace this loss you will get the symptoms of dehydration, including irritability, loss of concentration and reduced mental functioning. Replace fluid with drinks such as water and non-caffeinated herbal teas. Aim for about 2.0 litres each day, and increase water consumption on very hot days or when you have been exercising.

Alcohol

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Let's talk R U OK? Day

 

 

Learn how a conversation can change a life

Thursday, 9th September is R U OK? Day and AccessEAP would like to support you and your people to feel confident asking “R U OK?”. 2021 has had its challenges, and this year we are focused on helping people have these conversations and feel confident to respond if someone says they are not OK.

A common theme for many people this year has been isolation. It’s unfortunate that one of our best weapons against COVID-19 is something that can negatively impact on mental health and wellbeing. This year we would encourage you to consider the benefits of bringing people together for R U OK? Day. Examples could include our virtual group training session, a virtual morning tea or a lunch and learn session using our Webinar.

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Effective Communication - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

The everchanging COVID situation unfolding around the nation continues to fuel a media frenzy and the constant communication can be overwhelming. As leaders it’s important our communication, both spoken and written, doesn’t add to people’s anxiety or uncertainty. It’s about striking the right tone, being honest and clear, and being a stabilizing, reassuring influence on the organisation.

When I plan what I’m going to say, I start by listening. Take the time to ask questions, be curious and approach the conversation with an open mind. It can also help to practise standing in the other person’s shoes to see an issue from their perspective.

Misunderstandings can create a lot of extra work and frustration. I learnt from our wonderful clinical team the importance of regularly checking my understanding. “Just checking, you’re saying that…” not only helps us get on the same page, it tells the other person you're engaged and interested in exploring the topic with them. Another tool helpful in exploring a topic, and something we practice in our own meetings, is “Yes and…”. “Yes, that’s a really interesting point, and what about we build on that and also consider…” creates a positive cycle of ideas. “Yes, but…” pushes another’s idea away in favour of your own.

Being vulnerable and being ok with silence are both really important to me. We live in a very noisy world, where there’s an expectation we should have all the answers. Admitting to mistakes, seeking support, asking for help, apologizing, and acknowledging we don’t have all the answers are often seen as weaknesses. Not so. They are signs a leader is aware they are part of a team effort, where others’ contributions are valued – a leader can’t do it by themselves. As Brené Brown says “Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.” Being ok with silence also takes courage. To leave space, rather than jumping in to fill it, allows room for reflection, which can lead to new, creative ideas, rather than simply recycling the old. Silence can feel uncomfortable, but respecting those natural pauses allows time to think and feel, and in groups can give opportunity for the quieter, more thoughtful introverted members to have their say. 

Communicating with each other is the most natural thing in the world. We are born wanting to do it. And we can keep learning to do it more effectively. They are skills we can all constantly improve, and they are skills that underpin the work we do at AccessEAP.

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Stress Down Day 2021

Saturday 24th July 2021 is Stress Down Day, a fun and easy initiative designed to reduce stress and raise vital funds for Lifeline Australia. Stress Down Day promotes happiness, encourages help seeking and raises awareness of suicide prevention through raising funds for Lifeline's crisis support services. For more information, check out the Lifeline Website.

"Research shows that 90% of Australians feel stressed - with 74% of people reporting being stressed from work. This Stress Down Day we are asking you to 'task yourself with 30 minutes of movement' in recognition of the importance of taking some time out to relax your mind and body and give yourself a break:

  • 30 minutes of yoga
  • A walk around the block or along the beach
  • Swim
  • Ride
  • Dance

Whatever form of movement makes your body feel good!" Stress Down Day.

Self-care and managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic

It is important to remember that feeling anxious, fearful, stressed, angry or irritable are common and normal feelings during uncertain times like these. It is important to monitor your own physical and mental health. Download our Wellbeing Postcard to see what signs to watch for and self-care strategies. 
 

For more information or to arrange an appointment, please contact us on 1800 818 728.

It’s ok not to be ok

It’s ok not to be ok. It’s even more ok than ever to not be ok through our current pandemic. When you find yourself consistently challenged in ways you’ve never really experienced before, over an extended period of time, it’s easy to feel drained. We are in a period of time that we can say is unique for most of us as our lives change and evolve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the moment that you find yourself reading this take a pause and acknowledge that in spite of all the challenges you have done the best you can do, and that’s more than can be expected. Remember, “It’s ok not to be ok”.
 
