RESILIENCE! What does it actually mean?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Kendelle Tekstar at Acre and was delighted to discover that we shared so many of the same views and approaches relating to the huge topic of wellbeing the workplace. We soon got talking about the word RESILIENCE (given this was the original workshop series I created) and what it actually means which led us on to writing an article on the topic of Resilience in the workplace.

We didn’t get to cover our entire discussion so here’s the additional Q&A with Kendelle posing the questions and my responses to follow:


How would you describe someone who is ‘thriving’?

To thrive I think one needs to be well physically, mentally and socially. When we’re able to achieve this balance in a way that is personal to each of us, we’re able reach optimum performance in all areas of our life, personally and professionally, and accomplish the goals that mean the most to us.


Explain how you navigate the resilience model when supporting groups of people (teams or businesses at large) as well as individuals: 

In the Resilience Series, which is made up of 12 workshops we begin with an introductory session, almost like a taster to teach the principles of the model. Participants also gain a subjective view of their starting point. Throughout the series we deep dive into each section and build personalised action plans, working towards goals between each session. There’s lots of group work and discussions although the objective for most workshops in the series is develop a personal goal and action plan. The exceptions to this are the two workshops within the series that are specifically focused on building team wellbeing.

The Resilience Model does feature in my other workshop series (Wellbeing for Leaders and A Guide to Workplace Wellbeing for HR) and coaching programs but in these it’s one of multiple frameworks rather than the focus.


Why do you promote a ‘people and performance culture’ as you refer to it?

 I think there are two aspects to this – firstly let’s remember that a job is often a hugely important part of one’s life – it can add purpose, meaning, valued relationships and ultimately these things contribute to long term happiness and wellbeing. As an organisation, there’s an opportunity to enhance and employees’ wellbeing or detract from it. I think in the main, once leaders understand the impact work can have, they want to ensure they’re creating an environment that promotes and supports employees to thrive. Many see it as their duty of care.

The second aspect is that I truly believe (and there’s plenty of evidence to support this) that organisations investing in their people will see a return on their investment. I call it developing a People and Performance Culture because when you get the right strategies and systems in place to support your people, you improve performance. Organisations thrive when their people thrive.


Have you noticed any trends related to resilience across different projects you have worked on over the past 18 months? 

One of the biggest themes I see at the individual level is the amount of bad habits that hold employees back from finding the levels of resilience they need to thrive. When participants start to break down those barriers and limiting beliefs, visualise the outcomes they desire, and then work out the baby steps they need to take, change suddenly feels much more manageable, even exciting.

At the leadership level there are a few key observations. Firstly, I think there is still huge lack of understanding regarding the links between employee resilience and wellbeing and the performance of an organisation. Even when leaders do understand the link, many don’t feel resilient enough to deal with their own challenges, let alone equipped to help build the resilience, wellbeing and performance of their teams. The Resilience Series is a great starting point for managers but I recognised there was still a big capability gap. As a result, I’ve developed and launched a new Wellbeing for Leaders program to educate leaders on their roles and responsibilities. When I piloted this, I was amazed at just how much leaders, both in middle and senior management, appreciated the opportunity to focus on their own health and wellbeing, and build a toolkit to support their teams. In the feedback I received, many confessed to not fully understanding what mental health meant, let alone the impact it was having in their business. This really highlights the need to educate and equip leaders, it will be difficult to get traction with any wellbeing plan if you don’t have leadership buy-in.


Is there anything about yourself and Thrive most people don’t know?

I now have two new programs in addition to Resilience for Performance & Wellbeing. To enhance leadership development programs I now run Wellbeing for Leaders to Thrive, and to better support HR teams I’m running A Guide to Workplace Wellbeing for HR. I have literally just launched these so not many people know about them just yet. I now also offer packages to combine my coaching, consulting and workshops which enables those organisations seeking end to end solutions that embed wellbeing into their culture, rather than simply ticking the benefits box, can access all my services within a cost-effective program. I’m really passionate about this because I truly belief results can only be achieved when wellbeing is addressed at the cultural, leadership and individual level.