Whether you like it or not our worlds are never going to be the same again. The way we shop, travel, socialise, and work have changed, and are unlikely to go back to exactly how they used to be. As people we have changed, we have all been exposed to traumatic events that will shape our mental models. That is not to say we have been traumatised, but we have all witnessed a trauma, either in our immediate lives or vicariously via mass media, and storytelling.
Now we have a choice to either keep attempting to live our lives the same way we always have or we can start to build and maintain a new life that is more responsive to the world around us.
With this is mind I have been thinking about my favourite resilience model by Diane Coutu. Now it is not that we are not resilient, it is more that we need to maintain agility and responsiveness. This model really resonates with me and I see it in so many other models. For instance I was reading about a team rebuilding model devised by Prof Michael West and Sarah Jane Dale from Affina OD. They suggest 7 steps of recovery that reflect Coutu’s 3 conditions of resilience; realism, purpose and creativity. They suggest; reunite behind a shared purpose, take time to reflect, value different experiences, accept uncertainty, promote belonging, celebrate success, and embrace new ways of working. As you can see these 7 steps are packed full of realism, purpose and creativity. For me these three conditions provide the basis of any agile, resilient, responsive approach to life. So if we build these into our recovery planning as we come out of this pandemic, we will ensure we are able to manage any set backs we may be faced with over the coming months and years.
So here is my 3 step approach to building and maintaining your new world:
- Be Realistic: What is happening in your world right now? What is your financial position like? What is your health like? What is likely to impact on you in the next few days and weeks? Reflect on your experiences over the last year. What has been helpful? What has been challenging? What strengths have you discovered that you have? What weaknesses have you discovered you have? Who is in your network? Who is important to you, and who is less important?
- Identify Your Purpose: What is your reason why? What do you value? Why do you do what you do? Is your purpose aligned to those around you? Are you always true to what you value? Do you need to re-examine what you value in light of your experiences? Do you sometimes compromise what you value to fit in? Make a promise to yourself that you will start to choose to live up to what you value in everything you do, even when that is socially difficult.
- Show Your Creativity: Embrace the discomfort of uncertainty. Allow yourself to consider possibilities no matter how outlandish they may seem. The more imaginative we are the more ideas we create, and the more likely it will be that we come up with something remarkable. Is there another way of looking at a problem? Who could possibly help you see solutions, if you can only see problems? What resources do you already have that you could use differently in your new world? What temporary solutions have used that could be made permanent?
It is a simple approach to examining your world and planning your future but an effective approach. I have offered questions for each condition, however there are many more questions you can ask yourself. If you want to explore further how this 3 step approach could help you or talk about how coaching could support this drop me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coutu, D. (2002) How Resilience Works. Havard Business Review, May 2002
Dale, S-J & West, M. (2021) 7 Simple Tips For Rebuilding Your Team. https://www.affinaod.com/article/7-simple-tips-for-rebuilding-your-team/ (accessed 13/03/2021)