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HR editorial tries... resilience profiling

The HR magazine team trialled some exercises recommended for preserving good mental health

Short of an apocalyptic event, I’ve always been confident I can handle whatever life throws at me. I consider myself to be a stoic HR magazine veteran (ironic considering I’m the youngest team member) and a safe pair of hands at work. How wrong I was. After cresting a barrage of 180 questions my personal i-resilience report was generated.

Robertson Cooper’s i-resilience reports are designed to help people better understand their personal resilience, how this could affect their responses to demanding and/or stressful work situations, and subsequently their mental health. In an increasingly VUCA world most of us will find our resilience tested at one point or another, perhaps even daily.

The results for each of the four key resilience components (confidence, purposefulness, adaptability and social support) are laid out depending on whether your personality traits hinder or help your resilience. This makes for very interesting reading and may (as it did in my case) inspire some soul-searching. Contrary to my belief I am not a resilient person. At first glance my report was disheartening. I had a lot – and I really mean a lot, maybe 80% to 90% of my personality – in the hinders column. However, it’s important to remember there’s nothing wrong with you, and take it as an opportunity to discover areas you could build resilience in.

Robertson Cooper defines resilience as a combination of personal characteristics and skills. Although there is often little we can do to change our personality, resilience skills are practical and can be learned and developed. The second section of the report focuses on how your personality might influence how you react to and cope with various challenging workplace situations.

I found section two the most helpful. No-one likes being confronted with their shortcomings, so it was nice to have suggested areas to work on. It also tells you how your personality traits might work in your favour, which gave a boost after my ego took a bit of a bashing! As our resilience levels are an important factor in maintaining good mental health I think this kind of report could be very useful for identifying areas you struggle in. Then you can pre-emptively work on them before they become overwhelming and potentially damaging to your wellbeing.

Thirza Tooes is sub-editor at HR magazine

Further reading

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