Commencement Remarks to the Touro College School of Health Science 2016 Graduates offered by Phyllis on September 13, 2016.

Graduates in Cap and Gown
Graduates in Cap and Gown — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

Dean Primavera, distinguished faculty, honored guests, proud parents and family and my newly graduated colleagues…

I want to begin my guidance to you this afternoon by reminding all of you of just how unique and wonderful you all are. You see many people care capable to feel empathy for someone given the right circumstances. It is the rare few that cannot feel something when the news is filled with stories of the survivors of an earthquake or a picture of a five year old stunned by the events of war.

But it is the rare soul that can mobilize their empathy and compassionate nature into the action we call caregiving; and even fewer that take it on as their life’s work. Serving your fellow man, woman or child is the highest form of generosity I know and you have all chosen this Path.

So I would like to offer you three steps to take to ensure that you stay connected to the beautiful mission that you have accepted:

First: Create a place for stillness in your daily life.

                Professional caregivers are perpetual doers. The only way to balance continuous doing is to stop and be still. The goal of stillness is to free you from the endless loop of thoughts in your head and encourage you to be more in your body. Simple exercises such as mindful-breathing can offer you an opportunity to pause and rest in a peaceful place. The answer to many of the questions that you will be asking yourself over the next twenty-five years lie in that wonderful silent, still place. Find the simple things in life that can offer you a momentary rest from the noise in your head.

Second: Allow others to care for you.

                Suggesting to a professional caregiver that they may need to be cared for is often offensive to them. Caregivers see themselves as strong, indispensable and indestructible. When I suggest that someone may need caring for, it is often thought that I am suggesting that they are weak or even damaged. Self-care is an act of generosity not selfishness. Self-care allows you to stay available to serve. Taking good care of yourself keeps you connected to your compassionate nature longer and in a more authentic manner.

I often hear professional caregivers explain to me how they take care of themselves and indeed, that is the issue and my point. Taking care of yourself does not let you receive care. Allowing yourself to receive is vital. It is in the receiving of care from another, either through friendship, love, massage, reiki, or delegation of responsibility, that our spirits are renewed, reconnected and refreshed.

Finally: Develop you emotional intelligence.

We are at a time in our industry and professions where knowledge and skills are not enough. Gone are the days of accepting that someone is great at what they do but no one can stand to work with them. The days condoning of ego-dominated behaviors are numbered.

Emotional intelligence has not been stressed in healthcare largely due to the fact that we have been trying to figure out a way to survive.  We have been trying to find a model of care and understand how we are going to pay for that model since 1984 with the break from the fee-for-service structure. We are now fairly clear on a model of care and how it will be financed. It is time to turn our attention to mastering the four skills of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and relationship-management. We need to master these behavioral expectations in the same manner that our non-healthcare professional colleagues are held accountable to do.

Solid emotional intelligence skills are tools for reducing the risk of compassion fatigue and reducing the prevalence of bullying and incivility in our professions. If we do not redirect our attention to these essential “soft-skills”, we will have no chance of creating a true, interdisciplinary model of care that is patient-centered and humane. We will continue to lose the best of us to venues of practice other than the bedside where we need the best most.

In closing, may you never forget that the Universe only asked a very few of us to devote our lives to the service of others…and you said yes. Blessings and congratulations Class of 2016.

 

March 20th: Happy International Day of Happiness

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Background

Speaking at the High Level Meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” convened during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that the world “needs a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development. Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness.

The meeting was convened at an initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.

The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281PDF document of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.

The United Nations invites Member States, international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.

Secretary-General’s Message

This year’s International Day of Happiness is focused on Climate Action for a Happy Planet.

Everyone can be part of our campaign: governments, civic groups, the media and individuals. This year, even cartoon characters have joined in as the United Nations teams up with a group famous for lacking good cheer: the Angry Birds.

These animated ambassadors are helping to raise awareness about the importance of climate action for our common future. You can join them by sharing your own climate actions using the hashtag #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet.

