Leading Resilience and Wellbeing

Leading Resilience and Wellbeing

How to communicate solutions with clarity

Imagine your team in a meeting with a consultant is pitching a wellbeing solution. The consultant may be a doctor, nurse, psychologist, neuroscientist or lay person. They will present what they think is “wellbeing”, “resilience”, “psychological safety”, “mental health” or many other labels. Seldom do they define what they mean.

What would you hear in the minds of your team?

  • Health & Safety Rep: “This might protect people from covid-19.”
  • Human Resources: “This can help us reduce virtual work stress issues.”
  • Training manager: “So this is psychological safety”
  • Operations manager: “Let’s toughen up our non-performers.”
  • CFO: “We are already spending $2,000 a month on ‘health’ insurance.”
  • CEO: “This has nothing to do with business performance, but we need to reassure the board on mental health.”

We have little insight into how people process the concept. The focus might be depression, anxiety, bullying, keto diets, exercise, sleep, stress, resilience, emotional intelligence or mental skills. The problem is compounded by a confused research agenda and limited research on the business benefit (ROI).

Here is an approach that has helped us make sense of this confusing topic. Our recommendation is that service providers and leaders take some time to clarify their thinking and communication. There are many legitimate explanations.

The goal is to encourage you to be clear in your thinking and precise in the language you use. Most importantly define the meaning of the words you use.

Sick, Healthy or Well

We operate in a massive, interconnected and reinforcing crisis that is in effect a SICKNESS SYSTEM. The way we live our lives, the products we sell to each other, and distress (physical, emotional and mental) we tolerate make us sick. Preventable diseases – specifically heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety and depression – continue to increase globally crushing the lives of individuals, compromising productivity, and costing us all a fortune.

Unfortunately, the players in the sickness system benefit from more disease and desperation. Industries behind insurance, cure provision, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, guns and administrators have little interest in reform. Globally it is predicted to be worth USD $8.8 trillion in 2021.

Health is perhaps the absence of disease. We have the knowledge and tools to prevent about 75% of disease – physical, emotional and mental. If we successfully prevent disease, we have a HEALTHCARE SYSTEM. We spend less than 3% of our health budgets on prevention.

WELLBEING is a state of physical, emotional (and social), mental, and spiritual vitality. Life is aligned and feels good. Energy (physical), pleasure (emotional) and realistic optimism (mental) are abundant. Even when we are unwell or suffer serious setback, we are able to access our wellbeing to bounce forward and continue our growth and connection – RESILIENCE.

How to reduce confusion, paradox and conflict?

Be clear as to whether you mean sickness care, health care or wellbeing (or resilience). For example, New Zealand made quite a show of launching a wellbeing budget of NZD $500 million and promptly dumped it all into treating mental illness. Lipstick on a pig. In the US, sickness is so expensive to treat that people will compromise on their careers, entrepreneurship and wellbeing to secure insurance. With employers spending $2,000 a month on “sickness” insurance, it is no wonder they baulk at spending $5 a month on a proven wellbeing or resilience programme.

Develop a coherent concept to embrace a proposed solution. Don’t be seduced by simple, part solutions. Mature employers now have multiple operating solutions – mental health, safety, health, insurance, wellbeing, mindfulness, EQ, mental skills, resilience, EAP, sleep, and engagement. This is expensive, confusing and de-motivating. Each one has its own language, budgets and territorial owners.

Be precise on whether you are mitigating risk – depression, anxiety, substance abuse, diabetes or high blood pressure – or building strengths – fitness, sleep benefits, clarity under pressure, emotional agility, empathy or mental skills. Define the costs and the benefits to the people involved and the business. For example, sleep disturbance is estimated to cost business ~ USD $2,000 per person per year. Can you show evidence of how the intervention will improve sleep – say 25% – and demonstrate how that would save $500 per person per year.

Articulate clearly where responsibility lies. Views are split between total individual responsibility and total employer responsibility. This is not helpful. It is always a shared responsibility. Both individual and employer have a duty of care. Be precise about what you expect from individuals and what you are prepared to contribute as an organisation.

This trap that can cause conflict.  Take depression for example. You promote positivity or mental skills (CBT) which have good evidence. A depressed individual has been told that it is an imbalance of chemicals caused by genetics and that the only solution is anti-depressant medication. Then you get a grievance that your bullying triggered the depression. Messy!

Be sensitive to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual perspectives. We are moving into a biological age where objective signs (blood tests or brain scans) are being matched to physical, emotional and mental experiences.

Take anxiety for example. It is described as a mental illness, yet nothing is seen on brain scans. We observe clearly the presence of excess and persisting fear emotions. We also observe that heart rate, blood pressure, adrenaline and cortisol have increased. From a biological perspective, anxiety is a sustained flight reaction. It is a physical state of being. Should we treat with a potent anxiolytic medicine or teach the person to breathe slowly?

