Finding Balance with Some Breathing Space

Is there anyone out there who would say that their life is free of complication and complexities, and that the accelerated pace of life in recent years is perfectly manageable? Working to help people find resilient strategies that will help address personal sustainability and bounce back, I find that the best way to confront complications and complexities is to meet it head on with simplicity.  It’s the small every day wins that collectively, over time, can make a big long-term difference to sustaining resilience.

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'Owning the No'

Standing in a room with a group of like-minded women; arms outstretched, ready to take on the world, a powerful scene is emerging. Big smiles can be seen around the room with an acknowledgement that with simple power poses, you can instantly regain control of your situation.  All that is needed now is an uncompromising ‘no’ to be proclaimed and there we have it, the chance to ‘own the no’ and start our resilience journey. But how can women successfully reach a resilient state with the constant pressures of everyday life knocking on the door? 

Delivering a bite-sized version of my Personal Resilience for Women session to a group at Standard Chartered Bank recently, we discussed what resilience means to female professionals today and what some of the biggest resilience challenges are.  One of the challenges identified by the group was the failure to keep emotion out of negative situations. For example, if a recent project is criticised then the tendency is to take it personally which can be very destructive for your frame of mind. Improving mental toughness so you can ‘roll with the punches’ and overcome what the world throws at you is a much needed skill.  But how do we achieve this?

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Expand your horizons with a career sponsor

The Resilience Formula is delighted to introduce our guest writer Danielle Ballardie, Head of Cash Markets & Deputy Head of Markets & Global Sales at Euronext. Thanks, in part, to her highly successful career in the financial sector, Danielle recognises the huge benefits gained by making the right connections at work, and how knocking on the right person’s door at the right time can be extremely advantageous to moving up the corporate ladder at a rewarding pace. In this piece Danielle talks of the virtues of acquiring a sponsor in the workplace.

What is a sponsor?

According to wikipedia “A sponsor is the individual or group that provides the support”.  In the context of a career sponsor it is about support and about being in a position to positively influence someone’s career.  Opportunity comes through self-belief and often what others think of you & your capabilities.  Having a sponsor can help you to find opportunities, take on new projects/roles, make good career moves and get paid more. 

How is it different to a mentor?

A mentor acts like a sounding board, listening to the challenges you are facing and providing advice from their own experience and knowledge to help you overcome obstacles and achieve more.  A sponsor also does that and is in a position to do much more.  Whether in your reporting line, senior management or outside your current company, the key is that they can influence the level of responsibility and opportunities available to you.  They have ‘got your back’ and can promote your credibility to others in all sorts of networks within and outside your current company.

Why is it important to have sponsorship?

“Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together” Paul Ryan

Going it alone will get you so far, but truly working with others, supporting others and helping one another to grow will lead to greater careers and lives.  Sponsors know that.  They benefit from your relationship often as much as you benefit from theirs.  They have the position, influence and desire to help you achieve your goals and grow in your career.  Research shows that people with sponsors can achieve more.*

How do you get one (or more)?

In my experience and what I hear from others typically is that getting a sponsor happens naturally, it’s an organic process as you build rapport and credibility with someone influential.  Unlike a mentor which is often explicitly agreed upon, a sponsor tends to form over time in an informal way.  That said, it’s worthwhile actively thinking about who does sponsor you and if you think someone could play that role, get to know them better, find out what they think of you and discuss career development and your ambitions with them.  That way you’ll find out their level of sponsorship for you and you can act upon that to build your credibility.  One sponsor is great, many is amazing.



Building Personal Resilience – Chris Gabbitas’s Story

Stress is something that we will all feel from time to time, but some events may cause one person huge amounts of stress where others are unaffected. Your stress may be the fear of failure like many business executives, students or sports professionals or it may be the intense pressure of looking after a loved one 24/7 that is wearing you down.

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