Is your resilience just an aspect of your personality that you need to accept?
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
If you have ever worked for a large organisation, at some point you have probably been labelled up by your management as a particular colour or combination of letters. Personally, I've been branded a Red, a High D or an INTJ, depending on the flavour of personality psychometric in vogue with my employer at the time.
Tools such as DISC, Insights and MBTI have become part of the standard toolkit for teambuilding and employee development and it is easy to see why.
Programs based on personality psychometrics bring considerable benefits to team cohesion, helping participants better understand both themselves and the varied communication and working styles of their colleagues.
As Employee Wellbeing becomes ever more topical, there is huge interest in harnessing the power of psychometric testing to build resilience in people, teams and organisations.
So, how similar are resilience psychometrics to the personality assessments that we all know so well?
To answer this, imagine that you were classified as a Red by the Insights psychometric and your colleague was more of a Yellow.
You could certainly improve communication with your Yellow colleague using insights from your psychometric personality profiles. However, it would not be realistic (or healthy!) to set yourself a goal like “I’m going to become more Yellow the next time I’m assessed!”
This is because personality psychometrics measure personality traits that remain relatively stable over time. Their value is in helping you better interact with others, rather than to directly identify strengths or weaknesses that can then be coached and developed.
In contrast, resilience psychometrics such as the Resilience Quotient Index (RQi) do not measure stable personality traits. Instead, they measure behaviours, beliefs, attitudes and environmental factors that are all within your influence in a way that your personality is not.
There are two good news stories here.
Good News Story 1
Your resilience to stress is not just a facet of your personality that you need to accept.
Indeed, the American Psychological Association state that “resilience involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone”.
Good News Story 2
The elements that contribute to your resilience are incredibly diverse.
In coaching our clients to develop their resilience, we explore their sense of purpose and fulfilment, their sense of optimism and self-compassion, their social support networks, the strategies they use to manage emotions under pressure, how they tackle problems, how they plan, their values and perceived strengths, the impact of exercise, environment, physical practices….
The list goes on and on!
The key point here is that anybody, even the most stress resilient of us, will have opportunities to develop this most crucial skill.
Want to explore how a resilience psychometric could help build your resilience or that of your organisation?
Get in touch to find out more.