I was working with a group of 25 people in Johannesburg last week who were identified as “affected” by a business case to merge and subsequently downsize two accounting departments. Not good news for the people involved and as you can imagine feelings ran high.


The company had a culture of caring for its staff, but that did not prevent the present economic realities demanding that savings needed to be found, and staff salaries are an obvious target. People were very worried about their jobs and the possibility of being retrenched, but underlying their fear was deep anger. There was anger at the organisation for “betraying” its culture of putting staff first and at a deeper personal level there was anger at themselves for getting into this vulnerable and scary situation.


I was asked to run a “Building Resilience: Strength for Life” workshop for the people in the 2 departments, to bolster their resilience so as to better cope during the tough times and remain task-focussed and productive. After all, the monthly accounting processes and system had to continue functioning!


By the end of the workshop I was delighted at the way the people had responded. This was shown by a question in the workshop evaluation form, in which delegates were asked if they were able to immediately implement at work and at home the resilience tools and techniques that they were taught. They all answered “Yes”. This positive response was despite the tears which were shed by both the delegates and the MD himself who attended the concluding sessions.   


writing-to-reach-you2At the end of the workshop I was asked for a questionnaire which could be used to track and monitor the resilience of the delegates in the weeks and months ahead. I have been working on such a questionnaire for some time, but I was struggling to distil the items and constructs from the research we had done on resilience, and put this into a questionnaire. This was however the impetus I needed to complete the questionnaire and now I am happy and proud to have it in a final format.


The purpose of the questionnaire is to assess personal resilience and gain pointers as to what can be done to strengthen or sustain personal resilience. It’s not a psychometric test and has not been validated.


To gain insight into your level of resilience by completing the resilience assessment and rating questionnaire, click here . Your feedback and questions will be most welcome.