No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main … – John Donne
The assumption often is that we’re defined as resilient if we’re able to overcome obstacles alone. But not only is that untrue – it’s not helpful to your personal and professional success. Resiliency is like wisdom. The wisest man on earth doesn’t have all the answers. He just knows where to look.
The same can be said for resilient people. They don’t overcome every obstacle on their own. They just know when to rely on help, and whom they can entrust.
Reaching out and depending on others is a pivotal part of your personal growth. The question is: how can we call upon others to help us meet the challenges that we face? It comes down to how effectively you can communicate.
How to improve your communication skills
- Listen – Communication isn’t just about you talking. It’s about others talking as well. It’s worth noting that listening and hearing are not one in the same. Listening means taking in the message behind the words, and responding to them appropriately. Others will appreciate and acknowledge your listening skills if you use techniques such as clarification and reflection. Avoid focusing on what you’re going to say next while listening. Rather, clear your mind and focus on the message being delivered. Learn how to become aware of others’ emotions. Maintain eye contact; use first names when appropriate. Use empathy and encouragement to make this specific communication comforting and rewarding to the other person involved.
- Focus on what you’re saying – In this age of NOW, NOW, NOW, we’re apt to blurt out the first ideas that pop into our minds. But it’s better if you take a moment to pay close attention to what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it. What is your goal of what you’re communicating? Is the way you’re delivering it achieving this goal?
- Use humor – Laughing is a natural stress reliever. By adding humor into the conversation, you’ll likely help others feel drawn to you. Just be sure that the humor is well placed and appropriate for the situation.
- Resolve conflict – It’s important not to let conflicts fester. By using the listening skills discussed above, you’re one step closer to becoming a successful mediator and negotiator who can remedy conflicts before they become bigger issues.
Seek out your circle
There is an exercise often conducted, in which you place your name in the center of a page. You place one circle around your name, and then a larger circle around that circle. You then place the names of the people you trust the most within the inner circle. Next, you place your acquaintances and people you don’t necessarily trust wholeheartedly in the “outer circle.”
This exercise helps you to determine who are the people you define as your support team. Your support team members are the people you’d likely turn to in times of stress and challenges. These are the people most likely to help you build your resiliency and overcome anything.
It’s worth taking the time to nurture your relationships with your support team. Practice your communication skills with them, and make sure they realize that you’re there for them as much as you hope they’re there for you.
Remember: no one does it alone. Ever.
Learn more about the importance of resiliency in your organization by contacting us today.
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