Will A Resilience Coach Survive or Thrive In 2021?

Is a resilience coach the need of the hour?

I am often asked whether organizations are now vetting leaders for resilience.

Yes, adaptability and flexibility are key traits now for recruitment of top leaders.

Organizations are looking for a new brand of leaders. Leaders who navigate change, handle fears and insecurities well and innovate are desirable. Some companies are hiring resilience coaches to do this vetting. The coaches then work with the leaders to strengthen their core strengths.

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So should resilience coaches look for large organizations to work with? Or should they target high-potential individuals for personal coaching?

How does resilience work?

Read on to find out more about the opportunities that await you as a resilience coach.

Why Do You Need a Resilience Coach?

What is resilience? It is the ability of an individual to bounce back even in challenging circumstances.

Times are tough. There is chaos and uncertainty in the outside and internal environments. We may have to encounter loss of income or financial instability. There may be health concerns in our immediate family or with neighbors and friends. Anxiety over uncertainty is everywhere. This manifests as conflict.

This means that now more than ever, there is a need to develop a fighting spirit.

Resilient people look like this

What are the characteristics of a resilient person? Do you need to draw this profile up of a resilient person? After all, is every person or client not different?

Yes, they are. But as a resilience coach, you may draw up a somewhat generic image of what a resilient person looks like. Draw out a prototype. Then allow each client to approach the journey of how to become resilient in their own way. Having this image always keeps the larger picture in focus.

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Often the example you hear of when talking about resilience is that of a rubber band. No matter how much you stretch it, it will keep coming back to its original shape till it snaps. That is what a “bouncing back” capability of resilience means.

There is another aspect to the rubber band. Besides stretching or snapping, there is also another vital action that it can take. A rubber band holds items together. This is what makes it so invaluable.

Now, let us look at the business environment and you will see why I focused on that aspect. A leader needs to hold her/his team together through challenging times. A leader needs a solid purpose and faith in the overarching goal in the company vision. She also needs to be adaptable to hold on through trying times. This is why resilience is becoming a hot topic in large organizations today.

Is A Resilience Coach Important for Organizations?

Yes, resilience coaches are important in a business environment!

Testing resilience in a leader is fast becoming an accepted trend during recruitment. This is because companies are recognizing that they are hiring for uncertain times. The truth is that technology is changing at such a fast pace that one can never be sure about what the future holds.

Economic challenges and the struggle of managing a diverse workforce have proven difficult. The changes have been more intense than many could have anticipated. The future does not look any different.

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Traits of a resilient leader

It is important now to focus on leaders who are resilient and adaptable. Leaders and business owners need to prepare for challenges. But no matter how well they prepare, at certain times they will fail. This has happened to the best businessmen. Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Jack Ma are legends in the businesses they built. But they have one more thing in common: they have all suffered failures.

Hiring aware leaders who are open to learning seems the best long-term strategy. This is why resilience testing is becoming popular among many organizations.

Benefits of resilience coaching in teams

A resilience coach is critical in the organization structure. Companies are prioritizing change management. But they also need to invest in building leaders who can accept challenges.

A resilience coach works with organizations and leaders to ensure that:

Leaders accept challenges. This requires deep introspection and flexibility on the part of a leader. Not everyone can accept and own up to failure. So, analyzing the truth is the first step in resilience coaching.

Companies respond not react. During challenging times or in the face of a crisis, how will the leaders and teams respond? Many choose to react by allowing their fear or anger or discomfort come to the fore. Resilience coaching is important in crisis management, too.

Focus remains on the bigger picture. A resilience coach will always help leaders keep failures in perspective. That is the only way a leader or a company can “bounce back”, so to speak.

However, resilience is also a learned trait. This means that a resilience coach can help to bring about a cultural change within the company. Training a leader is great. But training his teams is even more effective!

What Does A Resilience Coach Do?

What is resilience? One of the best definitions I have read is on Positivepsychology.com. “Resilience is the mental processes and behaviors that people use to protect themselves from the harmful effects of stressors.”

Everyone will agree that we are currently living in stressful times. Our health, family stability and work are all suffering. There is intense stress and uncertainty everywhere right now. The doctors are handing out the same advice: look inward and build your immunity.

Along with physical immunity, you have to build your mental strength if you want to survive.

This is where a resilience coach may be able to help.

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Is resilience coaching the same as counselling?

Positivepsychology.com lays down the similarities between resilience coaching and counselling. Both have the same focus – to build someone’s personal assets.

Counselling is beneficial for “building resilience that will likely draw from discussing past experiences in terms of perseverance. By helping a patient focus on the process that they previously used to overcome adversity, you can help them better understand the skills that already exist within them. This type of focus builds confidence and readiness for the inevitable adversities that they will likely face in their lifetime… Counsellors have to be very aware of their process for keeping their patients safe from re-experiencing a trauma.”

Resilience coaching draws on the same principles of a growth mindset. “Clients will be encouraged to notice what has worked for them in the past. Then … a client can plan for ways to utilize their personal assets in a plan for building their resilience.”

