We are excited to launch our monthly interview series, starting this January with one of the Passion And Fruit resilience coaches - Kate Rees.
In this interview, Kate Rees shares her thoughts on resilience, why it is important to cultivate resilience in our professional and personal lives and which first steps companies and individuals can take to build up resilience.
1. Could you explain to us what resilience is for you?
Resilience, in its essence, is about being able to successfully adapt to change.
To be resilient means you need a reservoir of resources and energy to draw on to enable you to adapt comfortably to obstacles and setbacks, maybe even to embrace and enjoy them!
2. Which benefits of resilience have you experienced or in our words, how has your passion for resilience born fruit?
I spent most of my adult life feeling the adverse effects of stress. I worked in quite a few jobs and was often looking for the 'right' one as in so many of my jobs I felt stressed out and drowning in my to do list or taking on the burden of feeling responsible for other people's work. Stress and anxiety would manifest in many ways, and often physically as psoriasis and mood swings. But I had come to the conclusion that this was normal and just was how I was.
I was then lucky enough to find myself working in an organisation where they were really supportive of their employees' wellbeing. I took part in a resilience programme which was, not to state it too highly, life changing. I realised I could aspire to a higher state of resilience, that I didn't have to feel these effects of stress all of the time and the reason I wasn't being my best was that my resilience was quite low. This wasn't as simple as it sounds to take on board but it started my personal work to make improvements in my life and also in the way I worked.
It was also in this company that I met, and was coached by, some amazing coaches and realised this was what I wanted to do with my life. I found the thing I love to do and enables me to help and support people and I really wanted to help people in the same way I had been helped. So, after becoming a coach I became accredited as a resilience practitioner.
I don’t think I would have made any of these decisions in my life without being made aware of and increasing my own resilience.
3. How can companies contribute to strengthening the resilience of their employees?
Having worked in a company which recognised the importance of employee wellbeing had a tremendously positive impact on me personally but also on the quality of my work.
It's not enough just to talk about resilience, you have to create an environment that supports employees to be able to be resilient, such as flexible working, wellbeing packages, learning and really importantly training for all levels from the management all the way through to the most junior members.
In doing this, companies can open up the understanding of resilience and knowing what tools individuals and the company can use to support it. A huge benefit is creating a shared language that everyone can use to support each other and creates hope that things can always improve and everyone benefits. After all, happier, more resilient employees means more engaged, creative and problem solving minds, less sickness and leavers, and all round a greater quality of work. Surely this is what every company wants?
4. Do you have three simple tricks on how people can enhance their resilience in everyday life?
Well, as I always say to my clients, there isn’t a silver bullet for resilience as everyone needs to learn what their own tools and resources are.
But generally understanding what increases your energy, asking for help and finding ways to laugh more can be really helpful for resilience,
5. What are some key topics you are covering in your resilience coaching with Passion And Fruit clients?
The main focus in my resilience coaching 1-1 sessions and workshops is generally understanding what drains and increases my client's energy. Looking at ways to reduce and increase respectively. Also I often work with people on prioritisation. This can really help as being clear on what you don’t have to do and what you can ask for help with can bring a lot of clarity and open up space for other, more important and exciting things.
It's really helpful to look at data points, for example, how is my client sleeping, eating, exercising? When are they taking time for themselves? Just shining a light on these can really highlight where they can make small simple steps, which in turn can make big changes.
It's also super exciting to start on the whoosh of greater resilience where clients can start really maximising what they love to do and what aligns with their values.
You would like to offer resilience coaching or workshops to your employees? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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