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Nine Inch Resiliency Thoughts

mcdarghThis is a guest post from Eileen McDargh:

The average distance from the brain to the heart is nine inches. Stan has made a great contribution to customer and employee retention by focusing on how to win not only the minds but the hearts of these stakeholders.

It is no small coincidence that nine-inches of attention also are superb vehicles for cultivating resiliency in our ever changing, 24/7, high pressure world.

I define resiliency as growing THROUGH challenge or opportunity so that you and your organization become wiser and stronger. The traditional notion of resiliency as “bouncing back” disregards human potential. There is no going “back.”

Head and HeartAdaptability is the first critical resiliency skill and one that can be learned and practiced. But it requires both head and heart.

First: the HEAD

How we THINK about an event, a process, or a practice determines our response that in turn, creates an outcome. The goal is to generate as many possible responses but that can only come if we expand our thinking. The more options we can create, the greater is our opportunity for getting through tough times. In biological terms, requisite variety determines the survival of a species.

Example: Ohio State’s football coach, Urban Meyer, could have despaired when his first string quarterback was sidelined with a season-ending injury. However, Meyer and his team have been practicing—literally for years– on finding positive responses to any given situation. As of this writing, Cardale Jones- a third string quarterback-will take the team on the field tomorrow to determine the national championship.

Example: On the flip side, consider the fate of Howard Johnson restaurants. At one time, good old HoJo had more locations than Kentucky Fried, Burger King and McDonalds combined! But resiliency took a nose-dive because the THINKING was stuck in a model that no longer worked.

Example: I have a dear friend who has defied the odds of survival with ovarian cancer. She and her husband, Lee, continue to find different ways of responding to medical events, of even talking about her illness. Together, they celebrate children, grandchildren, and hard as it might be—they continue to look for what is positive in the day.

Ask yourselves these questions:

  • How many different ways can I view this situation?
  • What would happen if?
  • Why not do…
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen?
  • How many people can provide me with a different viewpoint?
  • As you read these questions, you might sense some emotional
  • responses: everything from excitement to anxiety to fear.

Now the Heart

This is where the HEART comes into play.

The heart is an amazing organ with an energy field far stronger than the brain. In fact, just as neuroscientists are discovering the brain’s ability to rewire, cardiologists are discovering that the heart is more deeply connected to the brain. In The Heart Speaks, Dr. Mimi Guarneri reveals groundbreaking new research that the heart is a multilayered, complex organ, possessing intelligence, memory, and decision-making abilities independent from the mind.

At the core of the word HEART is the word hear. Resiliency requires that we listen to our own instincts, our gut, our intuition. Logic might provide one response but our instinct might create another. Emotion can very well be the fuel that creates a breakthrough. Anger stirred the creation of M.A.D.D. and compassion created Mother Teresa’s nuns. Logic would have predicted failure of both.

May 2015 bring a 9-inch collaboration that allows you to be better by any measure.

Your Resiliency GPSAbout Eileen McDargh: Eileen is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, management consultant, master facilitator, and award-winning author.

Her newest book, Your Resiliency GPS: A Guide for Growing Through Life & Work was recently released on Amazon to five-star reviews.

About the Author