I’ve been promoting building personal and team resilience for more than 12 years. Never have I seen a time when its needed more, than now.
In May 2023, the World Economic Forum published its ‘Future of Jobs Report’. What didn’t surprise me is that Resilience in the 2023 report went to number 3 as a top skill, from number 9 in 2020.
Analytical thinking is at the top of the list for both reported years. Creative thinking went from number 5 to second place.
My potentially controversial thought for the future of work is since without resilience during stressful, challenging times, you can kiss Analytical and Creative Thinking good-bye – shouldn’t Personal and Team Resilience be desired skill #1?
Our analytical and creative thinking functions get hijacked, if our ability to be emotionally Agile and Flexible ‘in the moment’ isn’t highly developed. Staying calm is of paramount importance in the face of disruption and uncertainty.
A variable of resilience, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Dep’t, is Self-Awareness (#4). Building resilience means building self-awareness. It’s actually the first stepping stone to being able to ‘bounce forward’ and not just ‘bounce back’ from adversity. Bouncing forward means we’ve learned something from what we experienced.
Another of the variables of resilience, as mentioned above, is Emotional Self-Regulation or Agility. With this, we can make choices that are much more likely to serve us.
Curiosity and Life-long Learning skills are also dependent upon being resilient and developing stress ‘hardiness’. When our pre-frontal cortex is heading down the proverbial drain, we start to narrow our focus, which means we’re less likely to be open-minded and have the mental agility we need, when we need it.
When we are self-aware, emotionally and mentally agile, we can be more analytical, more creative, more curious, and more open to learning.
Am I biased in thinking that in addressing the shortage of resilience skills (most of us haven’t received this in our education or in our upbringing) might just be the antidote to many of the other skills we need?
I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on this!