Conner says that resilience is seen by how people respond to stress and suggests that there are two kinds of people - the danger-oriented or opportunity-oriented people and that no is wholly one or the other, but fall on a continuum between the two.
- Danger-oriented people - those who view change as threatening and feel victimized by it. They often lack an overarching sense of purpose in their lives, see things in binary ways, feel insecure during periods of unrest, and often respond to change in a reactive way. They often react by blaming and feeling overwhelmed.
- Opportunity-oriented people -these people view change as a potential advantage to be exploited. They assume change is going to happen and invest in mechanisms to deal with change such as compartmentalizing the stress. They ask for help, have nurturing relationships around them, and achieve balance in their perspective.
He says the five basic characteristics of resilience are:
- Display a sense of security and self-assurance (positive)
- Have a clear sense of what they want to achieve (focused)
- Demonstrate a special pliability when responding to uncertainty (flexible)
- Develop structured approaches to managing ambiguity (organized)
- Engage change rather than defend against it (proactive)
Only through raising the level of our resilience can we successfully assimilate the increasing rate of complexity and ambiguity in our lives. We can do this by understanding where we currently are in terms of resilience, understanding the seven support patterns to resilience, determining which support pattern needs to be leveraged, and then implementing it.
Are you a danger oriented person or an opportunity oriented person? Do you possess the five basic characteristics of resilience? If not what can you begin to work on today to build up that muscle? Do you agree that resilience is the primary way to navigate through change?