Our everyday lives can be stressful, with long hours and a recent pandemic that impacted globally. 

How can we flourish and thrive in times like this when there are high levels of stress and uncertainty? 

In my experience, having a resilience plan in place helps you identify the steps while you are calm and before any obstacle happens.

Resilience strategies for overcoming obstacles

When I worked for an IT security organisation, the company offered clients a fantastic service called an incident response plan. This is a set of instructions to help clients mitigate potential IT security risks and breaches to reduce the chances of cybercrime, data loss and service outages that threaten daily work. 

We sometimes have great processes in place for our professional lives, but not when dealing with day-to-day challenges. There are procedures and fire drills in case of a fire but not what to do when a day-to-day challenge crops up until now… 

Resilience plans for work situations 

This is when things don’t go to plan or when you’re dealing with the unknown. 

You can answer all these questions in a calm state before an incident, obstacle or threat state manifests.

The P.I.R Model to prime the brain for obstacles

Proactive protection – What can you do daily to prevent known and unknown issues from interfering with your plan, goal or intention? 

Examples include: exercising, taking brain breaks, protecting your deep thinking time, prioritising tasks, scheduling time in your diary for the unknown and reflecting on what is and isn’t working. 

Identify your threat and reward triggers. What is in your circle of influence? What do you spend significant time thinking about, even though you have no control or influence over the outcome? What can you do to mitigate or reduce the risk? 

Incident response – Consider the steps, processes and options at your disposal. Identify people who can provide advice on the obstacle or incident. 

Consider creating a communication plan that incorporates internal and external stakeholders. Check that your ‘go-to’ people are happy to be on call and know how best to reach them. 

Tip – Have some draft communications prepared ahead of time, so all you need to do is fill in the detail/ blanks of your challenge. 

What are some of the goalposts you can move closer for your team? Feeling you have accomplished even a small task will keep you motivated. The feeling of being ‘on purpose in your work is a key contributor to positive emotional well-being. 

Remediation – What is your plan for applying the key learnings and removing the issue, challenge or obstacle when facing a similar challenge? 

Aim not only to quarantine the problem but prevent it from recurring. It’s time to get off the roundabout of doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome (the definition of insanity). 

When it comes to generating ideas, identifying options or finding solutions to problems, our brain is like a filing cabinet. In busy situations, we tend to use the first drawer in the cabinet (our short-term memory) for our initial ideas, especially if we feel pressured to deliver. 

For some people, the first idea may be the best option. For others allowing time to dig into long-term memories to evaluate options is better. Creating a plan with evaluation options whilst calm makes you prepared when a storm or lightning hits.

Remember – Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes that every human being must deal with regardless of who they are and where they come from. How you perceive and approach an obstacle is a key to your choices and the outcomes of your decisions. 

In my experience, it is not what happens to you that is most important; it is how you respond and where you spend your precious time and energy.

How could you use the P.I.R Model to improve your resilience approach? 

Need assistance on how to set it up and apply the knowledge for you, your team or your organisation? Book a complimentary 30mins session via this Calendly link