External factors, such as unclear situations, increasing requirements or rapid changes, can cause us to feel under greater pressure. Sometimes, we put ourselves under pressure: we expect too much of ourselves, don’t give ourselves enough time to relax or we lead an unhealthy lifestyle.
We can actively manage some stress factors. Others are difficult or impossible for us to influence. In these cases, all we can do is learn to deal with them as best we can. This is precisely the focus of our internal resilience initiative, which we started this year with workshops for employees and managers. The aim is for participants to learn how to withstand increasing stress so that it is not harmful to them. After all, it is not only the individual who is affected but stress also can take hold of an entire organisation.
How the Mibelle Group developed its resilience
A few years ago, we noticed at the Mibelle Group that there was a higher number of sick days and we asked ourselves the question: is work making us ill? And who is responsible for this? This was the starting point for our exploration of resilience. When developing our internal resilience programme with external specialists, it became clear that we are all individually responsible for our own resilience, even though the company provides the framework. Two images have stuck in my mind: the energy barrel and the milking stool.
How do I fill my energy barrel?
The strength we have to deal with challenging situations comes from an invisible energy barrel. For a while, we can live from the energy stored in the barrel. Over time, the barrel empties and has to be re-filled. If we don’t do this, we run out of energy and can no longer perform our work.
We discussed possible ways of filling the energy barrel. There are as many different sources for filling our energy barrel as there are different types of people. Family, good friends, a meaningful leisure activity, healthy eating and sufficient relaxation and sleep were mentioned frequently.
The four-legged milking stool
The other image related to the difference between a milking stool with one leg and one with four legs. Although a one-legged milking stool might be more comfortable, there’s a risk of literally landing in the mire if one leg breaks. This image shows how dangerous it is to stake everything on one card in life. In the long-term, work alone is not enough. Every job has its difficulties or crises. If, during difficult periods, there is no other source of stability, life can quickly become unbalanced.
Seen in these terms, a milking stool with four legs has clear advantages. If one leg breaks, you can still sit stably on three legs. So, in life, it’s important to find, maintain and strengthen the legs that provide support and stability during turbulent times.
In order to meet the challenges of the next few years, we would be well advised to take a seat on the four-legged milking stool and to continue to refill our energy barrel because we are going to need a lot of energy in the future.