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Resilience is not built by pushing through as a Scrum Master or a leader. Here is why, how to build it in 5 steps (the non-obvious) and how Mark Aurelius can help.
👀 What is resilience?
“The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” — Oxfrod dictionary. As Scrum Masters, we experience a lot of pushback and tension. It can be a lot. One needs to work on responding to the above to get better at it.
😣 Why not push through?
You have limited stamina
Pushing through instead of introspection neglects your boundaries and mental health
It’s a misconception to connect it with strength and glorify
Yes, sometimes it might work or be needed, but it’s not sustainable.
🏗 How to build it?
1/ Understand your reactions and work through your sh*it.
Knowing how and why you react (what is behind the impulse) enables you to start managing it, and choose a different response. It’s also an excellent segue to more profound coaching or therapy work.
2/ Distill the situation.
Mark Aurelius had the skill to strip a situation from opinions focusing only on the facts. Allegedly, he went so far as to describe sex as the “rubbing of organs”. Ask yourself: what really happened? What is a fact, and what is an opinion in this situation?
This provides a frame for the mind to detach from adding unnecessary data. Example:
This meeting was terrible. => We extended the meeting by 20 minutes, and I did not say anything.
I don’t like his attitude => Tom said XYZ; he did not ask for my opinion
3/ Learn about your personality type & respect it.
Your personality is a direct derivative of your nervous system. Nervous system has two traits (among many):
how fast do you process stimuli
how many stimuli do you need
In general, more extroverted people process faster and need more stimuli; more introverted people do the other way around. Each person is a mix, so it’s not that simple. Note how you react in different situations and what you need to re-balance.
You might go for personality tests, yet those are flawed, and your responses will change over time as you evolve and get to know yourself better, do therapy etc. It might be a good start, yet treat them with a pinch of salt. Follow Jan Strelau’s work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Strelau
Respect your nervous system’s limitations.🚨 That is a game changer. You can bend your nervous system to some extent, but there is a tipping point after which you will do more damage to yourself. In practice respect:
you might need to clear your calendar after leading 2-day workshops
that a whole day of leading 1–2–1 sessions might be too much
the max you can give on this next call is just listening
you may need some more time to think through an idea and don’t need to respond right away on a meeting
that your charisma is different than others
4/ Learn how to regenerate.
When you get to know your nervous system more, you will be able to find a more suiting way to regenerate. There are many essays on how to do it after work. I encourage you to learn how to regenerate AT WORK — more in my essay 👉🏼 https://medium.com/agile-change/how-to-regenerate-at-work-not-after-5be94f79d5f1
5/ Have people who share your profession and context.
Simple as that. Having people who understand the craft, ups and downs and know the context can help vent, show understanding or provide a valuable perspective. Being the only one in your role can be pretty lonely.
🥱The obvious building blocks (still essential but commonly known): knowledge, experience, patience, perseverance, experimenting, failing fast, building a network of early adopters etc.