Developing Resilience – 4 Ways to Process Pain

Lifting a Mini car Above my head. Total weight...
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The top three most stressful events in life are:

  1. Death
  2. Divorce
  3. Job Loss

Right Management, an outplacement company and division of Manpower tells those experiencing #3 to do three things right away:

  1. Exercise
  2. Get a schedule
  3. Journal

When I share this with people trying to process a career shift or a plan #3 often stands out and evokes the question “Why?”.  The reason -pain needs to be processed to add to the tools/weapons that build resilience for future events.  Are you dealing with some event below the top 3 above.  Here are other ways to process pain/challenge:

  1. Executive coaching – A safe place to process, reset, and plan to move past it.
  2. Peer network – Few things are more comforting than knowing you are not alone in your challenges.  ALL managers and above NEED to develop this for themselves.  Don’t wait for your employer or HR team to do it for you.
  3. Read how others have done it – Like #2, finding a person with a good perspective can be comforting and will help you process things.
  4. Spouse/Best Friend – Having a ‘here is where I am’ discussion with someone who cares for and understands you is priceless.

Being alone with a challenge is not a good place to stay.  Go find a friend.

Mastery – Does it matter? Part 1 of 3

All this talk of Mastery – Initial Thoughts . . .

I watched a 10 minute YouTube video from Daniel Pink and I was blown away.  He shares the portion of his book (DRIVE) that shares the research based finding that the knowledge worker is motivated by three main things:

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose

What caught my attention was the word Mastery, which has become a familiar word for me recently.  The dictionary defines it as the possession of a consummate skill or the full command of some subject of study.  Now it is being heralded as a key to motivation for many workers.  Is this a surprise?

As a father of four I have had several more experienced men tell me that adolescence is easier if your child finds what they are good at doing.  This makes sense, but I am surprised that suddenly, in the adult world, this becomes newsworthy.  This is not intended to be an attack on someone making money for stating the obvious, but a recognition that we should view these new lessons for what they are – a reminder that many of the things we have learned in life still apply.

So how does this change how we manage our careers?  How does this change how we lead?  If Mastery is about being good at something, what has the most recent recession done to motivation if people are in one of two states – overloaded doing the work of 1+ people or trying to look overloaded by keeping their head down and staying in constant motion doing something.

Whether your people are in either of these states, I would offer to leaders that the  first step is sitting down and starting some dialogue by asking “What % of your job do you enjoy and want to get better at doing?”.  Then come up with a plan for increasing that by 5% over the next month.   Mastery starts with focus – and focus starts with leadership, from the inside and the outside.  A leader has the chance to bring focus from the outside by helping to define some targets/goals for the individuals.   We all have a chance to build focus from the inside by trusting, relaxing, and working at resuming our journey to Mastery.  After all, it is our journey and it is important.  Pink reminds us of that.  Where are you on your journey to Mastery?

There is more to be said on this topic.  Watch Daniel Pink’s take on this at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc.