Resilience is a person’s ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges and bounce back from adversity. Your resiliency enables you to take risks and capitalize on opportunities. There’s a large body of work studying resilience and what fosters it and one of the most exciting findings is that having one key person in your life is an indicator for increased resilience.
What are the characteristics a resilient person?
Strength of character
I’m a fan of Grey’s Anatomy and I’ve often been curious about the Meredith Grey relationship with Christina Yang- her “person”. She and Christina define one another as one their go-to for the big questions, when they need a blatantly honest opinion. They have each other’s backs, they take turns lifting one another when they’re down and inspiring one another to do great things. I think Oprah and Gayle are a real life Meredith and Christina.
I’ve had mentors in my life I’ve had teachers in my life. I have a husband and a family and great parents but I don’t know that I’ve ever had a person.
I understand the value of this person and have consciously made effort for my children to ensure they have one by looking at their coaches and their teachers and making sure they have an adult outside of their parents they can go to who has a good head on their shoulders.
For educators knowing that having this person helps to foster resilience would suggest a model of peer mentoring as a strong identifier for social connection inside school. My daughter’s sorority does this with big sisters and little sisters basically giving every new member someone as their first friend.Questioners might suggest that scripting friendships isn’t realistic but I would advocate that teaching how to foster these friendships will help to create true and real friendships from scratch outside of the scripted situations and in fact I have watched this happen with my daughter.
In your career having a person can steer you through more sensitive professional dilemmas. Having a confidante in a trusted mentor opens the door for two-way conversations about big issues like the Weinstein fiasco that impact the touch barrier in the workplace or even how to deal with uncomfortable situations like the distracting “chatty Cathy” that comes by to gossip while you try to get things done.
I recently discovered the App Shapr whose idea is to make networking simple by introducing you to like-minded professionals that are nearby and are also interested in expanding their networks. My social feeds are filled with people talking about their tribe. Clearly we all need our people.
My goal is to keep attending meet-ups and conferences and yoga classes and school events with a mind that is open to finding my person.
If you have any great tips to share or stories about you and your person, please share them.