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Guide to Resilience Coaching and How to Find a Resilience Coach

Updated: Mar 30


A resilience coach and coachee sat next to each other as coach demonstrates something on a laptop

What is resilience, and why is it so important?


Before we get to resilience coaching, perhaps it would be in order to first understand what resilience is about.


It’s a fact of life that everyone experiences adversity at one point or the other. Life’s challenges run the gamut, from the personal (losing your job, divorce or separation, illness, death of a loved one or financial struggles, for example) to the professional. Professional challenges include workplace conflict, overwhelming workloads, lack of workplace belonging, poor leadership, a negative work culture and more.


These aside, there are also collective challenges we face – natural disasters, war and geographic conflicts, global pandemics etc.


In short, challenges are part and parcel of life, no matter your location or station in life. It’s incumbent upon us, then, to teach ourselves how to deal with obstacles for when we encounter them. One of the best ways to do that is to cultivate resilience, and that’s where resilience coaching – or resilience training – comes in handy.


Understanding resilience


First things first, resilience, by definition, is the mental and emotional fortitude to withstand setbacks and bounce back from challenges, in whatever form they present themselves.


Some call it grit, others mental toughness; and while that’s one component of it, resilience entails more than just recovering from setbacks. It’s also about adapting to difficult situations or obstacles, and beyond that, thriving from adversity.


I like to call it the irrepressible mind.


The best thing about resilience is that, as a skill, it is something anyone can cultivate. You might consider yourself too fragile to withstand some of the curve balls that life may throw your way. The truth is, though, being resilient does not mean you are mentally bulletproof and cannot experience emotional pain or distress, disappointment, fear, sadness, hopelessness or any of those negative emotions associated with adversity or misfortune.


It is human to experience negative emotions, and it is okay to. Being resilient, however, means not wallowing in misfortune or failure or negativity but rather, dusting yourself off and going again. And again. It is a useful skill to have, and oftentimes, one of the swaying factors between succeeding in a certain personal or professional pursuit or endeavour, or not.


A resilience coach can help you build resilience, which you can then work on and nurture over time.


What is resilience coaching, and what does a resilience coach do?


Resilience coaching is a form of training offered by a professional coach to help you navigate challenges with grit and grace. It is worth highlighting that the actual process of developing resilience begins and happens from within: the resilience coach is only there to equip you with the necessary tools you need to awaken that ability.


A resilience coach acts as a guide to help you instil a resilient mindset. They will walk you through everything you need to know about approaching problems, challenges or obstacles. They will train you on how to respond to tough situations and how to adjust to them.


A good resilience coach will also demonstrate how to turn the proverbial lemons into lemonade, so that you can learn how to flip the script and use the momentum to achieve your goals.


A resilience coach is not a miracle worker that promises to show you how to make your problems go away. Rather, they are professionals who impart practical insights through their coaching sessions to help individuals develop an irrepressible mindset and skills.


They provide guidance and support on how to address specific issues or accomplish certain goals, while acting as trusted partners at the same time.


Who can benefit from resilience training?


Many people can benefit from resilience training considering challenges and obstacles lurk everywhere, be it at a personal level or professional space.


• Resilience training for individuals


Individuals facing personal challenges or looking to overcome adversity could find resilience training highly beneficial.


Personal life challenges are a dime a dozen – family issues, trauma, financial struggles, investment losses, lack of direction, failed goals, rejection and relationship problems, you name it.


Building personal resilience empowers individuals to weather challenges and navigate life’s demands more effectively. A resilient mindset copes with stress and difficult situations better as well, and finds it easier to rebound from setbacks and keep pushing.


However, individual resilience training is more than just equipping individuals with coping skills. It’s also about finding practical solutions. Resilience training teaches you to be more solution-oriented and forward-looking (if not optimistic), even when it’s difficult to find a silver lining.


As such, resilient individuals are more motivated and tend to generally enjoy a higher sense of fulfilment in life. They embrace change and growth (even amidst adversity) and have a higher likelihood of accomplishing their goals and purpose. That’s because they strive to improve themselves and are more persistent in the pursuit of their goals, never throwing in the towel easily.


This applies to individuals across the board – in school, sports, business, career or other endeavour.


Resilience coaching can imbue that mindset in you, and a personal resilience coach – also known as a resilience life coach – is best placed to coach individuals for resilience.


• Resilience training for professionals


Professionals, from employees to top leadership, are another entity that will find resilience training beneficial, more so at a time when change, disruption and work-related stress has become the order of the day.


Everyone including employees, managers, senior executives and entrepreneurs experiences everyday challenges. These range from the regular (like heavy workloads, long hours, demanding schedules, lack of support or motivation issues), to more serious challenges like workplace conflict, job security, lack of growth, bullying or toxic work environments, business failure, funding issues and more.


Leaders also have to contend with challenges like employee morale, employee retention, issues with productivity, poor organisational culture and other unique leadership challenges.


Resilience training equips professionals with the necessary tools and techniques to help them deal with challenges and disruption more effectively, whether those challenges are unique to individuals, a company or industry. A resilience executive coach can help organisations and their people develop resilience skills, and help breathe new life into the company culture.


Research has shown that resilience coaching helps employees develop mental fortitude, coping skills and adaptability, which in turn breeds many positive benefits, including enhanced performance and well-being.


