The resilience skills needed to thrive Uncategorized

Our VP Kieran McCann and 24 IABC NSW attendees took part in a sold out members only workshop on mental toughness and resilience. Here Kieran reflects on the morning spent with facilitators from Phuel and the IABC NSW member community.   

As communicators and marketers in our increasingly busy, pressured and volatile environments we require deep reservoirs of tenacity, optimism and hardiness.

But who looks after us and our wellbeing? It’s usually down to us to dig deep. 

Thanks to an opportunity with expert facilitators from Phuel, I and a range of IABC NSW members had the opportunity to dive into a highly engaging, application-rich session that introduced us to contemporary tools and techniques to understand and begin to strengthen how we relate to adversity.

Our expert facilitator Jo Pollard got us on our feet showcasing through a series of folded arm exercises that habits like mental toughness can be rewired. We often believe we have a fixed mindset when faced with a challenge, change or adversity.  The good news is that the ‘mental toughness’ model shows that our brains can be rewired to change existing habits, resilience can be learned and new habits formed.  

Our first exercise allowed us to share our biggest work challenges and share how they were impacting us. The results showed that although there are often commonalities with challenges it is really in how these stress factors impact us where overarching similarities arise.   

The definition of mental toughness is: ‘The capacity of an individual to deal effectively with stressors, pressure and challenges…and perform to the best of their abilities irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves’.   

Jo got us to understand that the circumstances we identified will change but the stress factors we identified impact our abilities; by building mental toughness we can deal more effectively with and cope better with stressors.  

The model we were presented with is based on the 4 C’s; Challenge, Control, Commitment and Confidence are the key elements of Mental Toughness. This is based on research Professors Peter Clough, Doug Strycharczyk and Dr John Perry. We broke into groups to identify the High and Low aspects of each C – understanding that High does not always equal positive or low negative. 

Our own personalised reports gave us the insight into how we related to these C’s. For example my report showcased (scarily accurately) that:

‘You are likely to be reasonably comfortable in most social situation, and you will usually contribute to group discussions. Occasionally you will feel out of your depth’.

‘You are confident in your abilities but your self-belief may occasionally be affected by others criticism’

Or that

‘When opportunities for development present themselves, you are likely to accept the challenge, although the potential for failure may concern you’.

Our reports gave us a mental toughness score (the full report goes into how we respond to each of the C’s) and points for reflection. 

Our final exercise gave us an understanding of what level of significance we place on categories (achievement, extrinsic, intrinsic, relational) related to what we want from the workplace e.g. good leadership is my deal breaker when it comes to the workplace, I like to have a good level of autonomy, be trusted, in a learning or growth environment, with a range of tasks where I see the results of my effort.      

Through this safe environment, expertly facilitated by Jo, the group was able to open up, share authentically and allowed to explore some practical techniques and tools to help us enhance our mental toughness.  We learned that awareness can make a huge difference.

Using the Phuel category cards, we got to self-reflect on what matters most to us at work and how that impacts on what we need from our workplace. This gave us some really important perspectives to remember when challenges hit.

Through this level of self-awareness we were guided to understand which techniques and tools we need to cope with adversity – by finding techniques that works for us (our take home reading showcased six interventions of mental toughness) and then embedding that technique (understanding the elastic nature of habits) into our armoury, we know that what was once a coping strategy can become inbuilt. We’re then on the pathway to having the resilience skills we need to thrive. 

On behalf of the IABC NSW board our sincere thanks to Jo, Bianca, Sam and the full Phuel team. This formed part of our exclusive workshop approach for current IABC NSW members as part of our ongoing commitment to provide exceptional value. We have two further workshops planned for the year as well as a range of member and non-member events – see our calendar for updates and below for details of our next event offering insights into the world’s largest communication conference. 

IABC World Conference Unveiled…11th July 

Ever wondered what it’s like to join 1,300 global communicators at IABC World Conference?

Who attends? What insights do you gain? Does attending give you a competitive edge over peers? Can it turbo boost your network?

Three IABC board members attended this year’s IABC World Conference in Vancouver. In our exclusive July breakfast event, ‘IABC World Conference: Top Insights Revealed’, senior practitioners Zora Artis, Patrick Armstrong and Mark Woodrow will share their top insights from the global gathering.