The difference between coaching and counselling is the medical nature of the latter.

What Process Does a Resilience Coach Follow?

How does a resilience coach make a difference?

Some insights about how resilience coaches work are provided here.

A baseline for resilience skills is first established. To do this, a goal coach first helps a client focus on what has worked well for them in the past. Abundant praise in the process of growth (Kamins & Dweck, 1999) helps to build resilience.

“A coach’s responsibility is to hold the container for which the client will explore their existing resilience skills. By asking open-ended questions, the coach can allow their client to personally explore areas they may not have viewed in the past as beneficial skills. A coach can also illuminate options for which the client will then decide to build resilience.

Coaches who are certified in resilience training have a broad perspective on skill-building—knowing the “how” of resilience is a much needed and in-demand skill set. Whether in corporate, individual, or group settings, knowledge of resilience skill-building is abundantly needed.”

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The website also lists some learned habits that foster resilience. I have referred to some of the points below but do read the article for more details.

Life Satisfaction

The author talks about an attitude for gratitude. This is a crucial element for developing resilience. Another way to increase life satisfaction is by finding meaning and purpose. On a related note, you may want to check out my blog Become a Mindfulness Coach for tips on living a happy life.

Self Efficacy

Research shows that positive and negative experiences influence a person’s expectations, estimates of successes, self-evaluation, and goal setting (Wright, & Mischel, 1982). By the same coin, it is important to attribute success to a personal effort to enable self-efficacy to flourish. This leads us to celebrate ourselves – a key element in self-love.

Some simple exercises that you could share with clients are also listed in the article. For example, the author mentions the mastery of memory exercise. Ask your client to think back to a skill that they have mastered. They need to list every step that helped to achieve their mastery over that skill. Remembering each step that helped to achieve the end goal is a powerful reminder of self-efficacy, is it not?

This exercise allows your clients to remember that moment of accomplishment. They can relive and celebrate the hard work and consistent effort that led to a mastery of the skill in question.

Another powerful example posted in one of stacking successful habits. Ask your client to start with a goal. Then think backwards from that goal to the simplest habit they could adopt to achieve that goal. Once that simple habit becomes consistent over a period, it is time to add another simple habit to the stack. Consciously tracking the consistent change over time is another powerful reminder aimed at celebrating self-efficacy.

Self Esteem

“When one can subjectively and cognitively emphasize what they value in themselves, esteem grows… Another great way to build self-esteem is to find a new area of growth and master a new skill. Practicing mindful speaking, for instance, is a great skill to develop to build self-esteem.

Do read my blog on self love coaching for some tips on how to build self esteem.

There are several other pointers mentioned including boosting friendships and helping out in the community. These are valuable traits to build resilience.

The author also shows how a holistic approach toward wellness helps build resilience. This includes mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual health.

Traits of a Good Resilience Coach

Are there certain qualities that all resilience coaches have in common?

Well, irrespective of whether you are an executive, spiritual or success coach, there are certain qualities that all good coaches have in common. I have earlier listed several of these qualities in earlier blogs. In my blog Top 10 Coaching Skills You Must Have as a Life Coach, I have mentioned a number of qualities. Some of these are:

Listening attentively

I cannot stress how important it is to have this attribute in a good coach: the ability to listen without judgment. I will add one more attribute. Listen without feeling the need to solve the problem. As a coach, you are expected to act as a sounding board. As long as you listen with empathy and ask objective questions, your client can come up with her own solutions.

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Asking powerful questions

Questions should invite conversation and reflection. Keep the questions short and open-ended. Encourage the client to introspect deeply on how she can build on her resilience. Celebrate small successes and build a habit of winning. I have written several blogs on questions you may ask your client. Check out my earlier blog 34 Coaching Questions to Ask Your Clients to Begin With. There is also a blog 44 powerful Coaching questions every coach MUST ask to help you. Check out the blogs I wrote on related topics Great Coaching questions You Need to Ask, 5 Powerful Coaching Questions to Ask Your Clients Based on Your Coaching Niche and 12 Life Coaching Questions to Ask Your Clients.

Becoming the accountability partner

Often coaches fail as clients fall back into old patterns. This is normal and expected. But a key component of resilience is the bounce-back factor. Create goals together as a team and hold your clients accountable. Once accountability becomes a habit, perseverance will follow.

There are several other habits that all good coaches follow. I have written about these in my earlier blog 23 Success Habits Of Becoming A World Class Coach.

You must also remember, that coaching women is different from coaching men. In an earlier blog I have highlighted how this may impact your coaching style. You may also find my blog How to Become a Women Empowerment Coach (2021) helpful.

Keep Learning As a Resilience Coach

As a resilience coach, you will need to model the qualities that you want your clients to imbibe. Be open to learning and take advantage of technology on a regular basis.

This will also help you understand the latest trends in leadership development.