At this time of grave injustices, devastating wars, mass displacement, grinding poverty and other manmade causes of suffering, the International Day of Happiness is a global chance to assert that peace, well-being and joy deserve primacy. It is about more than individual contentment; it is an affirmation that we have a collective responsibility to humanity.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our plan to realize a life of dignity for all people. By advancing progress towards the interlinked Sustainable Development Goals, we can help spread happiness and secure peace.

The best way to celebrate this International Day of Happiness is by taking action to alleviate suffering. In this spirit, let us use this occasion to renew a global spirit of solidarity to create a safer, more prosperous and more sustainable future for all.

Documents and Resources

7 Best Traits All Authentic Leaders Have in Common A Guest Post by Adrienne Partridge

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You have most likely heard the word authentic used in conjunction with leadership. Is authentic leadership just a buzz phrase or something you should actually care about as you continue to develop yourself as a leader? It is definitely something you should care about and here’s why: Authentic leadership is genuine leadership.

Business growth is more apt to come about with authentic leadership because it is transparent and promotes a growth mindset instead of fixed mindset, while authenticity instills a work culture of personal growth, accountability, and innovation.

Here are seven characteristics that all authentic leaders share:

#1: You know who you are and what you stand for

This is the most important authentic leadership trait because you cannot possess the other 6 characteristics if you do not first know who you are and what you are all about. You, in turn, are are not afraid to be yourself, show yourself, and let your values be known to others.

#2: You transparently interact with others

People know where they stand with you because you are open and honest in your interactions. You don’t say and do things just to please others or to maintain the status quo just to not rock the boat.

#3: You follow your gut

Since you know who you are and what you stand for, you are in-tune with your gut. You listen to what your gut tells you and you do it. But, at the same time you check your gut by listening and absorbing the feedback and opinions of others before you make important decisions.

#4: You adhere to a code of ethics 

Authenticity denotes that you are inherently ethical in your business and personal dealings. Some professions, such as law and medicine have their own code of ethics that you as that professional have to follow.  If your profession does not have an established code of ethics, you have adopted your own and exercise those in everything you do.

#5: Your life’s work is bigger than you 

While your life’s purpose and work is driven by your own personal interest and passion, you are driven by something bigger than you, whether you want to make your employees’ lives better, your goal is to create something to benefit your immediate community, or your product is truly designed to make the world a better place.

#6: Humility 

You have the humility to admit when you are wrong or have made a mistake. You can truly ask for forgiveness when it’s necessary and take steps to make it right again.

You don’t overuse the word sorry, but instead reserve an apology for the most appropriate of circumstances.

#7: You embody the 3 C’s: Compassion, Curiosity, and Courage 

The 3 C’s are: Compassion, Curiosity, and Courage. Since you possess the 6 other characteristics mentioned above, you embody the 3 C’s.

  • Compassion: You are not only compassionate to others, but also you engage in self-compassion. This is an especially important practice when you are faced with your shortcomings as a leader. You are kind to yourself in these moments.
  • Curiosity: You engage with yourself and those you lead from a place of curiosity. When you disagree with a colleague, you are curious about their point of view, instead of judgmental. You are curious as a means by which to understand, not judge.
  • Courage: Self-compassion and curiosity are what allows you to be a courageous leader. When you exhibit your courage and fail, self-compassion is what picks you up and allows you to be courageous again.

Authentic leaders may not exhibit all of these characteristics at the same time because authentic leadership involves developing more tolerance for vulnerability, which is difficult.  As Dr. Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of courage.” Authentic leadership is courageous leadership because you have to make yourself vulnerable by showing others who you truly are, which also opens you up for criticism.

Authentic leadership and transparent work culture are one in the same: you cannot have one without the other.  A leader does not suddenly become an authentic leader, just like a work culture doesn’t one day become transparent. Authentic leadership is a constant journey and commitment to your own growth and the growth of something bigger than yourself.

contributor, Inc.com

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18 Signs You Have High Emotional Intelligence A Guest Post by Travis Bradberry

Diagram of emotional intelligence
Diagram of emotional intelligence

 

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: People with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly-held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that we know 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how much you have and what you can do to improve if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book.

