Training for resilience isn’t just about gym time and weight-bearing exercises. In the workplace, it’s often about finding your tribe.
- Training for resilience starts with your colleagues
- Reframing the situation is vital in training for resilience
- If you find yourself in a place where you could use a re-frame, ask yourself:
These are people who are going through the same challenges. Or those who’ve been there before so can help you through them. As an ICF MCC -accredited coach, I find training for resilience starts with these three key points.
1. Training for resilience starts with your colleagues
I was reminded of this when talking with Sara, a legal professional in a commercial firm. Her boss was widely respected and she had worked for him since she was an office junior. He’d taken an almost fatherly approach to her career; one she appreciated.
Over a decade, Sara had taken on increasing amounts of responsibility until she got a seat at his table, reporting directly to him. She’d met all her challenges before, but she came to me as this was now creating a sense of imposter syndrome for her. Sara knew this was the time to take her training for resilience to the next level.
In a session we focused on how little feedback he was giving her now, which was new. She took this as a bad sign, and sweated over what it might mean. This concern meant she was less likely to speak up in front of her peers, 5 men, at the weekly team meeting.
Her boss had given no indication he thought Sarah was performing poorly. He just was no longer holding her hand. She said: ‘He fought for me to get this promotion, so I’m worried about letting him down’. She laughed when remarking: ‘It’s weird, I just don’t want to disappoint the guy we all think of as ‘dad’. He’s done so much for me, and fought for me to have a job I don’t even know if I deserve.’
2. Reframing the situation is vital in training for resilience
Then as a side remark, Sara mentioned how busy her boss was and that all her peers also vyed for his attention. I asked: ‘Who else might feel the same way?’ After a pause, Sarah smirked and said: ‘Well, maybe the rest of the team.’ Reframing these men, who she’d always thought of as competitors and senior people, as ‘her tribe’ shifted Sara’s perspective.
As I do with many of my executive coaching clients, we used a metaphor. The metaphor of a family occurred to Sarah when she laughed that these men were more like her brothers. After all, in a crowded family everyone vies for ‘Dad’s’ attention! We played with this metaphor a bit more asking what she had in common with her brothers. She said ‘They probably barely notice me, they’re so worried about getting their own fleeting moments of his time’.
Then we discussed what ‘Dad’ knew as part of her tribe. Sarah reflected: ‘He trusts me completely. Otherwise he would have never advocated for this step up for me. And he’s seen as a good decision maker by everyone else. That means I should just trust his ‘gut’ about my potential, even if at times I question it myself!’ This was a key moment for Sara in her training for resilience. It allowed her to trust her tribe’s knowledge as she grew into the self-belief herself.
3. If you find yourself in a place where you could use a re-frame, ask yourself:
- Who might be in your tribe that you may have overlooked?
- What do they know about the reality of your situation?
- What would reframing them to ‘your tribe’ enable for you
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