This week I have been inspired by the resilience lunch debate I attended, with Nicola Horlick as the guest speaker, organised by Julie Courtenay and Caroline Sheridan. I was particularly intrigued to listen to Nicola’s personal tips on how to manage resilience as a senior, successful, working mother of 5. It was also useful to hear from Julie and Caroline and the other delegates their ideas around barriers and enablers to building a more resilient workforce.
Here are my personal takeaways and ideas for other working parents:
- Is resilience something that can be learnt/taught or simply something that is innately part of us? We can learn to be more resilient; Julie talks about resilience being the 2015 ‘hot skill’ at a time when we are becoming more challenged, torn and when more is expected of us. The Resilience Formula states that ‘resilience is about how we cope and recover during times of challenge, stretch and adversity.’
- We should consider resilience right at the beginning of the journey – at the recruitment stage. We should look for individuals who are able to cope with adversity and who promote an awareness and proactive attitude around stress, health and wellbeing.
Nicola Horlick gave some useful and insightful tips to help others with their career development and personal resilience – particularly useful for working parents and women:
- Many men naturally convey more confidence and resilience in the workplace than women – as employers and leaders we should recognise this and help women in particular believe that they CAN achieve
- We need to be PROUD to be a working parent – when blocking out your diary to attend a children’s event, don’t pretend you have got a doctor’s appointment!
- It’s really important to recognise how visibility and navigating the politics in an organisation is much more likely to help you ‘get ahead’ than putting your head down and quietly getting on with it year in, year out
- It’s a good idea to look for an internal senior SPONSOR – someone who knows your strengths, believes in your ability and has the ‘power’ to give you a leg up when needed
- I asked Nicola how she feels we can collectively create more of a positive, perhaps ‘exciting’ image of life in senior management, pointing out that many women are put off by the long-hours, stressful and risky life ‘at the top’. Nicola believes that leadership is something you naturally want to do; that we need to give women the choice to move up the career ladder, but ultimately it’s their choice.
You can find out more about The Resilience Formula and their great work here.