Unfortunately, quality (scientifically valid) EQ tests aren’t free. So, I’ve analyzed the data from the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested in order to identify the behaviors that are the hallmarks of a high EQ. What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

1. You have a robust emotional vocabulary.

All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately identify them as they occur. Our research shows that only 36 percent of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.

2. You’re curious about people.

It doesn’t matter if they’re introverted or extroverted, emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

3. You embrace change.

Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

4. You know your strengths and weaknesses.

Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand emotions; they know what they’re good at and what they’re terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and you know how to lean into them and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. You’re a good judge of character.

Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness; the ability to read other people, know what they’re about, and understand what they’re going through. Over time, this skill makes you an exceptional judge of character. People are no mystery to you. You know what they’re all about and understand their motivations, even those that lie hidden beneath the surface.

6. You are difficult to offend.

If you have a firm grasp of whom you are, it’s difficult for someone to say or do something that gets your goat. Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin. You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.

7. You know how to say no (to yourself and others).

Emotional intelligence means knowing how to exert self-control. You delay gratification, and you avoid impulsive action. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

8. You let go of mistakes.

Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success. It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.

9. You give and expect nothing in return.

When someone gives you something spontaneously, without expecting anything in return, this leaves a powerful impression. For example, you might have an interesting conversation with someone about a book, and when you see them again a month later, you show up with the book in hand. Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships because they are constantly thinking about others.

10. You don’t hold grudges.

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress  response. Just thinking about the event sends your body into fight-or-flight mode, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. When the threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when the threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Letting go of a grudge not only makes you feel better now but can also improve your health.

11. You neutralize toxic people.

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. High EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground. Even when things completely derail, emotionally intelligent people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

12. You don’t seek perfection.

Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort. You end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of moving forward, excited about what you’ve achieved and what you will accomplish in the future.

13. You appreciate what you have.

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23 percent. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.

14. You disconnect.

Taking regular time off the grid is a sign of a high EQ because it helps you to live in the moment. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body and mind a break. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels. Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment.

15. You limit your caffeine intake.

Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, and adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. High-EQ individuals know that caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.

16. You get enough sleep.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams) so that you wake up alert and clearheaded. High-EQ individuals know that their self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. So, they make sleep a top priority.

17. You stop negative self-talk in its tracks.

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural tendency to perceive threats (inflating the frequency or severity of an event). Emotionally intelligent people separate their thoughts from the facts in order to escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive, new outlook.

18. You won’t let anyone limit your joy.

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them. While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

 

Originally posted in Success: http://www.success.com/article/18-signs-you-have-high-emotional-intelligence? trk_msg=NQCN05UQ0KQKL11SNQLDK3DCS4&trk_contact=U1IIDO2SRHPR980ID0266PD08K&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.success.com%2Farticle%2F18-signs-you-have-high-emotional-intelligence&utm_campaign=18+Signs+You+Have+High+Emotional+Intelligence

Why the First and Most Important Person You Need to Lead Is Yourself A Guest Post by Lolly Daskal

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Every business needs a leader who can cultivate a compelling vision, define a strategic plan, develop change management, lead employees, and inspire commitment among his or her people.

I have found in my many years as a coach to top leaders that if people are going to be successful and skillful at leadership, they must first become a leader who leads from within.

Put another way: You must know who you are as a leader before you can lead others.

Here are nine skills to sharpen if you want to be a successful leader:

1. Cultivate your self-awareness.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement. Successful leaders don’t only run an organization–they also lead people. It’s paramount that you know yourself well, because when you know yourself, you are empowered; when you accept yourself, you are invincible.

2. Develop the right mindset.
Develop your mindset. Start each day with a decision to be happy. Embrace the positives and let go of all the frustrations and past failures that can distract you. When you master your mindset, you free yourself to achieve the level of success you are capable of, because as Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

3. Capitalize on your confidence.
Successful leaders capitalize on their confidence when difficulties arise. Don’t allow your insecurities to get the best of you. Remember that your confidence is like a muscle–the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

4. Continue to learn.  
Try to learn something new every day. Read newspapers, books, magazines, and online. Search for what is innovative and creative, and try to intersect what is new to what you are already doing. The most skillful leaders never stop being a student.

