I had a wonderful exchange with Joe, a colleague and client of mine. The topic of resilience came up and he defined it as the “ability to stay productive under stress.” I loved the definition.

I, of course, consider resilience to be an entirely emotional competency that ends up being manifested in behaviors, not so much the other way around. Stress is an emotional state, I think we all agree on that. In this emotional state of stress our bodies and behavior change because of that emotional state. Cognitively, we think faster and often do not evaluate all the data points or have access to previous data points that might impact our reaction. Our bodies in this emotional state of stress also change – pupils get dilated, heart rate goes up, we sweat, we become agitated, etc. Our reactions, our behavioral responses also change – they are faster, instinctive, and often can be loud, aggressive, defensive, or passive-aggressive based on whatever our dominant style of behavior is.

So I hope the distinction between emotions, cognition, and behavior are clear in the context of stress.

What percentage of time during a work day or week do you think you are under some form of stress? When we think of stress, we often think of worst-case scenarios, yet the truth is that most working adults are in some form of constant stress almost all the time.  This means that your resilience, as defined by Joe, is a competency that theoretically comes into play all the time too.

So, since resilience is an emotional competency, and your emotional competency (EQ) can be increased, then what are you doing to increase your EQ? Why is EQ not a part of your development? There is a ton of literature and other learning opportunities in EQ. This week, ask yourself how resilient you are and what you are doing to make yourself more resilient.


2 responses to “Resilience

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