Finding a resilience coach: Things to consider before hiring resilience coach


An irrepressible mindset has become a necessary skill to have for both individuals and organisations if you are to thrive in an increasingly dynamic world and business environment.


As mentioned, resilience is more than just developing coping skills to help you bounce back from adversity and manage challenges. It’s also about cultivating a winning mindset to help you succeed and find solutions even when the circumstances do not look promising. A resilience coach can come in very handy in this regard.


Whether you are an individual or organisation, resilience training can make a big difference in your success journey. But in order to do so, it is important that you find the right coach.


Here are some key factors to keep in mind when searching for a resilience coach:


1. Specialty and background

The world of business coaches is wide and vast, so the first thing you should factor in when hiring an executive resilience coach is to check whether the coach specialises in resilience training or coaching. Next, confirm their professional qualifications – are they certified? By whom? It is worth adding, though, that certifications alone do not a great coach make. The best resilience coaches are individuals who have been there and seen it; someone with a story to tell. A story that they can weave into their coaching sessions to fit your context. Not only are coaches that have applied resilience in their real life better placed to teach others about resilience, but their stories carry more weight and tend to resonate better with audiences.

2. Experience with your industry or niche

Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of coaches based on specialty and background, another evaluation criterion to consider is experience. Experience in this context refers to a history of working with similar audiences. For example, if you’re a company looking to bring in a business coach that specialises in resilience, you should restrict your search to the executive resilience category – that is, executive resilience coaches who have worked with professionals in the past. If you want, you can filter down your search further and look for resilience executive coaches who have coached in your niche or industry – healthcare, banking, hospitality, schools or universities, non-profits, government; whatever that is.

3. Coaching style

Each coach is different in their approach. When finding a resilience coach, make sure you understand their style and methodology. As much as coaches have a defined approach they employ in their programs and coaching sessions, ideally, the right candidate should be able to tailor their methods to your goals or unique needs. That aside, make sure you’re privy to the coach’s methods before hiring. The best trainers will employ proven techniques and practices that have been effective in helping others build resilience. You can enquire about this directly from them, but previous testimonials too will come handy in this regard.

4. Compatibility

An often-understated factor, compatibility or rapport is something else to consider when hiring a resilience coach. However, this might carry more weight in the case of: a). personal resilience coaching, and b). instances where you’re looking for a 1-to-1 executive coach For group coaching, not so much, although it’s worth considering. Rapport aside, what you cannot take for granted is trust. A good coaching relationship is one that establishes an element of trust and allows you to open up in a safe and supportive environment.

5. Costs

When choosing a resilience coach, you should also consider the costs involved. Different coaches will offer different fees, so having a budget to begin with does help when it comes down to evaluating different options. That aside, you should also factor in other costs like logistics. How do you plan to have the coaching sessions conducted – virtually or in person? Resilience training online works best for individual coaching sessions since the costs of bringing in a coach for physical classes may be difficult to justify – unless it’s an executive coach and the company is catering for the costs or you have insurance offsetting some of the costs. Virtual or online resilience training also makes sense if you or your coach of choice are not within the same locale. Actually, that’s the beauty of online resilience training: you are at liberty to pick a coach from anywhere in the world, subject to their availability. Face to face resilience coaching suits groups or teams better, or individuals who prefer more up-close encounters. In the case of the latter, though, you might want to restrict your search to “individual resilience training near me” to keep your costs lower.

6. Testimonials

Lastly, before hiring a resilience coach, browse through testimonials from their previous clients to garner more insights about the coach. You can also go one further and ask for references from the coach and talk to previous clients to get their side of the story with regard to their experience working with the said coach.

Conclusion


If you are an individual on the journey to self-improvement, a resilience coach can be an invaluable addition to your personal development or career growth.


As you work with them, you will gradually notice your growing ability to cope with challenges, whether in life or work-related. That's because resilience provides deeper reserves to tap from in times of difficulty. You will pick up valuable skills in the process, putting you in a position where you can confront everyday obstacles with grace and composure.


More than that, resilience training is likely to lead to more success. Research has shown that in instances of serious personal hardship, more than 50% of individuals who master adversity do not just bounce back: they grow and flourish as a result of it.


Similarly, organisations stand to benefit immensely by entrenching resilience in their cultural fabric. Prioritising employee resilience, from the ground up, can bring serious ROI.


A landmark study by the World Health Organisation, for example, showed the need for employers to address employee resilience, with organisational mental health programs boasting potential returns of 4:1 (four dollars for each dollar invested).


Another study by Columbia University showed that companies that engage in online resilience training enjoy, among others:



As an experienced resilience coach that has undertaken hundreds of coaching sessions, I have witnessed first-hand the incredible impact my resilience sessions have had on individuals and companies alike through the years.


If there was one skill I would recommend to work on that would have a monumental impact on self (and organisations) it would be an irrepressible mind.


It’s a chief ingredient in every success and growth story, and I, personally, are testament to that.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why is resilience important?

Resilience is important because it’s one of those qualities that have a direct bearing on the quality of your life. It’s the skill you rely on to process and overcome setbacks, so the lack of it can make you feel overwhelmed.


People who lack resilience cave in under pressure easily, while others resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Resilient individuals, for their part, draw upon their mental and emotional reserves – coupled with support systems – to ride through challenges and find solutions.

Is resilience teachable?

Can resilience coaching help with anxiety and depression?


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