Skills for Sustainability: Workshop 3 – Personal Resilience

In early March Net Impact Bristol held another fantastic workshop in it’s Skills of Sustainability series.

Annabelle Foot gave an insightful, informative workshop on personal resilience, what it means, how to know if you’ve got it and how to build it to help you as an individual to be more sustainable. It was clear that everyone went away empowered to improve their own resilience.


See Annabelle’s Slideshare notes for all the details.

After nibbles and drinks the workshop at Hamilton House got started by watching a short clip that highlighted the different approaches individuals take to dealing with a confrontational situation.

These are some top tips on addressing personal resilience that the Net Impact Bristol team picked up from the workshop:

  1. It’s about NOT getting to the point of being out of control
  2. It’s about choosing how you behave
  3. It’s about emotional intelligence and the mood you create around you
  4. Focus on the ‘F’ word – FEELING– how are you feeling? And no you can’t use the trusted British response of ‘I’m fine’ if you really want to develop your personal resilience! ‘Fine’ is not a feeling (take a look at the feeling wheel below for ideas)
  5. No-one can make you feel something
  6. Identify your feeling (s), assess them (why am I feeling this way?) and then control them (to protect yourself or change the situation)
  7. Busy-ness has become normalised but it is not sustainable as it constantly calls on our flight and fight responses which deplete our internal resources
  8. Appreciating your successes is important to cultivate the ‘green mindset’ (see Annabelle’s slides on Slideshare for more details on red and green mindsets)
  9. Let go of mistakes, don’t seek perfection and give but expect nothing in return if you want to have a greener mindset
  10. Know your strengths and what you are good at and bring this to everything you do
  11. Disconnect from repetitive thoughts, shut them down, walk away and move on
  12. Be prepared to say ‘no’ and understand that others are doing what is best for them if they say no to you!
  13. Being able to move easily between the ‘performance zone’ and ‘renewal zone’ of the Energy Zones (see slides) is key to sustainable effectiveness.


The Mindset Toolkit

Climate – your attitude towards yourself and others influences every interaction (can your own behaviour be calming in challenging situations?).

Openess – be open with:

a. Yourself  – about how you really feel, awareness of your wants, feelings, concerns, physical reactions (such as going red, tensing shoulders, rumbling tummy) can help you identify how you are really feeling in a situation.

b. Others – this increases trust through sharing thoughts, feelings and perceptions of a situation (i.e. your version of the truth and what is going on for you) but appreciate that people interpret things in different ways and watch for your intention of sharing your views, is it to understand or make others feel guilty?

Choice – you are in control of how you feel and you have options and choices in the ways that you react.

At the end of the workshop Annabelle left us with a lovely quote to ponder, attributed to Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”




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