Read up whatever you can get your hands on: books, research documents and trend reports. Also, make it a point to participate in seminars and workshops where you can learn and network at the same time.

Do you want to opt for training but unsure which coaching program to opt for? Sign up for the free webinar to help make up your mind. You may also read my blog How to Select the Best Coaching Training Program in 2021.

The other great worry that coaches often have is how to take their careers online? Here and here are some of the blogs I have written to help you get started. You may also want to expand your coaching business in many ways. Do you want to discover a new niche? Or see how you can blend some skills from other niches into your own coaching practice.

Books for a Resilience Coach

There are several books written on resilience coaching. You may find it helpful to look through some of the titles and see which one is a good read for you.

  • Coaching for Resilience: A Practical Guide to Using Positive Psychology by Adrienne Green, John Humphrey
  • Playing the Game Without a Coach: How Courage, Resilience, and Forgiveness Helped One Man Seize the American Dream by Benjamin Raymnd
  • Smart Strengths: A Parent-Teacher Coach Guide to Building Character, Resilience, and Relationships in Youth by John M. Yeager, Sherri W. Fisher, David N. Shearon
  • Playing the Game Without a Coach: How Courage, Resilience, and Forgiveness Helped One Man Seize the American Dream by Benjamin Raymond
  • The Art of Stoicism: How to Find Peace and Emotional Resilience in Your Everyday Life (Positive Psychology Coaching Series Book 23) by Ian Tuhovsky, SKY RODIO NUTTALL (Editor)
  • Coaching for Resilience: A Practical Guide to Using Positive Psychology by Adrienne Green, John Humphrey
  • Resilience: A Practical Guide For Coaches by Carole Pemberton
  • Playing the Game Without a Coach: How Courage, Resilience, and Forgiveness Helped One Man Seize the American Dream by Benjamin Raymond
  • The Resilience Coaching Toolkit: Practical self-management exercises for professionals working to enhance the well-being of clients by Laurel Alexander
  • Sharing Hope, Nurturing Resilience: A Coaching Journey by Dee Fowler Anderson
  • Unconventional Stress Management and Resilience Coaching by Shawn Coleman
  • Building Resilience: A Peer Coaching Manual: Assisting Others to Acquire and Sustain Positive Change by Richard C Lumb Ph D, Ronald L Breazeale Ph D
  • Unconventional Stress Management and Resilience Coaching: The portal to authentic happiness and optimal wellbeing by Mr. Shawn Coleman
  • Building Resilience: A Peer Coaching Manual: Assisting Others to Acquire and Sustain Positive Change by Ronald Breazeale, Richard Lumb
  • Resilience Building: Peer Coaching Manual: Assisting Others to Acquire and Sustain Positive Change and Overcome the Effects of Stress, Adversity and Trauma by Ronald L. Breazeale
  • The Resilience Coaching Handbook: For the Excellent Coach by T. A Platinum
  • Coaching for Resilience: A Practical Guide to Using Positive Psychology by Adrienne Green, John Humphrey
  • Resilience as a Framework for Coaching: A Cognitive Behavioural Perspective by Michael Neenan
  • Authentic Excellence: Coaching Young Adults Towards Resilience in a Competitive World by R Kelly Crace
  • Go Beyond Resilience by Coach K

Besides this list you may also want to look up related coaching books on Goodreads. Some of the books that are relevant for you as coaches are:

  • Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills That Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Michael Simpson
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier
  • Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus
  • Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon’s Legendary Coach and Nike’s Co-founder by Kenny Moore, Phil Knight
  • Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose – the Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership by John Whitmore
  • The Coaching Hours (How to Date a Douchebag, #4) by Sara Ney
  • The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods by Hank Haney
  • Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition by Lyssa Adkins
  • FYI: For Your Improvement, A Guide for Development and Coaching by Michael M. Lombardo, Robert W. Eichinger
  • Agile Coaching by Rachel Davies, Liz Sedley
  • The Art of Coaching: Effective Strategies for School Transformation by Elena Aguilar
  • Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People by Bradford D. Smart
  • The Coaching Mindset: 8 Ways to Think Like a Coach by Chad Hall
  • Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In by Brett Bartholomew

You may also want to look up the list available here. Some books that may also be interesting for you as a general read are listed here.

Video Content for Resilience Coach

There are several YouTube videos and podcasts that you may find helpful. I have listed some podcasts that are relevant for you as a resilience coach. The one here explores the topic of resilience from all angles. There are candid conversations, and intelligent and humorous Q&A sessions.

Here is another podcast that talks about coaching for leaders. The speaker explains how resilience is crucial when working to achieve your vision. Clients need to beware of giving up too quickly!

Another podcast that links resilience with leadership is here. Suzanne Coonan speaks about the intersection of resilience and change management. She highlights the role of self-care in navigating uncertainty. She also shares the top habits busy executives exercise to build resilience. Listen in for Suzanne’s advice around embracing change. Learn how to foster resilience by tapping into what makes you feel alive!

A list of 15 inspiring podcasts that encourage resilience is here.

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