eMusings Newsletter

FEBRUARY 2012

         VOLUME FOUR, ISSUE 2        

Greetings! 

3 Human Elements

 

 

 

 

     

   The 27-year-old doesn't remember anything after being thrown into the air...until he opened his eyes days later at a military hospital in Germany to see his family surrounding him. Earlier that week, on March 26, 2010, Marine Corporal Todd Nicely stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost both arms and both legs. I probably would never have heard about Corporal Nicely, except that he and his wife, Crystal, decided to make their home in the village of Four Seasons, which is only a stone's throw away from where I live. Our local papers have been full of stories about the Corporal and his wife and how the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is spearheading the effort to build a "smart home" for the quadruple amputee. They broke ground last October and the home is due to be completed by Memorial Day.

     I can't imagine what it must be like to have your life changed so dramatically in a split second. But the Corporal approached therapy with the same focus he showed on the battlefield. According to those who worked with him in the hospital, he never complained and was motivated to figure out a way to get things done. So far, he's adjusted to his prosthetic arms and legs and he's learned to drive, which he says is simply one step closer to getting back to normal. He describes his greatest frustration as "not being able to do something...yet." Corporal Todd Nicely has shown amazing resiliency, an enviable ability to re-frame his life in the face of this catastrophe.

     All of us - leaders, managers, facilitators, employees, teams - even entire organizations - could benefit from the level of resiliency that this Marine is showing. This month's emusings takes a look at resiliency and why how we think may be the key to how resilient we are.

     Also in this month's emusings we're introducing "Bookshelf." It's said that we can tell a lot about a person by the books they read. Over the next few months, we'll take a look at what's on our bookshelves - and yours - and see what we find out about one another.

     I also want to thank all of you who tuned in/took part in our January TalkShoe chat on curiosity. You can listen to that episode by going to our facebook page. Look for the curious cat. See information on our next TalkShoe in the column on the right.

 

      

 Jennie Ayers

Senior Partner, BoldWork  
In This Issue
Want to Be More Resilient? Do This!
A Peek at Your Books
Join Our Mailing List!

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Join us on TalkShoe
Join us for our next  session of "Continuing Conversations"  on TalkShoe on Tuesday, February 28 at noon CST. We'll talk "Good Coach, Bad Coach" with managing partner Kris Campbell and principal Janice Criddle. Coaching is becoming an ever more popular tool for development. How do you know if the coach you're getting ready to engage is "good" or "bad"? Learn questions to ask before you commit. Click here for more information.
"What One Thing Can You Do to Be More Resilient?" by Jennie Ayers                                       

(536 words - estimated reading time: less than 3 minutes)

 

While few of us will ever face the kind of adversity Corporal Nicely is enduring as a result of his job as a Marine, all of us confront some kind of challenge at work. With economic uncertainty, we need to do more with fewer resources. Companies are still downsizing and we fear the next person to get the boot could be us. With more diverse and geographically dispersed teams, conflict is on the rise. The amount of knowledge coming at us is rising exponentially.  Change is unrelenting and often unpredictable, which sends our stress levels skyrocketing. How well we react to all of the above over the long haul depends primarily on how resilient we are. Simply put, resiliency is our ability to respond successfully to adversity.

 

flower growing out of concreteHow We Think Determines Our Resilience

Some people, like Corporal Nicely, seem more naturally resilient than other people. Is resilience a trait they're born with? Is it something we can develop? As it turns out, resilience isn't an individual trait,though some of us start off more inherently resilient than others. Instead, being resilient is a process that can be learned and developed. And more than any other factor - genetics, training or experience - it's our way of thinking that most determines how resilient we are.

 

Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte, in their book "The Resiliency Factor", looked at years of research into how our way of thinking influences both our emotions and our behavior. According to this research, we develop habitual ways of thinking about ourselves, our world and our future, and these habitual ways of thinking become our thinking styles. These thinking styles can either help or hinder us. Too often, relying on habitual ways of thinking can trip us up. We waste time and resources trying to fix things that are largely out of our control (world blocks) or we give up prematurely and miss problem solving opportunities.

 

 

brain thinking

Re-frame Your Thinking & Be More Resilient

Do you know your dominant thinking style? Is your thinking style flexible and accurate? When solving problems, can you take a creative approach? When someone's point of view (POV) differs from yours, can you challenge your own POV? Faced with adversity or ambiguity, do you continue to move forward?

 

Here are 6 tips to re-frame your thinking and be more resilient.

  1. Seek balance between the negative and positive aspects of an event; nothing is all good or all bad.
  2. Think of an event as a shared responsibility; don't take sole accountability for the event or blame others for it.
  3. Formulate judgments about yourself and others based on facts; don't over generalize.
  4. Ask other people to share their thoughts and underlying assumptions and share yours with them; none of us is a mind reader.  
  5. Recognize that not everyone is going to react to the same situation in the way that you do; your emotions aren't necessarily an accurate barometer of what's happened.
  6. Keep events in perspective. Exaggerating their negative impact makes us think illogical thoughts about future outcomes.

Like individuals, teams and work groups can also become more resilient. In next month's emusings, we'll take a look at what it takes for a team or work group to re-frame its thinking.

 

"What Books Say About You" by Rebecca Ripley & Jennie Ayers  

 

Bookshelves are more than a just place to park books. They provide a place to collect ideas. Even if you have books on your shelf you haven't read yet, the fact that you've brought them home gives testimony to your curiosity and your intent to be a continuous learner. Bookshelves are also a little like fingerprints - while some of us may have shelves that are similar, no two collections of books are exactly alike.  

 

In this month's emusings, Rebecca Ripley of BoldWork shares a peek into her bookshelves.

 

Beck's book shelf

"In my office, I have 33 shelves of books. Each shelf is organized by topic: leadership, facilitation, coaching, consulting, supervision, human resources, team building, communication, recommended books that I have not yet read, etc. We have that many shelves of books and more throughout our home - art books, travel books, fiction, non-fiction, humor, etc.  Needless to say, we're never bored. I chose to feature one shelf of books on change - because we're all doing plenty of that on a daily basis. And the more we understand about change, the more resilient we can be.  Happy reading...."

 

What do your bookshelves say about you...other than you, like Beck, probably need more shelves?

 

Send us a picture, along with a description of what your books say about you, and we'll feature them in emusings.  

 

  

 

 


boldworklogoAt BoldWork, we specialize in helping businesses and organizations optimize the performance of the people who work for them.

Typically, our clients come to us when they are seeking to change, to solve problems or to challenge a status quo that no longer works. Most importantly, they call us when they want to create a WorkClimate that increases motivation and strengthens employee engagement.

Please take a moment and visit our website at www.doboldwork.com to find out more about us and what we have to offer. Or contact us for additional information at info@doboldwork.com