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Building Resilience by Clodagh Butler, University Limerick


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Clodagh Butler, University Limerick, Psychology Matters Day.
In many work contexts daily hassles, interpersonal conflict, the organizational climate and the environmental setting all combine to create both unpredictable and expected job-related stressors. There has been increased attention on workplace well-being in recent years and as not all stressors can be predicted coping effectively is suggested as a useful strategy. Resilience, which refers to bouncing forward as well as bouncing back from an adverse stimulus or negative event, is such a strategy. My research focuses on the bouncing forward side of resilience. That is focusing on what we can do to minimise stress before it occurs (proactivity towards stress). This approach helps individuals see stress as a challenge, not a threat. Typically, it leads to better physical and mental health outcomes in response to stressful experiences than reactive coping.
I believe that proactive coping can safeguard against the negative effects of stress, increase capacity to endure adversity and thus promote positive adaption, i.e. psychological resilience. Therefore, if proactive coping has a role in resilience, then we need to look at becoming more proactive towards our stress. Three key ways to cope proactively are suggested based on best practice to help you thrive not just survive in the workplace.

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Building Resilience by Clodagh Butler, University Limerick

  1. 1. Building Resilience: How to thrive not just survive in the workplace #PSYCHMATTERS @PsychSocIreland
  2. 2. OUTLINE Hello Organisational psychology Positive psychology Resilience Proactive coping 2
  3. 3. The application of psychological principles to the workplace (anywhere people work) 3 What do W & O Psychologists do? • helping employers treat employees fairly • helping make jobs more interesting and satisfying • Recruitment and selection process • Helping people to be more productive, more creative, more innovative etc. • Help employees to stay healthy (and happy!!)
  4. 4. How does psychology help our understanding of W&O? Psychology studies people in context… 4
  5. 5. What is good about life is as genuine as what is bad, therefore deserves equal attention (Paterson, 2004) 5
  6. 6. DEVELOPING OUR STRENGTHS & STRENGTHENING OUR WEAKNESSES 6 Wellbeing. Positive mental health. Health, happines, life-satisfaction. Performance.
  7. 7. I love my rejection slips. They show me I try – Sylvia Plath 7
  8. 8. The developable capacity to rebound or bounce back from adversity, conflict or failure, or even positive change, progress and responsibility (Luthans et al., 2007, p.18) 8
  9. 9. Resilience 1.Stress 2.Positive adaptation. In order to detect a resilient outcome, adversity is a necessary prerequisite and secondly, resilient outcomes involve more than the elimination of adversity, but the capacity to develop positive adaptation (Luthar, Cicchetti & Becker, 2000). 9
  10. 10. We need to keep in mind that the future is not some thing we simply enter; the future is also something we help create (Baltes, 1997) 10
  11. 11. 11 Effort to build up general resources that facilitate promotion toward challenging goals and personal growth (Schwarzer & Taubert, 2002). Coping with potential future stressors before they happen
  12. 12. We train ourselves to survive, before we ever have to do so (Coutu, 2002). 12
  13. 13. In two or three columns YELLOW Is the color of gold, butter and ripe lemons. In the spectrum of visible light, yellow is found between green and orange. BLUE Is the colour of the clear sky and the deep sea. It is located between violet and green on the optical spectrum. RED Is the color of blood, and because of this it has historically been associated with sacrifice, danger and courage. 13 • Elicitation and use of feedback: • Feedback inquiry • Job change negotiation • Information seeking • Voice • Personal initiative • Taking charge • Issue selling • Career initiative • Goals: • Seek meaningful goals • Goal management • Resource accumulation: • Time (management) • Money • Organisational and planning skills • Building social support and social networks • Preventative health behaviours (diet/exercise) • Develop skills • Recognition and appraisal: • Strategic scanning • Challenge v threat • Utilise strengths PROACTIVE COPING IN THE WORKPLACE
  14. 14. You can find me at 14