The pandemic has spawned many words, terms and phrases. I have often used resilience, which means my desire to move beyond this crisis, rise up and become more progressive.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is the process and result of successfully adapting to difficult or difficult life situations, especially through mental, emotional and behavioral flexibility and adaptation to external and internal demands.
So when I accidentally stumbled upon a TED Talk called The Three Secrets of Resilient People,
Lucy Hawn, sustainability expert and researcher, I watched it with great interest. I was thinking about tailoring content by linking it to associations.
In her talk, Lucy offers three strategies for developing the ability to face adversity, overcome adversity, and handle anything that comes face to face with courage and grace. Here are three considerations for building resilience, whether on a personal or organizational level:
1. Know and accept that suffering is part of life. When times get tough, resilient people seem to know that suffering is part of every human existence. Accepting this fact stops them from feeling discriminated against when problems arise. When trouble comes, most people ask, “Why me?” Resilient people ask the other way around, “Why not me?”
Associations are also facing challenges and setbacks, especially during this ongoing pandemic. They face financial cuts; face challenges in recruiting, engaging and retaining members; and deal with shortages of staff and volunteers. Sustainable associations that have faced similar challenges in the past recognize that these challenges are an integral part of managing organizations.
2. Determine what to pay attention to. Resilient people have a habit of being realistic about situations and are generally able to focus on the things they can change and learn to accept what they can’t. They also developed a way to tune in to the good things around them and try to find things to be grateful for. Such positivity is strong.
The same is true for stable associations. As service-oriented organizations, they focus on their available resources and energies, helping their members find solutions to their problems, promote their growth, and provide effective experiences. They realize that staying true to their purpose, no matter what happens, is the key to their survival and sustainability as organizations.
3. Distinguish thoughts and actions that can help or hurt. Resilient people are able to determine whether what they think or how they act is good or bad for them. Lucy says this distinction can be applied to many different contexts: “Does the way I think and act help me or hurt me in my quest to get promoted, pass this exam, or recover from a heart attack?” By asking this question, you gain control over the decision-making process.
Once out of a crisis, associations can use this leading question, as the answer will mean the difference between being able to continue doing what they do best and suffering the consequences of failure.
Resilience is not a fixed or elusive trait that some people have and some don’t. What is really required is the willingness of the person or organization to try basic strategies like the above considerations.
Octavio Peralta is currently the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network in the Philippines and the founder and voluntary CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Heads of Associations, the “association of associations”. Email: [email protected].