5. Teach to grow.
Don’t hoard your knowledge but share it: with your team, with your colleagues, with your clients. The more you teach as a leader, the more you grow. When you learn, teach; when you get, give.

6. You are the results of your experiences.
One of the hardest things to do is to learn from your mistakes, but even the most successful leaders have made mistakes they don’t want to repeat. Document your experiences and ask yourself what you could do better next time. Reference back often so you don’t repeat patterns. You can learn something from everything you do, good or bad. The only source of knowledge is experience.

7. Success is a series of small wins.
It can be hard to build momentum, so start with small wins. The best way to have a sustainable successful year is to secure small wins, because small wins, small differences, often make a huge difference

8. Action speaks louder than words.
To be a successful leader, you have to be out there–you have to hit the ground running, taking action, taking risks. If not, you will find yourself growing stagnant and stale. If you wait until you are ready, you may be waiting for the rest of your career.

9. Find the balance.
Last, but definitely not least, learn to take care of yourself. Keep a balance. Eat healthy foods and exercise each day, even if it’s just a brisk walk. Make time for the people and things you love outside of work.

You can make this your year, but it takes skillful leadership to make it happen. It all starts with you–with knowing yourself, learning daily, and sharing that knowledge with others. Then when the difficult days come, and they will, you will be prepared.

10 Qualities of People With High Emotional Intelligence A Guest Post by John Rampton

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Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have an unlimited amount of success in both their personal and professional lives? It could be because they possess high emotional intelligence.

According to Psychology Today, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” This usually involves:

  • emotional awareness, which includes the ability to identify your own emotions as well as those of others;
  • the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks such as problem solving;
  • the ability to manage your emotions, such as being able to calm down when you’re upset.

If you want to know if you have a high emotional intelligence (EI) or want to work on strengthening your EI in order to succeed in life and your career, here are 10 qualities that people with high EI all share.

1. They’re not perfectionists.

Being a perfectionist can get in the way of completing tasks and achieving goals since it can lead to having trouble getting started, procrastinating, and looking for the right answer when there isn’t one. This is why people with EI aren’t perfectionists. They realize that perfection doesn’t exist and push forward. If they make a mistake, they’ll make adjustments and learn from it. This is one I personally have to work on daily as I tend to be a little more perfectionist.

2. They know how to balance work and play.

Working 24/7 and not taking care of yourself adds unnecessary stress and health problems to your life. Because of this, people with EI know when it’s time to work and when to play. For example, if they need to disconnect from the world for a couple of hours, or even an entire weekend, they will because they need the time to unplug to reduce the stress levels.

3. They embrace change.

Instead of dreading change, emotionally intelligent people realize that change is a part of life. Being afraid of change hinders success, so they adapt to the changes around them and always have a plan in place should any sort of change occur.

4. They don’t get easily distracted.

People with high EI have the ability to pay attention to the task at hand and aren’t easily distracted by their surroundings, such as text or random thought.

5. They’re empathetic.

Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Focus: the Leading Driver of Excellence, told The Huffington Post that empathy is one of the five components of emotional intelligence. In fact, being able to relate to others, show compassion, and take the time to help someone are all crucial components of EI. Additionally, being empathic makes people with EI curious about other people and and leads them to ask lots of questions whenever they meet someone new.

6. They know their strengths and weaknesses.

Emotionally intelligent people know what they’re good at and what they’re not so great at. They’ve not just accepted their strengths and weaknesses; they also know how to leverage their strengths and weaknesses by working with the right people in the right situation.

7. They’re self-motivated.

Were you that ambitious and hard-working kid who was motivated to achieve a goal–and not just because there was a reward at the end? Being a real go-getter, even at a young age, is another quality possessed by people with EI.

8. They don’t dwell in the past.

People with high EI don’t have the time to dwell in the past because they’re too busy contemplating the possibilities that tomorrow will bring. They don’t let past mistakes consume them with negativity. They don’t hold grudges. Both add stress and prevent us from moving forward.

