Resilience & Fear

How do we build resilience in the face of fear?

Being present also makes you more resilient...

When leadership teams navigate change, complexity and stress, they need a practice to build resilience. Hosting intentional reflective practices focused on trust also builds resilience, so teams can bounce back stronger, together.

A recent 2020 study on resilience in the workplace linked resilience directly to trust. The study defined resilience as the capacity to bend in the face of the challenges of life and bounce back stronger.

What about the fear that goes along with facing challenges?

The drowning and swirling feeling that fear can cause, may disrupt our presence of mind, and also our resilience. So, it is critically important to consider Taryn Marie Stejskal's concept of the Adversity Quotient, in resilient leadership.

How can we be resilient in fear, and build our adversity quotient?

It sounds simple to not give into fear when the adversity hits, but the practice required in our own inner-work to stay calm and present is challenging. The trick is to be present in those situations, rather than enraptured by fear. It's not about eliminating fear, but instead learning to fear less. What is the practice to have resilience when adversity hits?

Resilience is a practice you can build. Taryn Marie Stejskal gives us the following 5 practices based on her research.

The 5 practices of resilient people:

  1. Vulnerability - when the inside-self matches the outside-self. Brene Brown defines vulnerability well (see right sidebar) and connects it to courage.

  2. Productive Perseverance - the intelligent pursuit of a goal, discerning when to maintain the mission and be gritty, and when we need to pivot.

  3. Connection - the human connection between ourselves and others.

  4. "Grati-osity" - finding gratitude while in our challenges, and the generosity to share those lessons.

  5. Possibility - the ability to calm ourselves enough to see the current opportunity.

In Holon Leadership's work, we create experiences to cultivate the practices of resilient teams and people. To do this, we often dive into several key activities: 1) articulating the team's "noble purpose", 2) exploring how to "operationalize" trust and vulnerability, 3) learning what it means to embrace fear and discomfort, and 4) discovering methods to navigate adversity and complexity.

Leaders and teams need resilience, especially during the most daunting times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosting intentional, reflective practice focused on trust builds this resilience, so teams can bounce back stronger, together.


Let's have a conversation about building resilience in your leadership and your team.