The latest episode in our Resilience Unravelled series has now been released, Resilience Unravelled –Building resilience to beat burnout
In this episode, Dr. Russell Thackeray talks to Eileen McDargh who is based in Southern California. Eileen has had her own consultancy for over 40 years and works with global pharmaceutical companies, the US Armed Forces, hospital administrators and school districts. Her focus is on communication, how it can transform organisations and people, and how leaders communicate with their staff and stakeholders.
Eileen became interested in resilience when 9/11 hit. For most people in the US, this was the biggest thing they experienced in modern times. She started thinking about what it was that allowed people to be resilient. Around this time she also took over the care of her mother for six years. This taught her a lot about what to do not only to care for her mother, but also her own family.
She eventually came to the realisation that resilience, whether its organisational or personal, is about energy management. We need to have the mental, emotional and physical energy to keep on keeping on. Eileen believes that the ‘bounce back’ dictionary definition of resilience isn’t correct. As humans, we don’t go back, we change through the events and the incidents that happen to us. We grow through challenge or opportunity to become better smarter, wiser and kinder. Resilience is about growth. It’s a life skill that we need to build. In the same way we cultivate a garden we should cultivate resilience. It needs to be grown over time. It can take a long time and is never ending.
Eileen feels there are four skills for resilience:
Adaptability – the ability and willingness to find multiple ways to respond to a situation, event or person
Agility – the way to blend speed with wisdom so it becomes a measured action
Laughability – how to use laughter to give perspective and restore energy
Alignment – the need to be lined up with a purpose bigger than you because without meaning or reason, energy and resiliency diminishes.
Eileen is also interested in the link between resilience and burnout and has a new book coming out on August 4th called ‘Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters’. This was driven by her work with her clients over the last two or three years. Many of them were bringing up the subject of burnout and then in 2019, The World Health Organisation recognised burnout as a legitimate workplace medical diagnosis.
Burnout doesn’t just come from continuous pressure or overworking. It can develop just as easily from by being bored, doing unchallenging, work and feeling unrewarded. Eileen feels that our work needs to feed the spirit so we should try to find work we really love to do, not just what we can do – just because we’re good at something, it doesn’t mean it’s what we should be doing!
You can get in touch with Eileen through:
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