It’s a natural human response to say to someone who is going through tough times “I understand”. We recognise that for many of us who are either in heightened physical distancing or supporting our people in that situation, that right now we empathise with you. We may not understand, but we are genuinely cheering and supporting you through these challenges. We’re here for you and will stand beside and with you. We recognise that many people are just trying to make it through the day before doing the same the next day. We also believe it’s very important to remind you that we will get through this together.

If you need to prioritise your self-care download our Personal Tool for Keeping Mentally Healthy.

Support is available. Reach out to us here at AccessEAP on 1800 818 728.

Positive Psychology and Change - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

We’ve all been going through so much change over the past 18 months – border closures, social distancing, businesses rapidly adapting to their employees working from home, and now trying to find a balance between work from home and office. It’s hard to find stability in the midst of so much uncertainty.

This is where it can be useful to remember that we all have what’s called a “negativity bias”. This is the way we often pay more attention to information we feel is negative. If we do this a lot, it can become harder and harder to solve complex problems as we get stuck in the fight-flight-freeze response. To rebalance the scales, it can pay to consciously give our attention to things that we feel are good and useful. This is where Positive Psychology comes in. Positive Psychology focuses on our strengths, building on what works. When applied to working with change and uncertainty, it gives us an approach and a set of questions that help us to flourish.

Finding the most useful question is half the battle when trying to solve a problem. “How do we avoid difficulties when introducing a particular change in the business” leads to a very different answer when compared with “How can we draw on our strengths when introducing a particular change.” In my experience, the first question leads us towards negativity, the second towards positivity.

I use a journal to regularly reflect on how I can bring greater positivity to the way I am a CEO, the way I am in my life, and how I initiate change. Taking time at the end of each day for conscious reflection helps me to refine my leadership style, to think through how I want to approach change from a more positive mindset. It also helps to get my thoughts down on the page rather than them circling around in my head just before I go to sleep!

At AccessEAP, we approach change through the lens of Positive Psychology.

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Take Your Dog to Work Day 2021

Friday, June 25th is this year's Take Your Dog to Work Day. If you are lucky enough to have a well-behaved pup that can come in, make sure you get approval from your employer before you bring your pet in. With many people still working from home, we also encourage you to bring your dog and any other pets to your online meetings! 

What should I consider before taking my dog to the office?

It’s important to ensure this does not adversely impact on the health, welfare or working environment of employees, volunteers or visitors to office, or on the health and welfare of the animal or other animals in the office. For tips to make the experience run smoothly check out the RSPCA's Website.

AccessEAP Pets

Here are just some of the pets that have come into the office. Many more join us on Zoom calls!

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Men's Health Week 2021

It's Men's Health Week from the 14-20 June. The focus is on Connecting for Men's Health, find out more on the official website.

At AccessEAP, we often hear from men that they feel pressure to be seen as invulnerable, stoic, and fearless. This can lead to unrealistic expectations that as a man you should be able to cope no matter what, and "get on with it". Emotions become synonymous with weakness and powerlessness. Men may also dismiss their feelings as unimportant and worry about burdening other people with their concerns.

Men experience emotions just as much as women do, however, the pressure not to show emotion or vulnerability means that emotions will build-up and result in what appear to be random and unexpected behaviour. Reluctance to talk about or acknowledge emotion can manifest in all sorts of unhelpful ways including:

  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Addiction to gambling or betting
  • Ending relationships prematurely
  • Resigning suddenly from their job
  • Stopping activities of interest e.g. sports
  • Neglecting friends and family
  • Working longer hours
  • Communication only via emails or text messages
  • Aggression or violence
  • Excessive time watching fantasy films, or gaming

What can AccessEAP do to help?

We can provide a comfortable and private space to talk where there isn’t pressure to bottle things up. A person who is experienced in understanding human emotion and behaviour can listen without judgment and without consequence. We can even offer tips or strategies if that’s what is wanted or needed.

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Men’s Health- Reducing Stigma in the Workplace

1 in 8 men will suffer from a mental health issue in a lifetime.

Talking about mental health issues creates understanding and acceptance.

