The Resilient Recruiter: Inner Resiliency

Dec 8, 2008

Part Two of Four: Inner Resiliency
An Interview with Resiliency SME, Michael Ballard

Welcome back to our Resilient Recruiter series. In part one, we defined resiliency and discussed why it matters. We outlined some of the skills that assist us in building resiliency. The great news is that any of us can develop and strengthen our resiliency skills. As recruiting professionals we can have all the latest tools and gadgets available to us; yet, when adversity hits, it is our resiliency skills that will keep us on top of our game.

In this part two of a four part series, resiliency subject matter expert, trainer and coach Michael Ballard is going to give us an overview of inner resiliency.

WENDY: Michael, you have said that there are four key factors associated with inner resiliency and those factors help us to consistently stay productive and at the top of our career in the midst of adversity. What is the first inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL: The first inner resiliency factor is about being purposeful, which involves values, goals, planning and decisions. To strengthen inner resiliency, it is critical to develop the skill, will and discipline to:

  1. define your values
  2. set goals
  3. create plans which align with your values and goals, and
  4. make decisions.

It is helpful to create systems around these processes. For example, you can create a system for setting and tracking goals and for how you go about planning daily, weekly, monthly and beyond. Ask yourself: what are the most important things you want to accomplish on a daily basis? What do you allow to throw you off track? The daily plan is powerful for keeping you on track each day. You can even create a system for how you go about making decisions. You must have first defined your values and goals, and then you can develop a series of questions to ask yourself to help you determine which decision will move you closer to your goals, while aligning with your values.

WENDY: It makes sense that if we have defined our values and goals and have established daily planning as an ingrained habit, we will already be “set up” to operate well during times of adversity. I certainly see how having strong decision making abilities is crucial for resiliency.

MICHAEL: Yes. The first thing to do is to honestly assess whether or not you know your values and how well you are currently doing in the areas of goal setting, planning and decision making. If you need improvement, then get assistance online or with a coach, and find an accountability partner. Learn how to do these things effectively and then utilize these skills consistently.

WENDY: What is the second inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL: The second inner resiliency factor encompasses resistance skills, or developing self control. Resistance skills are all about our “won’t power.” For example, “I won’t eat that extra piece of dessert.” Resistance skills involve our ability to recognize and control our impulses. It is one thing to identify our impulses, but it is an entirely different matter to have the self control to resist our impulses. We all from time to time fall victim to our own impulses. It is important to become aware of what is and is not in our best interest and to then develop the self control, or courage, to stop ourselves from doing what runs counter to what is best for us. This is another place where accountability can be helpful.

WENDY: I can see how some people fall into destructive behavior during adversity, if they have not defined their values and goals and then developed self control to stay aligned with those values and goals (what is best for them). What is the third inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL: The third inner resiliency factor involves self definition. If you created a definition for yourself in the dictionary, what words and phrases would you utilize to define yourself? Would they tell the truth about you? Would they build you up? Would they gently and honestly remind you of where you can improve? To be resilient, we need to know the truth about our strengths and challenges, while being careful about how we define ourselves and how we allow others to define us. The key is to stay positive yet realistic. It takes awareness and courage. Keep in mind that how we define ourselves drives our thoughts, which drive our feelings, which then drive our behavior. So, if we define ourselves as incapable in a certain area, then our feelings may follow that self definition and we might play it out as true.

WENDY: I see how a person’s beliefs play a significant role when it comes to self definition. What is the fourth inner resiliency factor?

MICHAEL: The fourth inner resiliency factor is about healthy boundaries. It is good to have empathy for others and to show them we care, but only if we can do so without “taking on” their issues to the point of being drained. Many would call that sympathy. Your inner world stays more energized – and you are more resilient – when you take care of yourself and maintain healthy boundaries.

WENDY: Thank you, Michael, for educating us about the inner resiliency factors of 1) being purposeful 2) having resistance skills (self control) 3) having a healthy self-definition, and 3) maintaining healthy boundaries. In part three we will discuss outer resiliency.

During challenging times, as for some in our current economic situation, only resilient recruiting professionals will thrive. As sourcers, researchers and recruiters, we must assess and strengthen our resiliency on an ongoing basis in order to succeed during times of adversity. Our tools, technologies, gadgets and networks will not compensate for a lack of inner resiliency when the going gets tough. Whether we are seeking names of candidates, or picking up the phone to make a connection with them, our performance is directly impacted by our ability to bounce back quickly and come out of adversity stronger. How resilient are you? Are you purposeful in your work whether times are “up” or “down”? Do you get discouraged or lose focus during adversity? If so, obtain help and support in strengthening your resiliency skills.

In part three of this series, we will discuss outer resiliency.

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