Resilience is the ability to bounce back and grow and thrive during stress, challenge and change. When resilience was first researched decades ago, scientists thought resilience was for the lucky few – you either had it or didn’t. As the research evolved, it became clear that resilience is actually a set of basic skills that can be learned, practiced and improved. In the words of resilience researcher, Ann Masten, resilience skills are “ordinary magic.”
The Benefits of Teaching Resilience
The benefits of teaching resilience skills as a method to help you manage challenge, change, stress and prevent burnout are many:
- When you are at your resilient best, you can tolerate change, stress, uncertainty and other types of adversity more effectively. You are less likely to experience setbacks, diminished work performance, and other problems both at home and at work.
- If you have already suffered these effects, learning these skills can help you recover. It can also help restore your performance to higher levels and teach you how to bounce back quicker in the future.
- One of the most valuable benefits is that when you use these skills, you not only move from “negative to zero,” but you also go from “zero to plus.” In other words, resilience skills bring out your best qualities and activate specific behaviors that are desirable for effective living, leading, and parenting.
Resilience in the Army & Beyond
Resilience skills are currently being taught to all of the drill sergeants and non-commissioned officers in the United States Army as part of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier & Family Fitness program. These soldiers are then tasked to teach the skills, both formally and informally, to lower ranking soldiers in their units. Our Founder, Paula Davis-Laack, spent four years on the training team teaching resilience skills to soldiers and their spouses. To date, Paula and the training team have trained over 20,000 soldiers and spouses in this important set of skills. The program has been so well received by the soldiers that the Army has rolled out separate resilience courses for spouses and teens.
Resilience has emerged as a vital set of skills for leaders to possess across professions. Paula has developed and delivered resilience training programs for thousands of professionals, including management teams, lawyers, human services workers, teachers, engineers, law students, and medical students.