Resilience – some more resources

John Hunt

Zoryna O’Donnell in her recent very interesting IHM guest blog on “Resilience as a core competency of today” referred to an article by Diane Coutu on “How Resilience Works”, and a blog by Jon Morrow: “7 Life Lessons from a Guy Who Can’t Move Anything but His Face..”, as well as a free resilience test (which examines the characteristics of adaptability, self-control, self-sufficiency, optimism and persistence). If you have taken this test or if you would like to know more about this important topic, here are some additional resources.
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.
John Hunt
Development manager and coach Twitter:@ejohnhunt

Do you have any views on this? Is this useful? If you have any other comments, why not post something on Twitter? Join in at @IHM_tweets. Or post it on the IHM Members Forum. Or you can contact me direct at

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.

Resilience as a core competency of today

Zoryna O’Donnell MBA, MSc, FinstLM, GQHP

Resilience is often defined as the ability to recover and bounce back from adversity and hardships, feeling stronger and more capable to cope than ever before.

Resilient people “roll with the punches”, deal with perceived adverse situations in a positive and creative way; transform challenge into an opportunity; and absorb any learning offered by setbacks quickly and at the minimum physical and mental cost.

Resilience in itself is neither ethically good nor bad – it is just a skill and a capacity to be strong under adverse conditions of great stress and change. Yet in our fast-pacing, complex, constantly changing and unpredictable world resilience became a core competency for everyone, and particularly for leaders and managers.

Although resilience is linked to our personality type and our genetic make-up, we can learn resilience skills and strategies that will make a remarkable difference to our professional and personal life.

In her article How Resilience Works, Diane Coutu looked at some of the theories of resilience and concluded that they all overlap in the recognition that resilient people seem to have the following key qualities:

  • A staunch acceptance of reality – the optimistic realism rather than unreserved optimism which can distort sense of reality and create unachievable expectations.
  • A deep belief that life is meaningful, even current hardship – the belief that puts present difficulties into prospective, allows to rise above the sufferings of the moment, and acts as a beacon leading from present adversity to a better future.
  • An uncanny ability to improvise – the ability to make do with whatever is at hand and to mobilise help from others when they need it.

As Diane Coutu pointed out, “You can bounce back from hardship with just one or two of these qualities, but you will only be truly resilient with all three.”

To read this blog in full please click here.

Zoryna O’Donnell is a change consultant, ICF coach, trainer, public speaker, author and business owner. She is a creator of several high impact programmes such as Quantum Leap to Success®, mindworks4wellbeing® and the Workplace Wellness programme. Zoryna is a contributor to the Psychreg – a Highly Commended Blog (UK Blog Awards 2017 and 2018) and one of the 10 Most Influential Psychology Blogs in the world; and to The Best Brain Possible blog dedicated to mental health. She is also a Mentor of the Warwick Business School (WBS) Mentoring Programme, providing career mentoring and advice to individual students and graduates of the Warwick Business School MBA Programme. 

You can connect with Zoryna on Twitter @ZorynaODonnell


– a collection of the best online leadership and management resources 

There is an overwhelming amount of information that comes at us from all sides. As the composer Max Richter said, “Increasingly, we live our lives through screens. Faced with so much information every day, it takes a lot of energy to sort the wheat from the chaff. As the amount of data we interact with increases into a kind of blizzard of noise, it’s a substantial psychological load to deal with.” *

The LeadershipOnline directory and website has been designed to address precisely this in the field of leadership and management.

It started life as a resource for leaders and managers within the NHS in the south of England. Throughout my NHS career I have always been involved in leadership and management development, and I have witnessed first-hand how important this can be and what a significant impact this can make on oneself and on others.

When I was working as Leadership Development Manager at South Central Strategic Health Authority, a number of leaders recommended to me their favourite leadership resources – websites, books, papers, videos, podcasts and e-learning courses. I created a directory out of this and added some of my favourites too. So this is a subjective, wide-ranging and sometimes rather quirky selection, but one created from leaders with plenty of experience in the NHS. The criteria for inclusion were that resources should be relevant, useful, high quality and normally completely free to access.

To read the full guest blog and get the link to LeadershipOnline please click here.

* For more about information overload and what you can do about it see

John Hunt

Development manager and coach

Twitter: @ejohnhunt

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.

The Simple Technology Creating A Better Waiting Room Experience

by Alistair Cousins and Reuben Staples-Burton at TrouDigital, a leading UK provider of digital signage solutions to the healthcare industry.

The Simple Technology Creating A Better Waiting Room Experience
I’m sure you can remember sitting in the waiting room of a hospital, GP or dental practice,
looking around at bleakly coloured walls with a clock that doesn’t seem like it’s moving and
outdated information leaflets that haven’t stood the test of time.

The picture doesn’t paint a pleasant waiting room experience. With technology developments,
however, hospitals, GPs and dental practices have been able to transform their waiting rooms into vibrant, informative places, giving the patient something else to focus on other than
their looming appointment.

Digital waiting room screens have been a key player in efforts to digitalise and modernise healthcare reception areas.

As a platform replacing traditional noticeboards and posters, they more effectively engage
patients through richer multi-media content. This engagement is helping to reduce
perceived waiting times and associated boredom in practices the world over, shaping a
more positive visiting experience.

To read this blog in full please click here.

Shaping Better Places

by Ian Boyd, Director of Arc Consulting, Artecology and The Common Space.

We are living in strange times. ‘Wellbeing’ has made the jump from the esoteric to the unremarkable in public discourse, perhaps because it gathers up and packages our disparate response to the feeling that something is slipping.

Effective interventions for a better public health have never been so needed, and nowhere more so than in the way we build to live.

I spend much of my time at the development coal-face, working with companies large and small to navigate environmental law. Sometimes it’s a salvage operation, rescuing what we can of the habitats and landscape to be lost, sometimes a more optimistic exercise in designing new spaces that can extend and expand resources for wildlife. The latter is becoming a more common aspiration thanks to a shift in public policy towards what is called ‘net gain’ for biodiversity. Of course, this ambition is fraught with expedient interpretations and canny avoidance, but that’s life, and the simple fact that the narrative has shifted is something good.

But this positive move for wildlife throws into even sharper relief the failure of development policy for people. It’s not far from the truth to say that an average housing scheme will pay more attention and invest more ingenuity in the protection of its dormice, than in the basic wellbeing of the community it creates. We are building bad habitats for humans.

To read the full blog please click here.

The Making of a Corporate Athlete 

In our fast-changing world with ever-increasing demands and a focus on personal effectiveness and optimal performance, it’s more important than ever that busy leaders and managers look after themselves and their teams physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, in order to rise to the challenges ahead whilst maintaining well-being.

The concept of the ‘Corporate Athlete’ is an holistic approach to wellbeing and personal effectiveness that stretches across the four realms of body, emotions, mind and spirit.

Jack Groppel’s book ‘The Corporate Athlete’ was first published in 1999, so this is not a new set of ideas, but they are ideas that deserve ongoing endorsement in the increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment that many of us find ourselves in.  Nor is the concept one that only relates to those working in large corporate organisations. Anyone with a busy work life can benefit.

To read the full guest blog click here.

This article has been adapted by the author, Martine Bolton, for the IHM from an earlier version published on LinkedIn on 6th May 2018. 

Martine Bolton is a trainer, coach, consultant and change-maker and runs Sunshine Corporate and Personal Development and is also a member of The Changemaker Group. Her contact details are:; 07903 440160.

Please email us if you’d like to publish a guest blog.