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How can consultants work on their resilience? (How many red cars did you see on your drive to work?)

Resilience is the ability to bounce back when situations and change go off plan.

The American Psychological Association found that resilience or ‘hardiness’ has three attitudinal components: Commitment, Control, Challenge.

Commitment is about choosing to be involved when the going gets tough rather than becoming withdrawn and reserved.
Control is about the willingness to try and influence the outcome of challenging circumstances.

Challenge is about the ability to face new situations and learn from them rather than be overwhelmed by them.

Your attitude is what really impacts the way that you see reality, how you perceive others and how they perceive you.

Add to this list confidence, optimism and enthusiasm and you have the makings of a good recipe to cope with unplanned situations. Holding onto these behaviours makes the difference to the wellbeing of the consultant involved and the perception of the client. Interestingly, optimism is one of the most powerful here – we see what we look for. If we look for negative feedback, things that have gone wrong and people who wish us harm, then unsurprisingly we will find them. On the other hand, if we look for people who agree with us and support our ideas, what has gone well and positive feedback, we will find that.

Hence the subtitle of the piece – how many red cars did you see on your drive to work? Most people will have noticed none – because they are not looking! I bet they know exactly how many they see on the drive home because they are looking for them!

Build your resilience by looking out for the things that you need to see to enable you to move forwards and win the battle, along with the hearts and minds of those who have invested in you and trust you to help them.

Penny Whitelock Finst L&M

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