I, along with many of the other consultants at the SR Group, am delighted to be attending the Business Chicks Breakfast with Kathy Kelly event in September.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kathy, she is a motivational speaker and founder of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation. Her story is heart-wrenching and astonishing – I would encourage all of you to read and watch here.
We all face difficult, painful situations in our lives, professionally and personally. Resilience is the term to describe the psychological strength an individual has which allows them to overcome and grow from crises and challenging situations which cause us to suffer. Resilience is not about struggling alone, it is about the use and mobilisation of ordinary human processes – including positive emotions, trusted social support, optimism, and the use of our own authentic strengths to remain positive and successful when faced with adversity.
Arguably it’s likely none of us have been through anything remotely close to the devastation and challenges faced by Kathy and her family, which makes her journey all the more inspiring. If she can take a catastrophic event and build something positive from it, surely we can all use this as a lesson for ourselves.
Resilience in the workplace is a topic explored by occupational health professionals, business leaders, psychiatrists and psychologists worldwide, and is undoubtedly a powerful, if not the most powerful, tool for human happiness and satisfaction. This isn’t just speculation and is backed up by several studies; I found the most comprehensive of these was Youssef & Luthan’s study on Positive Organizational Behaviour in the Workplace (to have a read, click here). This study has been quoted countless times since it was written in 2007, and concludes that an employee’s level of resilience correlates positively to positive organizational behaviours; which include job satisfaction, work happiness and organizational commitment.
Listening to Kathy’s story, reading the material available on her website, and putting it into context in a professional environment, has given me a deeper understanding of how invaluable a high level of resilience is in the workplace. Resilient employees cope well with ambiguity, treat setbacks as improvement opportunities and develop meaningful, lasting connections with colleagues and stakeholders. Like Kathy, they have the power to build something positive, inspire others, and ultimately come out successful despite all the odds being stacked against them.
I am really excited about the breakfast event where Kathy is kindly and bravely sharing her story about resilience in the face of adversity; and how she has built a successful foundation which has made a huge impact on improving the safety and wellbeing of young people across Australia.