5 Ways to Boost Your Resilience at Work

Rich Fernandez, Harvard Business Review

Updated GOAL Academy


Can you learn to be more resilient? Yes! In this Harvard Business Review article, author Rich Fernandez explores how the most resilient individuals and teams are the ones that fail, learn, and thrive, and reveals five tips for boosting your resilience.

What You’ll Learn

After completing the work on this page, you will be able to:

  • Know that resilience can be cultivated by anyone
  • Identify four factors that lead to resilience
  • Differentiate good stress (eudaemonic stress) from bad stress (distress)
  • Name five tips to develop your resilience

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Dig Deeper

After reading the article, reflect on the following questions.  Jot down your thoughts.  Consider sharing this article with a colleague or a work group for an insightful discussion.

  1. At work, how do you characterize your stress – – good or bad? At home? Elsewhere in your life? How can you move away from distress toward good stress?
  2. Rate yourself on the four factors that lead to resilience. Which of the four is highest for you? Which is lowest?
  3. For one week, try one of the five tips for improving resilience. Reflect on the results.

Still Hungry?

Here’s more to spark your thinking on this topic:

  1. Looking for a way to boost your resilience? Then check out the Forbes article “This Psychological Trick Will Help You Let Go of Anger and Resentment More Quickly.”
  2. Familiarize yourself with a few tactics to minimize the effects of rudeness in the workplace in the HBR article an “An Antidote to Incivility.”
  3. Check out several articles on the topics of resilience, burnout, stress, and endurance from HBR’s “Insight Center: Building Resilience.”
  4. Take the HBR Assessment: How Resilient Are You?

Write a Review

  1. For one week, I tried compartmentalizing my work and the detachment breaks from the five tips for improving resilience. The results were that I felt a surprising sense of wellbeing and somehow I also fest that I had a renewed perspective of the daily and big picture work processes.
    I have to say that it was the assignment of taking action on one (more by my choice) of the five tips for improving resilience that lead me to implement information that I had previously been made available to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this activity.

  2. I really enjoyed this article and found it extremely helpful. All five ideas are great. Three really resonated with me so I ended trying three of the five recommendations as further described below.

    Exercising Mindfulness: The recommendations for apps that promoted mindfulness were great, and I enjoyed trying out a couple of them and still use my favorite quite frequently.

    Compartmentalize Your Cognitive Load: I’m the first to acknowledge that I cannot multi-task and that any attempt to do so is silly. So, I have tried my best to follow my to-do list and not let ‘avoidable distractions’ force context switching. It does seem to help quite a bit!

    Take Detachment Breaks: This is very useful, but I find it difficult to do sometimes given the business of a rather relentless operation, but I keep trying and it does help.

    Overall, great article and great ideas to try out!


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