3 tips for resilience in the workplace

Former US Marine and Federal police officer talks about how to cope corporate stress through resilience training

Whether you are sitting in traffic, or at war, the body reacts to stress in the same way. And it’s costing businesses millions every year, according to one ex-US Marine turned leadership and peak-performance expert.

Andrew Wittman is the founder and CEO of the Mental Toughness Training Centre and a former bodyguard to Hillary Clinton, Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Elton John, and many other prominent politicians. He now travels the globe helping executives and their employees better deal with stress at work and at home.

“You don’t have to go to war to feel stressed, whether you’re sitting in traffic, on a deadline, or on the battle field, your body reacts in the same way,” Andrew told CMO.

“Half the brain shuts down when working from fear or worry, and the part of the brain that shuts down is the creative, problem-solving part, which is vital to the modern workplace.”

Wittman said stress is not getting any easier for anyone in a world of fast-paced change, increasing workloads and KPIs. Instead of trying to eliminate stress, people need to develop resilience strategies for how to best handle the pressure.

“It’s simple neuroscience. Stress is a hormonal response that releases cortisol and adrenaline into your system. This reaction pushes you into flight of fight, and shuts down the problem solving centres of the brain,” he explained.

“Eighty per cent of doctor’s visits are stress-related, and that has massive implications for corporate profitability.

“The key to managing stress is engagement and increasing resilience. Everyone has to have a target to work towards. For work-related stress you need to work out who you are and what your purpose is, then work this internal statement up organisationally. Who you are is not what you do. So many people take external labels, like a football team or work, and apply it to themselves. But that is not who you are, that will not help you engage.

“Corporations are their people, not their products. If their people aren’t engaged, then they’re not working effectively. If you believe in who you are, then you can believe in what you do.  

“Resilience allows people to switch from a survival mindset to a thriving mindset. The professionals who display resilience, poise, and presence are the backbone of great organisations. To achieve resilience you must take control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.”

Here are Wittman’s three tips for resilience in the workplace:

1) Suspend your disbelief for two minutes

You’ve decided something is impossible, but if it was possible, how would you do it?

“The human brain is designed to answer questions. Instead of saying ‘I don’t know’, which immediately shuts down the problem solving part of the brain, instead say, ‘if it was possible, how would I do it?’,” Wittman asked. “This way, you engage the problem solving part of your brain.

“The human brain receives 11 million bits of information every second, but only 126 bits actually make it to consciousness for action. If you say ‘I don’t know’, then the only bits that will get to the brain for action are the bits that support your assertion of ‘I don’t know’. So suspend your opinion for two minutes.”

2) Ascertain who is running the board room

There are only three possible takers for this position: The body, mind, or emotions.

“The aim is to have your mind running the boardroom, not your body or emotions,” Wittman advised. “Have you ever made an emotional decision? How’d that work out? You must separate logic from emotions. There are three votes in your boardroom, and the mind and emotions are never going to vote together, so get the body on board with the mind to swing the vote.

“People always comment on the mental toughness of those in the military, and this is because troops have mastered control over their bodies, which brings it on board with the mind and separates it from emotions. The fact is, most people do what they want to do, instead of what they should do.”

3) Be a critical thinker

Most people don’t think critically, Wittman said. “We recommend something called C.R.A.P thinking: Clarity, Relevance, Accuracy, and Precision.

“For clarity, ask yourself ‘What am I trying to accomplish?’ and get clear on that. Then, take anything that’s not relevant off the table. When it comes to accuracy, understand that truth and fact are two different things. Most people take information and filter it through their own personal jungle of thought, and then call it fact. Your truth may not be actual fact. Finally, can this fact be more precise? We all get those emails demanding something ASAP.

“By communicating with the sender and asking for an actual time, rather than ASAP, means there’s no ambiguity and no miscommunication.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

I have recently worked on Big Data while studying on my certificate exam SAA-C01 Braindumps provides authentic IT Certification exams pre...

samried

The CIO and CMO Perspective on Big Data

Read more

Thanks for sharing the insights. The findings are spot on according to several encounters we had with various brands in the luxury retail...

Xen Chia

Report: Only 11 per cent of brands use customer data effectively

Read more

I think they are overpriced. Don't you think so? I won't buy them.

Donna Green

Apple Watch arrives April 24, some models top $10K

Read more

Energy Makeovers provides services to building owners to reduce their energy consumption and emissions, including replacing halogen light...

samried

How one energy company is giving itself a social media makeover

Read more

That's an interesting use for biometrics, to actually assist in predictive analysis of campaign success.

Simon Smith

Facial recognition technology being used in a new out-of-home campaign

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in