Working Transitions

Zero to Hero – the role of resilience in election success

Many are still reeling after last nights shock election results with Labour performing considerably better than expected and a hung parliament being declared.

Just weeks ago, all reports and indications pointed to Corbyn receiving an absolute hammering during the General Election.  Not 12 months ago, Labour MP’s decided that their Leader had no hope of guiding the party through an election or dealing with tricky Brexit negotiations and passed a vote of no confidence with calls for him to stand down.

Regardless of your political standing or views on Corbyn, few would deny that the turnaround has been impressive.  Faced with such adversity, many would have succumbed to pressure and retreated to lick their wounds in privacy.  There are many examples of businesses that have done something similar – clawed their way back from the brink of death to become successful and profitable once again.  In all cases, tenacity and levels of personal resilience have played a key part in the turnaround in fortune.

Personal resilience is arguably the most important resource for coping well during times of challenge and pressure.  Research has shown that it is deemed so important in the workplace that it is one of the top three success factors for senior managers and 78% of leaders at board level rate it as a vital quality.

Personal Resilience is the ability to respond to, and capacity to recover quickly from, difficult times, challenges and adversity.  A resilient person is not only able to handle difficulties effectively at the time, they also have the ability to ‘bounce back’ quickly and effectively after the event.

So how do people remain calm and cope under pressure?  Whether it’s a series of knockbacks, a hugely anticipated job interview or a period of relentless workloads and impossible deadlines, the following tips will help you increase your resilience levels and ‘roll with the punches’ to reduce stress and increase success in both your career and your personal life.



We’re not all comfortable talking about our strengths but understanding our natural strengths and our capacity to cope creates a certainty that, whatever challenges we encounter, we can cope.  Help build levels of confidence by:

  • Envisaging future challenges and thinking about how you would deal with them
  • Visualising and planning for success and working continually on developing your self-awareness
  • Working on becoming more optimistic and positive in your thinking
  • Being comfortable with yourself – simply being you
  • Celebrating successes and really listening to praise when it is offered.  This will help to maintain both self-esteem and self-confidence



Research shows that those who have supportive social networks have more active coping strategies when dealing with stressful situations.   An active coping strategy means that you can manage your reactions to the to challenges you face.  A good social support network also gives you access to advice, input and practical help.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and support
  • Develop a clear understanding of who is in your support network – and who you can rely on for good advice
  • Actively build new relationships in areas you feel you need support or where a different perspective would be useful
  • Use the support to help you move forward – not just to let off steam



Being adaptable is important when coping with ambiguity, dealing with uncertainty and change.  It allows us to adjust to different situations and think through consequences in a logical way, rather than subjecting ourselves to the negative impact of ‘fight or flight’ which occurs when change is perceived as a threat rather than an opportunity.  Increase your levels of adaptability by:

  • Treating every experience as a learning opportunity – never stop learning
  • Revisiting past adverse experiences to discover useful lessons to help in the future
  • Keeping things in perspective!
  • Embracing discomfort as part of the change process
  • Avoiding thinking traps – blame, erroneous assumptions and tunnel vision are all unhelpful
  • Being open, flexible and responsive to people and situations



Creating a focus and a sense of purpose in life is vital for resilience – it helps  to put things in perspective when difficulties arise.  Day to day, it is important to find a sense of purpose at work and to identify with the goals and objectives of our job.  Work on:

  • Spending time considering your goals and priorities for life
  • Reminding yourself of the core purpose of your actions when faced with frustrations or a set back
  • Refocusing on your end goal if you meet a block
  • Being more decisive and, if you get it wrong, know when to cut your losses
  • Keeping healthy!  Physical health and mental health are closely linked – eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise.  Be sure to take time out to re-energise and relax!


We all have the ability to ramp up our levels of resilience, either by ourselves or with a career coach or counsellor.  To find out how Working Transitions can support your Orgnaisation visit


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Working Transitions
09 June 2017
Supporting effective and successful organisational change


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