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Why You Should Build an Emotionally Resilient Workforce

We all know those people that can always pluck the little nugget of “good” out of any situation. I am sure a few people in your life come to mind. When I think of the people that I know that can always see the glass as half full, but can still be realistic in their thinking, these people also happen to be the most successful people that I know, with many of them currently enrolled in law school, or on the course to getting their PhD or MD.

Some would argue that this is a coincidence, but research has shown there is a strong correlation between a person’s emotional intelligence and resiliency skills, and their success in the workplace. These have been shown to enhance productivity, team cohesion, employee engagement, and leadership performance. Learn more about EQ Research here.

In a recent Huffington Post blog, Kali Rogers discusses the “7 Things Emotionally Resilient People Do Differently”. Let’s look at some of these points and compare them to TRACOM’s research regarding Behavioral EQ and Resiliency.

1. They DON’T hang their future on bad days.” When things aren’t going our way, especially for a prolonged period of time, it can become easy to give up. But how useful is it to have employees that can’t persevere when push comes to shove? At the end of the day, you need that sales person that didn’t give up and got that big sale three years later, or that R&D associate who created that multi-million dollar product after years of trial and error. TRACOM’s Resiliency model addresses this type of determination through different components such as Goal-Orientated and Problem Solving.. As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edison’s determination, problem solving skills, and collaboration with others allowed him to perservere and eventually led to the invention of the lightbulb.

2. They DO have an internal locus of control.” According to Rogers, “A locus of control is the amount of perceived control we have over our circumstances. If your locus of control is internal, that means you believe you have the power to influence your environment – for the good or the bad. If you have an external locus of control, that means you believe your environment has more control over your circumstances than you do.” This goes hand in hand with TRACOM’s Behavioral EQ element of Conscientiousness and the Adaptive Mindset for Resiliency component Personal Responsibility, which is defined as “the extent to which individuals believe that their success at work is determined by their talents and motivation as opposed to external factors such as luck or good timing.” View the Adaptive Mindset for Resiliency Model here.

3. They DO have positive self-talk.” Of the 558 emotion words in the U.S. English language dictionary, 62% of them are negative and only 38% of them are positive. And, of the most common emotion words that people use, 70% of them are negative. According to David J. Pollay, a founding associate executive director of the International Positive Psychology Association, we speak to ourselves at a rate of 1,300 words per minute, which is nearly six times the speed that we speak aloud (200 words per minute). Self-talk has a huge influence on how we interpret and respond to the world,and ultimately, how we respond to stress. We evolved to have a negativity bias as a survival mechanism so that the brain could easily identify threats. We are hyper-sensitive and more reactive to feelings of threat, even when these threats don’t actually exist. We react to bad things more quickly, strongly and persistently than good things and this natural habit is reinforced through negative self-talk. By focusing too much on the negative, you are harming your confidence.

Many times, the awful things we are saying to ourselves aren’t even true, we are just catastrophizing in the moment. When negative thoughts are forming in your mind, try to write down any negative words or phrases and then find a constructive word or phrase to use as a substitute. For example, “My sales delivery sucked and I always crack under pressure.” Seeing this written on paper will allow you to realize the extent of your overreaction. Instead, find something constructive to write like; “My sales delivery struggled today but that was because I didn’t spend enough time preparing. I know I am a good salesperson and next time I will spend more time making my presentation flawless.” This strategy will allow you to learn to think more positively. This does not mean that you hide from unpleasantness or that you have an unrealistically positive outlook. It means that you can approach the world, including difficulty, with a positive and productive state of mind. A positive outlook increases people’s ability to cope with stressful situations. It is important to remember that negative self-talk happens automatically and very quickly. By becoming aware of these thoughts, you can actively change them. To learn other tips similar to this one, check out our Behavioral EQ Tip of the Week.

So how can your company create an emotionally resilient workforce? By investing in your people. Investing in the emotional competencies of your staff will generate a workforce that is both highly productive and dedicated. Our Resiliency programs teach people practical strategies for altering these responses to stress. They are based on decades of research on resiliency as well as new and ground-breaking research in neuroscience. Participants leave the training with insights about themselves and concrete ways to buffer themselves from workplace stressors. They will be able to utilize these skills immediately to enhance their resiliency and increase their job performance

The TRACOM Group also offers Emotional Intelligence courses, Emotional Intelligence assessments and other resources to improve your individual and organizational performance. Learn more here. 

Click here to read “7 Things Emotionally Resilient People Do Differently” by Kali Rogers.

To learn more about TRACOM’s Behavioral EQ program click here.

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