We have now dealt with each of the seven research-based principles of Building Resilience. Whilst no-one chooses to experience tough times and adversity, successfully dealing with adversity does have an upside. Personal growth and development occurs most when one is in unfamiliar territory, when comfort levels are breached, and when one is out of one’s depth and struggling.

Building Resilience Principles
1. Connect to your purpose and meaning in life
2. Use your unique strengths
3. Maintain perspective
4. Generate positive feelings
5. Be realistically optimistic
6. Persevere by being open minded and flexible
7. Reach out to others

Adversity creates such an environment, and a response based on resilience enables growth and development, and even life-enhancing change, to take place. The personal benefit for staff in being resilient is that they have inner strength and resourcefulness to absorb “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and live a joyful life.


In this context, resilience is the life-force through which one can overcome adversity, and strive towards self actualisation. But is resilience teachable?


The answer is a resounding yes. Our research has demonstrated that the innate skills relating to each of the seven building resilience principles can be developed and enhanced through training in specific resilience-building tools. These tools have been used successfully by both individuals and teams. When delegates who completed resilience training were asked if they would able to put their newly learnt resilience coping strategies into immediate use at work and at home, 100% of the delegates reported “yes.” Follow-up studies also indicate a statistically significant sustained improvement in resilience over time.

Some species of Cape fynbos require fire in order to bloom (Cyrtanthus ventricosus)

Some species of Cape fynbos require fire in order to bloom (cyrtanthus ventricosus)


Imagine your organisation staffed with resilient people who have abundant inner strength, energy and resourcefulness, with skills that enable them to cope with mergers, new strategies, major change initiatives, new technologies and downsizing. Wouldn’t that make a difference to your team and organisational results!