Help staff to develop habits of resilience

These resources will help your staff work resilience into every day

Comfort zone

Here you have a powerful metaphor for developing people, that you can use in one-to-ones and team meetings, to encourage people to give things a go and to develop emotional stamina. It’s also a great visual reminder to reinforce the approach you take to self-care and to improving.

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5 Whys

When you first ask people why they do their job, the predictable answer is ‘For the money.’ Once you get past that, more meaningful responses come to the fore that fit the person and the values underpinning their choice of role. It’s helpful to have access to the organisation’s vision and values statements to facilitate further discussion. Hearing you clarify what you stand for and why you do the job you do will inspire and strengthen the pride your people take in their work.

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Getting things in perspective

You can use this approach, and remind others of it, as you notice people starting to over-react or show signs of stress. The purpose of all the resilience habits is that you practise them and get good at them before you need them so that when you do need them, they have become automatic or second nature. Rising above the minor things, routinely getting things in a truer perspective will pay off enormously through more challenging times.

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Reduce your anxiety

This habit is valuable for people who are stressed, who worry or who overreact. It reduces anxiety and uncertainty by empowering them, through reflecting and organising their thoughts, to focus on what they have some influence over.

It’s also a useful ‘emergency’ process for those times when people are panicking.

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Uphill Struggle

Resilient people manage their workload through good personal organisation, knowing their boundaries, when to say “No”, when to negotiate and when to go the extra mile.

How do you get the right balance of workload and well-being for your people?

Uphill Struggle gives you lots of ways in to discuss individual effectiveness with your people whether that’s in a one-to-one, a team discussion or a routine of daily review for individuals using this resilience habit. The goal is the right-sized load, a strong individual with enough stamina for the gradient s/he is on, ready for any change in weather conditions.

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Self Care

If you endorse resilience habits among your staff, it’s imperative that you are an authentic role model. This can be challenging for many managers when it comes to self-care. If you work late, rush a sandwich at your desk, send texts and emails during unsocial hours, if you’re drained and low on energy but battle on regardless, you are not role-modelling self-care habits. All of which will affect your credibility as a manager as you are giving, not living, the messages. Talking about self-care and making your self-care visible will give your people permission to do the same. People who keep well are productive and able to deliver good work.

Download the Self-Care habit



Displaying the EqualIIse sheet on a noticeboard, on your desk, in meetings for example, will give all the right messages around a respectful attitude at work. Using the Big i, little 'i' and equalIIse vocabulary with your people enables everyone to address tensions in themselves and others more easily. “I’m feeling little 'i' to your Big 'i' here. How can we get back to equalIIse now?

Sharing situations where you weren’t in the equalIIse zone and discussing what behaviour and words would have kept you in the equalIIse zone will also make others more at ease in their reflections and insights about how to be there.

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Resilient relationships

When people enjoy their jobs and have good quality relationships in the workplace, they are likely to be more productive. If they feel good, they perform well and keep well. The COACTING Styles model gives some simple prompts enabling people to reflect on the situations and dynamics of the day. This resilience habit means people (including you) can understand how effectively they communicated with others, what others need to get the best from them at work and what you all might develop to have the best impact.

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EPS Traffic Light Tool

The Traffic Light Tool uses a set of statements for staff to answer and presents the outcome using an easy-to-understand RAG rating system. An experienced wellbeing adviser will also meet with members of your leadership team or governing body to discuss the report and develop an action plan.


Anyone can practise appreciating as a resilience habit and the more everyone does this, the more you will all notice a difference to the climate and the culture. A great way to remind and encourage people to apply this on a daily basis is to use it at the start of team meetings. Ask team members to respond briefly (just one phrase) to Today’s Best Bits or Best Bits so far today. Take a lead so that you set the tone and pace and keep it fast and punchy – no discussion necessary, just a short input from everyone to raise the energy and inspire one another.

Don’t worry if at first the Best Bits are a little mundane, e.g. nice sandwich at lunchtime. Keep persisting and people will soon get the drift and look forward to hearing what’s gone well.

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Considering consequences

This resilience habit is a great way of getting people to think beyond themselves, to think things through and to think bigger picture. Disruption, inefficiency and conflict are often just a few degrees of separation away from an action or an omission. Discussing consequences, step by step, in team meetings reinforces taking this kind of responsibility as a consistent practice:

If I do this…… , then this…. , then this……. , then this……

And if I don’t do this……, then this…… , then this ……. , then this…….

Considering Consequences is quite an eye-opener when explored in the context of values. People soon realise that the consequences of NOT living the values of the organisation have actually become the reality for many.

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