Strengthen your personal resilience

Written by
Alex Davda

24 May 2017

24 May 2017 • by Alex Davda

Why you need to develop your resilience

Resilience is a critical attribute for leaders when dealing with issues such as challenging projects, conflict among colleagues, organisational politics and criticism in their job. The fast-moving pace of the GCC means that leaders operating in this region require the personal resilience to lead effectively in this fast, ever-changing part of the world.

Personal resilience is beneficial to a range of people in diverse careers, across work performance, personal satisfaction and wellbeing.

By becoming more resilient you can bring new direction and energy to your career, increase the number of interviews and job offers you receive, and find greater enjoyment in your life.

The good news is that resilience can be strengthened – our ability to cope with or adapt to stressful situations or crises is not a fixed trait that is present in some people and lacking in others.

While there are certain factors that give some people a head start, anyone can learn behaviours and attitudes that allow them to survive, and even thrive, in challenging times.
The ability to respond in a resilient way to life experiences is best seen as a result of the interaction between stable individual characteristics such as personality and intellectual ability on the one hand, and situational factors on the other. It is via this interaction that people develop personal resilience. 

The following factors play a vital role in resilience:


Having structure, commitment and meaning in your life will make you more resilient. A clear sense of purpose and values helps assess setbacks in the framework of a broader perspective.

Relationships and social support

A strong network of mutually supportive relationships is vital. Take time to check in with family, friends and colleagues and build support networks.


Recognise and develop your strengths. Reflection fosters learning, new perspectives and self-awareness to enhance your resilience.

Problem solving

Working out what is happening and how to respond helps with emotional resilience. Think about approaching tricky issues using objective logic.

Master motivation

This is about the will to master new skills, manage challenges and persist in the face of difficulties and setbacks. Set goals and plan ways to reach them.


Resilient people are flexible and adaptable to changing situations that are beyond their control. They have an acute sense of what they can – and cannot – control.


Resilient people are able to manage their emotions, thoughts, motivations and behaviours.


Positive emotions, attitudes and beliefs, and the ability to influence events positively makes people emotionally stronger. Nurture a positive view of yourself – do not talk yourself down.

The key to developing resilience

The ability to respond in a resilient way is influenced, but not determined, by personality. Some people are likely to respond in a resilient way when faced with conflict or difficult relationships, while others may become easily stressed by such problems, yet show high levels of resilience in dealing with change and uncertainty. 

To develop resilience you need to adopt strategies to ensure you maximise your strengths and manage risks. 

The key is to recognise when your natural response will serve you well, and when to adapt your approach to suit the challenges you face. By understanding more about how you cope with pressure and learning new techniques, you can raise your resilience to the next level, with huge benefits for wellbeing and career success.