Psychologists in particular must watch for thinking traps and be precise. No-one has yet seen a psyche. If our approach and investment in mental illness was sound, mental illness would be in decline, not accelerating.

Spiritual wellbeing must be handled gently. Perceptions are most diverse here and a challenge can be taken seriously.

Finally, there are no quick solutions. An app, webinar or workshop will not solve the problem. Preventing sickness and building wellbeing (or resilience) take years of deliberate attention, practice and reinforcement. The medical paradigm lets us believe that the drug, the surgery or the procedure will solve the problem.

Just as you continuously invest in improving your logistics or digital marketing, so health, wellbeing and resilience is an ongoing journey. Clear definitions, precise language, integration of concepts, patience and tenacity can truly transform your people, your culture, your brand and your productivity.

Programme EVE & Octave Podcast #28. Cultivating Your Resilience with Alexia Michiels

Programme EVE & Octave Podcast #28. Cultivating Your Resilience with Alexia Michiels

Originally published on Programme Octave website and their SoundCloud page on October 28th 2020.

Whether it is at work, at home, or elsewhere, life often throws curveballs at us. How can we prepare to face these unexpected challenges?

A professional coach, author and the co-founder of Resilience Institute Europe, Alexia invites us to develop our resilience. In physics, resilience describes the resistance of materials to impact. The term was taken up in therapy, and then in coaching, to refer to the ability to withstand upheavals.

Far from being a simple wellness practice, resilience takes a preventive and holistic approach. It offers tools to develop a solid foundation that integrates body, heart, mind and spirit. In building this foundation, we are better prepared to deal with the difficulties that may arise. We also strengthen the ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Listen now to our conversation with Alexia and discover her insights to cultivate your own resilience.

Listen to the Podcast – 9min

Stories of Resilience #1 : Conversation with Glenn Nicholson – Former Royal Marines Commando

Stories of Resilience #1 : Conversation with Glenn Nicholson – Former Royal Marines Commando

Novembre 2nd 2020

Welcome to our new series: Stories of Resilience.

For the first story, Glenn Nicholson, former Royal Marines Commando, shares his resilience learning from 9 years of service and 2 missions in Afghanistan.

After having been exposed to life-threatening dangers and war traumas, Glenn has bounced forward using multiple techniques that support him in his current life.

He suggests simple routines to flourish in an uncertain world.

See Video – 8min 

With Alexia Michiels, Co-Founder & Partner The Resilience Institute Europe 

HR Insights – The Podcast. Series 1: Building Resilience

HR Insights – The Podcast. Series 1: Building Resilience

Originale publication in ElliottScott HR pubished on March 23rd 2020

The level of uncertainty and change we are living in at the moment across the globe is unprecedented. Understanding how to build resilience has never been more important. In this episode of HR Insights – The Podcast Emily Ramji chats to Thierry Moschetti, Partner at The Resilience Institute Europe. Thierry takes us through some simple and effective ways we can develop and implement resilience alongside advice on how to build a business case for organisations to invest in developing resilience in their leaders.  

Key timestamps:

  • 3.40: What does resilience mean?
  • 7.12: Why is resilience important both to organisations and us as individuals?  
  • 10.48: How can we build resilience?
  • 12.39: Going through the Resilience Spiral – steps to build your resilience 
  • 31.42: How does The Resilience Institute partner with organisations?
  • 34.40: Tips on how can HR Leaders build a business case with their leadership team to focus on resilience 

 

 

What is resilience about ?

What is resilience about ?

Written by Katrien Audenaert in February 2020

One of my coaches wrote the following testimonial after her resilience coaching journey 

We look up with astonishment to those who seem to be always strong, treat adversities as opportunities, rise after falling and become even better than before. We ask ourselves how they do it, which superpower they possess that we do not seem to have.  

During my coaching, I learned that it is not about superpower but about 100 small things that are in your area of controlIt is not so much about always being strong but about staying true to yourself, always. It is not about keeping on smiling when things get rough but about using strategies to focus on what works well and use this as guidanceIt is not about fear but about trust. It is about a strong mind in a healthy body. It is about being aware, recognizing alert signals and develop the strategies to respond to those signals, with new habits and lots of energy. 

This encaptures well what we mean with ResilienceAt the Resilience Institute Europe, we define resilience as the ability to navigate the ups and downs of your life- with more ease and more success. It is not about being at the top at all times. It is about being flexible.  

Resilience is a competence we can learn and cultivate. Resilience is the learned ability to demonstrate bounce, to grow through the challengesto flourish and to build strong connectionsIt is about being totally human, mobilizing all of our resources – body, heart, mind, and spirit- for a positive impact on self, on others and on the environment. 

So, resilience is not a suit of armorResilience provides a framework for navigating in a demanding world. A resilient person breaks down life’s challenges into achievable tasks and engages with his whole being, dynamically playing to his/her strengths and putting into practice the right habits to flourish 

Read also :

Infographic: 10 Ways to Supercharge Workplace Resilience

A Guide to Resilience and Wellbeing