During the pandemic, the Alphabet began to realize that it was a huge technology workers showed signs of acute stress. Productivity declined and Alphabet responded quickly by naming it a “welfare manager and resilience leader”. The company filmed a series of videos made up of psychologists and coaches that dealt with issues such as sleep, rest and breathing techniques, in an attempt to reduce anxiety and increase resilience.
Alphabet also created a new language to help employees measure stress levels. The acronym TEA (thoughts, energy, and actions) became a mantra for self-assessment: do I think clearly, do I feel motivated, am I productive?
Suitability: Find a way to move forward, no matter what
The dire consequences of COVID-19 have shown that resilience is key to continued success. The unpredictable nature of the crisis and the ‘black beltsne’ had to be quickly responded to and adapted by companies. McKinsey He defines resilience as “the ability of a company to withstand, adapt, and move forward in the face of shocks … known and unforeseen.” The essence of resilience is to find a way to do the job, despite the difficulties. While most of us would have preferred a warning in advance, the reality is that life often throws balls at us.
Blair Kaplan Venables, a communications expert and author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw And Real Stories From An Entrepreneur, decided to create a space for ordinary people after a struggle to recover from some tragic events in their lives. The result was the ‘I Am Resilient Project’. Writing was a shelter when she learned that her father was ill at the marriage terminal, having just rebuilt a broken relationship. She then lost her mother to cancer, and her husband, Shayne, similarly lost her father. Kaplan Venables was lucky enough to ride her life after a tragic car accident, and her husband was also lucky enough to survive a heart attack, after which he underwent quadruple bypass surgery. A large number of events, in a compressed period of time, left him in suspense, looking for a way to make sense of everything. Engaging his thoughts on paper helped relieve the pain.
Look for meaning and purpose in events
But, Kaplan Venables ’interest in resilience is part of a broader debate that has lasted for decades. A notable collaborator has been the esteemed author Viktor E. Frankl and the survivor of the concentration camp. Frankel theorized that resilience arose in search of meaning in events, albeit unpleasant. During his time in a concentration camp, Frankel realized that his life had become humble and meaningless. In an effort to raise his spirits, he began composing lectures and imagining himself teaching future generations about the horrors of war and the cruelty of the camps. This imagined future was supposed to survive, something he could not have foreseen. However, he survived and inadvertently became the creator of a therapy technique called “meaning therapy”.
Danger of pink glasses
Jim Collins, author of the book ‘Great to Good’, warned of the danger of over-optimism. He saw that it could obscure your ability to see what was really going on, delaying your ability to take decisive action. Also, if you build a pink picture of the future, and it never materializes, you may be overwhelmed with hope. A healthy dose of realism is much more useful as a means of protection, a case in point, “Plan for the worst, hoping for the best.”
Good news, I suppose professionals, resilience is a skill that can be practiced over time. Even if you don’t have the aforementioned skills naturally, you may start to get into your life in the face of the next inevitable crisis.