"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all." - Bill Clinton

Misunderstandings about mental health can lead to prejudice, discrimination and stigma. While there have been changes recently in the media reporting on mental health concerns, stereotypes are often perpetuated in sport, films, media and social networking especially by images portraying unrealistic images of men as strong, self-sufficient and “practical providers”. In reality these are unhelpful and often untrue and, there is even more scope for the role of media and social media in debunking myths and raising awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. The most effective way to break down prejudice and stereotyping of mental health issues is through; education, awareness and listening to people’s personal stories.

Men who suffer with Mental Health issues feel societal stigma is often more disabling than the illness itself. Coping with a mental health issue often includes increased use of drugs and alcohol, risk taking behaviour and social isolation. Over time these activities negatively influence self-esteem and confidence and in extreme circumstances can lead to suicide. Men are afraid of the impact on their relationships and career if they open up and talk about or show their feelings. Often feelings like anger or aggression can mask underlying depression.

Research by the Mental Health Council of Australia (2013) found that discussing a mental health issue is still taboo in the workplace. Research conducted states that 69% of people are uncomfortable to disclose a mental illness to their employer, while 35% would never disclose. The study reported that 48% of respondents had taken time off work for a mental health issue and not disclosed the reason to their employer. These are alarming statistics and reflect the need for action to eliminate the stigma and fear of disclosing a mental health issue in the workplace.

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5 Health Pillars

There are many ways to exhale, and one particularly helpful one is cleaning out the unnecessary and outdated information in our brains. Like a spring clean in our house or car, a cleanout of the mind requires taking time and reflecting on all aspects of life to see where you are at right now. When looking at the five pillars of health (social, emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual), the exhale starts by reviewing all five aspects. Looking and rate each pillar from one to five (5 being the best); how well do you think you are doing the following?

When completing the rating, try to avoid comparison or judgment and just take some time to sit down and think. If you prefer pen and paper, use an exercise book to write down each pillar and its rating. Then list ideas of what may need to happen next with the above categories. Have a think about what is in balance in your life, what you are generally drawn to and what helps you heal – this may be a road map to assist you to see what you can do more of to get all five to a rating of 5.

Taking the time to reflect on how you process what is happening in the world and in your close environment (colleagues, family, and friends) is a big part of the exhale. Thinking about your approach to people and how you interact with them is a way to move after a big event. The reason being that those who are self-aware appear to have more empathy towards others; they are better listeners, can think more critically and report that their decision making improves. These all appear to be useful skills in a post-pandemic world.

If you are not sure where to start with your life audit, improving your wellbeing or would like some suggestions on how to self-reflect, start with our app, AccessMyEAP. Inside it has a wellbeing tracker that allows us to keep an eye on how we are carrying out our day-to-day wellbeing. Also, our friendly and supportive clinicians can also assist you with face to face, video or phone appointments focussing on self-reflection, growth or wellbeing. Contact AccessEAP on 1800 818 728.

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Joint Effort

The pandemic has forced us to look more closely at the way we work particularly in terms of team and people interactions and dynamics. The way that our teams function is crucial to our workplace culture and productivity. Whether your team dynamics have changed drastically or not so much, see our tips for an effective teamwork refresher below: 

1. Review Objectives and Goals

Successful teams have clear objectives that all team members are aware of and working toward. There is a clear vision and shared values. Team members are committed to the goal and live the values.

2. Participation

Active participation is evident and encouraged by all team members. Team members focus on their areas of strength for the greater good of achieving the team outcomes. Effective teams want the team to succeed and place team success above individual recognition and reward. Everyone carries their weight.

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Grow your Emotional Intelligence - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO AccessEAP

Emotions, especially positive ones, can motivate us to create opportunities and find ways through difficulties. And emotions can be messy. They can get in the way of thinking clearly and they can pull us in opposing directions. Whether we are feeling on top of the world or quite down, it’s very helpful if we can bring awareness to what is happening for us emotionally so we can make wise choices on how to act.

This is where Emotional Intelligence comes in. Often abbreviated to EQ, it’s the ability to identify, understand, and handle emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, build wellbeing, communicate effectively, overcome challenges, and build healthy relationships. The term Emotional Intelligence first appeared way back in 1964 when it hit popularity with the writings of Daniel Goleman in 1995, and it has been in popular use ever since.

