Kate Rees teaches people how to cope. Rees calls it resilience coaching. She also teaches people how learning to cope improves their careers. She came to D&AD to show people how resilience can improve creativity. It’s very enlightening. You might even see yourself in her story.
Here it is.
Resilience is about successfully adapting to change. It’s the difference between being a sapling swaying in the breeze and a tree that gets knocked over in a storm. It’s about going with it, trying to work out how to embrace changes rather than seeing them as too difficult.
Because change is challenging for most people.
If it was easy people would be doing it all the time, businesses would be doing it all the time. We don’t. And change can cause stress. If you find yourself with new challenges your fight or flight instinct kicks in. If that’s firing up all the time, it stops you from being creative. It stops you from feeling empathetic towards people and it can stop rational thought as well. Fight or flight is very emotional. It puts surviving first.
Resilience is about working out how to support your reaction to stress and how that helps you deal with things more successfully. The first way is to open up your perspective. When people feel stressed they usually close in, only seeing what’s threatening and in front of them. It’s hard to see what else is going on. It’s hard to think outside the square. Hard to solve problems creatively. Hard to see the trees for the forest. It can stop the way you interact with people too. The more resilient you are, the wider your perspective and from a creative point of view you can see all the solutions and work with people better.
The other side of resilience is asking for help, accepting that no one can possibly know everything, and that in order to learn you need to earn from other people. By asking for help. It’s a vulnerable thing to do but a big way of supporting resilience. We’re not superheroes.
Lastly, resilience is also about being present, being present in the moment and having time to think. No thinking, no problem solving…or no problem solving that’s worth its salt. By asking for help you can create that space.
Asking for help also enables others. When you hold onto everything you’re not actually supporting other people to learn and grow. A manager who holds onto everything doesn’t allow other people to benefit from learning how to do the things that he or she does really well.
Of course, those who couldn’t get to D&AD, didn’t get to participate in Rees’ presentation. For those in the UK, here’s her website.