You only need two routes to resilience – Executive Coaching
Two coping skills are key to resilience: problem-solving and mindfulness, and it is important to know which to use and when, said psychologist and former NHS consultant psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud.
If a problem can be solved, then the most sensible thing is to work on solving it. If not, then now is the time to switch to emotion-focused techniques, or after the problem is solved, not while problem solving, he said.
“Problem-solving is about acting on the world to make it a less stressful place to be in, and mindfulness-emotion-focused coping – is about acting on yourself so you’re less stressed. “ Said Dr Persaud.
He said these are the only two options, despite the many supposed variables in the resilience literature.” The literature is in a backward, pedestrian place…it finds variables such as a helpful spouse, which doesn’t surprise me. The key thing is, what can we acquire to be more resilient? You could acquire a helpful spouse, but it’s crucial to acquire emotion-focused(techniques).”
The way people handle emotion when trying to achieve tough goals is vital. ‘Emotions are important, but often we have to de-emphasise the importance and distance ourselves.
During his talk, Dr Persaud discussed how mindfulness can inform coaching practice and also goals. He said when someone says they want something, embodied in the word ‘want’ is the dreaded ’S’ word: Sacrifice.
“What are they prepared to sacrifice? Right there is the predicament of human nature. So if someone is looking to lose weight, are they prepared to give up the feeling of full-ness, for example.”
“The reason why coaching has to embrace the ‘S’ word, is because we have a culture that tells us the opposite – and it’s a con. Nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice. Let’s get the sacrifice on the table and discuss it.”
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Taken from an article in Coaching at work Nov 13