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4 ways to build resilience in business

by Ros Cardinal on May 27, 2015

Rosalind Cardinal


Shaping Change

The pressures of modern business life are often draining. We juggle priorities – work, family, friends, interests – and often the pace feels overwhelming. Whether you are going through significant changes at work, or just in life in general, here are some tips to build your resilience.

Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back or recover well from change. I am sure you all know someone who is resilient.

They have the ability to carry on regardless of what life throws at them.

They see changes as opportunities for growth, and have a calm confidence in their own ability to cope. So what characteristics do these people possess that enables them to do this?

The research around resilience points to four key characteristics you need to find:

1. Confidence

Resilient people feel competent, they have effective strategies for coping with stress. They have strong self esteem, they focus on their skills and abilities and they have a learning and growth mindset. When things go wrong they ask themselves, “What did I learn from that?”.

2. Purpose

Resilient people have a clear sense of purpose and clear values, they have a strong drive and direction with established goals. They are persistent when setbacks happen and they tend to have well developed problem solving skills. They have a strong sense that their lives add value.

3. Social Support

Resilient people build good relationships with others because they understand that seeking support can help individuals overcome adverse situations, rather than trying to cope on their own. They also provide support to others, but not at the expense of self. They nurture themselves because they understand that if they are not strong they are can’t support others.

4. Adaptability

Resilient people are flexible and adaptable to changing situations which are beyond their control, they choose their battles wisely. They cope well with change because they are optimistic – they see the opportunity rather than the threat.

So how can you go about building your own resilience? Here are some tips:

  • Work on building your positive attitudes and emotions
  • Spend time getting clarity on your sense of purpose
  • Develop coping strategies and use them
  • Establish and nurture a supportive social network
  • Look after yourself – exercise, rest, eat well
  • Create time to do the things you enjoy
  • Recognise and develop your strengths

Give these a try and see how it strengthens your ability to cope with change in your life.

I’ll finish with a favourite quote of mine from William Somerset Maugham:

 Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

Rosalind Cardinal is The Leadership Alchemist and Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, an Australian consultancy, specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations. .  Ros’ expertise spans leadership development, organisational culture, team building, change and transition management, organisational behaviour, employee engagement and motivation, strategic direction and management.

For more on developing resilience, visit to pick up your complimentary copy of Ros’ report “Thriving in Change” and to sign up for her free audio series “Thriving in the Midst of Change”.

Ros also runs the Shaping Change Inner Circle, an exclusive membership network for driven leaders around the world who are passionate about making a difference, building successful businesses and leveraging the talents and skills of their people.


Welcome to Leaders in Heels

Ros Cardinal
Rosalind Cardinal is the Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, a Hobart based consultancy, specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations. Hobart, Tasmania.
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