What is resilience?
Resilience, according to Vanessa King (from her book 10 Keys to Happier Living
), means the ability to bounce back from difficulties or not bending or breaking under pressure (it comes from the Latin verb resilire meaning to jump, leap or spring back). It’s about the ability to successfully cope with, adapt to or deal with adversities and persevere in the face of challenges.
In the NHS, we understand resilience in terms of strengths in coping, flexibility and adaptability. The behaviour of individuals can impact on the resilience of others, highlighting the importance of compassionate leadership.
How to become more resilient
According to Vanessa King in Chapter 8 of her book, being more resilient “…helps us to manage stress better, bounce back from difficulties faster, believe things can and will get better, and that there are things we can do to make a difference”. She draws from the work of Dennis Charney and Steven Southwick who in their book Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges
have identified the most important ingredients of resilience; areas where we can take action to learn, feel and be stronger.
To read this guest blog in full, which contains a very useful list of articles, videos, online courses etc relating to resilience, please click here.
Development manager and coach
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John Hunt has spent his whole career in the NHS. He is a former NHS Chief Executive who has in recent years been involved in leadership and management development. He is a Companion and Fellow of the IHM.