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Building Resilience in Times of Change

5 minute read

Stavy Papasotiriou, Organisational Psychologist and founder of Work Unlocked says the only constant is change. Whether spurred by technological advancements, market shifts, or organisational restructuring, the ability to adapt and thrive amidst uncertainty is paramount. So, why is there a need for resilience? 

Well this is where resilience, the capacity to bounce back from setbacks, challenges, and stressors, becomes invaluable. Let's delve into understanding resilience and explore key strategies for fostering it. 

Understanding resilience 

Resilience is the cornerstone of personal and organisational success in the face of change. It's about more than just bouncing back; it's about bouncing forward, using adversity as a springboard for growth and innovation. At its essence, resilience involves cultivating inner strength, optimism, and adaptability to navigate turbulent waters and emerge stronger on the other side. 


Resilience encompasses a range of psychological factors that enable individuals to thrive in challenging circumstances. These include: 

1. Emotional Regulation: The ability to recognise and manage emotions effectively, even in stressful situations, is crucial for resilience. By developing emotional intelligence skills, individuals can regulate their responses to adversity, maintain a positive outlook, and navigate challenges with composure. 

2. Cognitive Flexibility: Resilient individuals possess the capacity to adapt their thinking and problem-solving approaches in response to changing circumstances. Cognitive flexibility allows individuals to consider alternative perspectives, generate creative solutions, and find opportunities for growth amidst uncertainty.

3. Social Support: Strong social connections act as a protective factor against stress and adversity, bolstering resilience in times of change. Building a supportive network of colleagues, friends, and mentors provides individuals with a sense of belonging, validation, and encouragement during challenging times. 

4. Purpose and Meaning: Having a sense of purpose and meaning in life fosters resilience by providing individuals with a guiding light during difficult times. By aligning their goals and actions with their core values and aspirations, individuals can find strength and motivation to persevere in the face of adversity. 


1. Cultivate a Growth Mindset: Embrace challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Adopting a growth mindset, as proposed by psychologist Carol Dweck, allows individuals to view setbacks as temporary setbacks rather than insurmountable obstacles.

2. Develop Coping Strategies: Equip yourself with effective coping mechanisms to manage stress and adversity. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and cognitive reframing can help regulate emotions and promote psychological well-being.  

3. Foster Social Connections: Cultivate strong relationships and support networks both inside and outside the workplace. Invest time and effort in nurturing meaningful connections with colleagues, friends, and mentors who can provide emotional support and encouragement during challenging times. 

4. Promote Flexibility and Adaptability: Embrace change with an open mind and a flexible attitude. Recognize that change is inevitable and that resistance only leads to increased stress and frustration. Encourage yourself and your team to approach change with curiosity and adaptability, exploring new possibilities and embracing new opportunities for growth and innovation. 

Cultivate a culture of resilience 

By implementing these strategies and nurturing the key components of resilience, individuals and organisations can cultivate a culture of resilience, enabling them to thrive in the face of change and uncertainty. Remember, resilience is not about avoiding challenges; it's about embracing them head-on and emerging stronger and more resilient on the other side. 

By Stavy Papasotiriou, Organisational Psychologist and founder of Work Unlocked

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