Emotions underlie everything we do, and they change the way we think. The ‘broaden-and-build’ theory of emotions, developed by Barbara Frederickson, says that positive emotions, such as happiness and joy, broaden our awareness, encourage curiosity, and build more creative and varied ways of thinking and acting.

As a leader, I am very aware of how important it is for me to be aware of my emotional state, especially when I am making important decisions or responding to situations. I want to approach decision making and situations with a healthy sense of self-confidence and optimism. I know I make better decisions when I feel like this. Responding form feelings of fear or anger are much more likely to lead to unforeseen and unwanted outcomes.

There are 5 main characteristics of EQ: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation and social skills. It’s not just about our own emotions. EQ is also about getting better at noticing and identifying others’ emotions so we can relate more easily with other people, and build relationships based on trust and care.

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Identifying your Stress Signatures - a message from Sally Kirkright, CEO, AccessEAP

As we turn towards the second quarter of the year, it's a good time to reflect on how we are travelling and what we want to create as the year continues. With recurring lockdowns and travel restrictions, many of us did not have the break we were hoping for at the end of last year – and without that break, batteries could be a bit low and edges a bit frayed. And now we are facing floods and the loss which accompanies the damage. So if your energy levels are low, you're feeling overwhelmed or a bit "blah", it is not surprising. To support those that may have been affected by the recent events or if you have been directly impacted, please see our article, Support through the NSW & QLD Floods, which includes individual support strategies as well as information for managers and leaders.

Stress can show itself in many forms. As a leader, I am on the lookout for signs of stress and low energy in the people I lead – and in myself. Stress might take the form of headaches and tension; it might be losing your confidence or being irritable; it might be having difficulty concentrating or making decisions. Or stress might cause you to reach for that extra drink, that extra piece of cake, or you might lose your appetite altogether. These are all signatures of the effect of stress to be aware of. 

Resilience is a word that is used a lot when it comes to discussing how to respond to stress. The trick is to make the word meaningful for yourself and for those in your organisation, and not just an expression that is equivalent to 'move on and get over it'. The word resilience has been around since the mid-1600s. It's from the Latin meaning 'to spring back.' And that meaning is part of the problem. Sometimes springing back to the way we were is absolutely not what is needed. If I notice my golf-swing is not producing the results I want on a particular course, it may need to adapt to the unfamiliar conditions rather than persist with what I usually do. I like the definition of resilience given by CSIRO Research Fellow Brian Walker – "Resilience is… the ability to adapt and change, to reorganise, while coping with disturbance. It is all about changing in order not to be changed." Resilience is about:

  • having available to you a diversity of styles of responding
  • being self-aware and open to challenges
  • not being over connected with others and your environment (you might get overwhelmed), or under-connected (in which case you may not learn and you might miss the bigger picture)
  • being able to respond quickly
  • being ready to transform if necessary.

This is a much more nuanced version of resilience than the one we are often told about.

So, how might we all put this version of resilience into practice? I believe it starts with being curious. Curiosity lies at the heart of the joy and excitement of discovery, of finding new ways of doing things, of finding our unique approach to the world that uses our strengths and insights. Curiosity also means we aren't afraid to make mistakes. It's said that when a reporter asked him, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." A growth mindset is vital.

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Reinvest in Resilience

Being resilient is the ability to bounce back after challenges. During this unprecedented time, we all find ourselves in, building resilience and trying to manage our stress levels can seem even more difficult than usual. As a manager or leader, you will be experiencing your own emotions as well as feeling responsible for your people or teams. As leaders, we are used to being in control and providing guidance and support to others, but we are also human.

Remember that feeling anxious, fearful, stressed, angry and irritable are common and normal feelings during uncertain times. Identify your responses and feelings and ensure that you look after yourself and get support if needed. It is difficult to support others when we are experiencing heightened stress. If you notice behavioural changes like being snappy in a conversation that you would not normally worry about, or being abrupt towards someone you care for, take a moment to use the STOP technique.

  • STOP whatever you are doing
  • TAKE a few slow breaths
  • OBSERVE what you are thinking and feeling –remembering that thoughts and worries are not facts
  • Feeling calmer? Go on with the task. Still tense? Get up and move, make a cup of tea, walk the dog, do the dishes. A five-minute break is really restorative!

Click below to refesh on our top ten tips for Resilience.

Stress & Resilience Training

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