9. They focus on the positive.

Emotionally intelligent people would rather devote their time and energy to solving a problem. Instead of harping on the negative, they look at the positive and what they have control over. Furthermore, they also spend their time with other positive people and not the people who constantly complain.

10. They set boundaries.

While people with high EI may seem like pushovers because of their politeness and compassion, they actually have the power to establish boundaries. For example, they know how to say no to others. The reason? It prevents them from getting overwhelmed, burned out, and stressed because they have too many commitments. Instead, they’re aware that saying no frees them up from completing previous commitments.

5 Things Mentally Tough People Do Every Day A Guest Post by Jessica Stillman

 

Resilience sign with a road background
Resilience sign with a road background

 

Grit, science says, is more important than innate ability when it comes to achieving success. Maybe that’s why a post I wrote back in October listing psychotherapist Amy Morin’s habits to break if you want to be exceptionally mentally tough seemed to strike a chord with so many readers. A follow-up piece with advice from Morin on how to tell if you have above average levels of grit was equally popular.

Mental toughness, it seems, is something nearly everyone would like to have — and which many of us think we could benefit from working on. So if you’ve tested your own level of resilience to see where you stand, and kicked the bad habits that Morin called out in her first piece, what’s the next step to pumping up your mental toughness? According to the latest bit of advice from Morin, it’s adding good habits to your routine.

What behaviors should you engage in every day for greater grit? Morin listed nine when she spoke with Business Insider on the topic. Check out the complete post for the deep dive, or read on for a handful of her suggested habits to get you started.

1. Monitor your emotions

Contrary to popular belief, mental toughness isn’t about suppressing your emotions, it’s about monitoring them, Morin asserts. The truly mentally tough “monitor their emotions throughout the day and recognize how their feelings influence their thoughts and behaviors. They know sometimes reaching their greatest potential requires them to behave contrary to how they feel,” she says.

2. Practice self-compassion

Nor is mental toughness about being your own harshest critic and strictest taskmaster. Instead, those with exceptional resilience speak to themselves with kindness and compassion, not hectoring and insults. “They respond to their inner critic as if they were standing up to the schoolyard bully. They forgive themselves for mistakes and cheer themselves on as they work toward their goals,” Morin tells BI.

3. Be realistically optimistic

When it comes to the right outlook for optimum resilience, it’s all about balance. Pie-in-the-sky optimism will only lead to disappointment, but knee-jerk negativity will ensure you never even try to reach your full potential. To maintain just the right amount of optimism the mentally tough “strive to re-frame their negativity,” replacing “exaggeratedly negative thoughts with a more realistic inner monologue.”

4. Set healthy boundaries

You can’t be mentally tough if you don’t take responsibility for your own situation. That means being firm about what is and is not acceptable to you instead of letting others influence your behavior and mood in ways that you don’t agree with. The mentally tough, in other words, “refuse to let other people dictate whether they’re going to have a good day or a bad day.”

5 Accept responsibility

You can’t get better if you don’t admit your weaknesses and you can you learn from mistakes if you refuse to accept responsibility for them. “Rather than make excuses for their mistakes or failures, [the mentally tough] seek explanations that will help them perform better moving forward,” Morin asserts.

8 Keys to Building Resiliency in Life and Business A Guest Post by Chantal Bechervaise

Resilience sign with a road background
Resilience sign with a road background

 

Why do some people bounce back from adversity and misfortune while others fall apart? How can some companies and businesses keep up with changes or setbacks, while others have difficulty managing? Resilience is not only a person’s or organization’s ability to bounce back, but it is also about growing and thriving during adversity, challenge and change. These eight keys provide answers on how resilient individuals bounce back in life and business.

Emotional Resilience

The first step to building resilience is understanding how to manage your emotions and release yourself from that feeling of being stuck. Resilient individuals go through three steps to build emotional resilience.

First, they’re very aware of their senses. You want to become sensory intelligent by noticing the images you’re bringing up (visual cues) and the things you say to yourself (auditory cues). Notice what happens inside your head and body when I ask you to think of the last time you had an argument. What images, thoughts, sounds or even smells come up?

