The Skills-based Model of Personal Resilience
We developed our Skills-based Model of Personal Resilience to inform our workplace training. Published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology the model draws on the academic literature about what it takes to be resilient. It provides a way of organising and understanding the skills needed to build resilience and then offers guidance on how training can be facilitated to support participants to make lasting change.
Importantly, our model differs from others in the field through its basis in psychological theory as well as practical application to training. Here we describe some of the main features of the model.
How do we think about resilience?
Our approach views resilience as a set of behaviours or characteristics that can be learned. We also see resilience as a dynamic process that develops through exposure to adversity. For instance, the more we encounter and successfully manage trauma and adversity, the more our resilience grows. As we develop new skills to manage the challenges we face, in turn, we feel more confident to manage future challenges. In this way, resilience is more than simply coping with or recovering from adversity. It is also about growing and developing in ways that allow us to thrive when faced with new difficulties.
What is the Skills-based Model of Personal Resilience?
Our Skills-based Model of Personal Resilience is more than just a collection of proven skills. It offers a complete approach to training based on psychological theory, combining the key resilience skills with a process that supports participants to make lasting behaviour change.
Changing our behaviour is difficult. It requires us to learn and maintain new skills and strategies. It takes self-awareness, motivation and perseverance. And this can take us out of our comfort zone, so we may need courage in order to do things differently.
In our Skills-based Model of Personal Resilience we focus not only on what people need to learn but also how to learn it. We highlight the importance of supporting participants in order to promote change. And we draw on established psychological models of behaviour change to inform the way training is facilitated.
Resilience in the workplace
In conclusion, the Skills-based Model of Personal Resilience focuses on what individuals can do to improve their own resilience and wellbeing. However, in the work context we know that individuals can’t do this alone. They need the support and backing of their employer. As such, the context of resilience training must always be taken into account. Wellbeing is a collaboration between employer and employee. Emotional safety at work, team cohesion and the sense that your employer really does have your back are key to building robust resilience skills in the workplace.