Resilience. What is it? The term resilience means so many different things to different people.
Is it a perspective – rationalising what you are up against and working out how big a deal it really is?
Is it adaptability – knowing when you can need to step up and when you can take it down a notch?
Is it your ability to bounce back – how well do recover from difficulties and how quickly can you carry on?
Resilience is not about being able to do huge amounts of things. It is not about taking on the highest pile of work or having the highest output.
Ultimately, the most resilient people are those who find the right balance of their work commitments and home life and attend to their physical being/body to ensure they stay balanced. You need to pay attention to yourself and understand trigger situations and trigger points. And you need to appreciate that there is always a choice.
So how do you build resilience?
- Plan to fight fire. As a treasurer, there will be times when there are unforeseen issues and scenarios that you cannot anticipate but that you have to deal with. However much you plan, there are things that will simply happen. If you manage your day to ensure you can cope with unforeseen issues, you will be able to manage this. An example of how to do this is to book 2 hours in your diary every day when there are no meetings, so that if something comes up you have a dedicated amount of uninterrupted time in which to sort through the issue. It might not be enough time to deal with the issue, but it will give you a head start and physiologically it will help you to feel on top of the issue.
- Set reasonable expectations. Control your time by fully understanding what is needed of you and by when. Often when you are asked to do a new piece of work you should check what is needed and by when – asking details questions will help you to manage your time.
- Own your own time. Decide what you are going to do with it. Measure your achievements through your outputs and not the hours you put in.
- Consider what’s in your control. Just because you are cc ’ed into an email chain does not mean you need to take over the project.
How do you know what you can control?
When faced with a dilemma it is useful to look at the spheres you can control. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What can you control?
- What can’t you control?
- What are you trying to control but can’t?
- What do you need to accept?
- What do you need to do?
- Is it in your control?
- Is it a concern?
Where things are in control act on this. When things are not in your control accept this. By understanding what you can and cannot change you should be able to get take out unnecessary busy-ness and worry in your role.
How do you change the things that you can influence?
Where you can influence your environment, it’s important to look at the following areas:
- Listen to yourself. What is your body telling you? It’s useful to use the acronym HALT – if you are Hungry, Alert, Lonely and/or Tired this will have an impact on how you feel and how you act.
- Look for choice. You will always have a choice even if it is not the choice that you would like. Every action you undertake will have a payback – and you have the choice of what to do and what to give up. Understanding your choices gives you a better feeling of being in control.
- Contract for success. Talk to your line manager and let them know what’s on your plate. Plan together how you will handle pinch points.
- Seek feedback. When we start to feel stressed, we can isolate and worry that others are disappointed or frustrated with us – regular feedback helps us fight the demons within with facts from outside ourselves.
- Be kind to yourself. Try not to focus on the negative, and avoid beating yourself up if things don’t go perfectly.
One final note. Some people are naturally more prone to resilient characteristics. But even if you’re not, resilience is something that can be built over time. But you need to invest regularly and build it in a consistent and steady way.
The ACT would like to thank Amanda Bradley, Managing Director and Head of Congruent Disruption at Liberty EQ for speaking at the Future Leaders in Treasury evening. www.libertyeq.co.uk We would also like to thank Eversholt Rail for hosting the event.