Second, our negative emotions have a positive intent. For example, if you’ve been asked to present at the next board meeting, you may start feeling anxious and even scared. Resilient individuals feel that too, but instead of focusing on how they’re feeling, they tend to acknowledge the reason behind those emotions and accept them.

Third, they manage their emotions by parking them to one side and stepping out of that state so they can focus on what they want rather than what they don’t want.

Reframe

Resilient individuals move forward by re-programming their though patterns so they can find solutions rather than dwell in worry. Most people stay stuck in the worrisome state and think the problem will just go away. A tool that resilient individuals use most often and what I call, Mentor Magic. Pretend you are your mentor and step into your mentor’s shoes and ask yourself, “What would I do to overcome this problem?” Make sure you are seeing life through his/her eyes and listening through his/her ears. You’ll notice that you’ll have solutions right away.

Action

As human beings, we are motivated to take action because we’re in pain or because there’s a reward to be had, but resilient individuals are consistentlytaking action and completing the task or project. Their action blueprint consists of three critical questions:

a. Why do I want to do this? (Purpose has to be greater than themselves)

b. How am I going to feel after I’m done? (end result has to be a good feeling)

c. What are my consequences of taking or not taking this action? 

Passion and Purpose

Resilient people know they need both passion and purpose to fulfill their goals and you can’t have one without the other.

Passion is about what you like to do? What do enjoy doing so much that you are not watching the clock? I’m not talking about hobbies and playing video games. I’m talking about where you feel fulfilled, where you find you’re making a difference. My husband’s passion is massage therapy, and he’d massage his friends in the past without charging a fee to relieve their pain.

Purpose is why you want to do it? What do you get out of pursuing your passion? My husband’s purpose is to heal and better the health of his clients, and if he can do so, then he has made a difference.

Attitude

Psychologists define attitude as a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. When resilient individuals approach a difficult situation, they have an attitude of being curious, patient, and optimistic, thereby diminishing fear of change. When I researched resiliency in individuals, I found that positive attitude encompasses the following traits that are guided by values and beliefs:

  • Creative and solution-thinking
  • Hope and gratitude
  • Expectation of some success
  • Lessons from setbacks
  • Belief in their capability
  • Flexibility and fulfillment
  • Networking
  • Sounds similar to a scientist, doesn’t it?

Relationship Skills

Resilient individuals create a supportive network and are apt at handling and reducing conflict because they’ve learned the intricate language and skills of building and maintaining relationships. Think of a leader or manager whom you admire and notice how she interacts with you or with others at all levels in the company. You will notice the following, and the easiest way to remember this is LIMP:

  • Listen: She’s listening for words that indicate the person’s communication style and then communicates back using that style.
  • Intention: She’s listening for the person’s underlying reason.
  • Match and mirror: She subconsciously picks up the opposite person’s body language, tone of voice, and mirrors that.
  • Perspective: She behaves respectfully and shows genuine interest in what’s important to the other person.

When you follow the theory of LIMP and practice the skills, you will create great rapport, be a master at reducing conflict, positively influence others, and have a supportive network around you.

Appreciation

When resilient individuals are faced with challenges, they have two streams of thought running through their minds: one is about finding solutions and the other is about all the things they appreciate in life. It’s as though there’s a subconscious REFRAME button they push whenever their thoughts and emotions turn to worry and fear, because after a short time, they’ve perked up and are more positive and appreciative about what they already have. They were not born with this ability, but they were taught by other influencers; they’ve trained themselves to look at what they already have rather than stewing in worry.

Beliefs

Vlad Dolezal says it best: “A belief is your best explanation of the world, based on your current evidence.” Resilient Individuals are faced with limiting beliefs and they feel fear and doubt as well, but they have a 3-step approach in dealing with a limiting belief so they can squash it:

    1. The find counter evidence that doesn’t support the limiting belief.
    2. They imagine what their mentor or coach would tell them about that limiting belief?
    3. They imagine what sort of behaviours they’d continue to have if they accepted that limiting belief and how it would affect others around them.