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Spotlight on resilience

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Spotlight on resilience

  1. 1. RESILIENCE SPOTLIGHT ON: Lucinda May
  2. 2. The Library is a challenging workplace Library roles require significant effort, attention, ingenuity and skill Library staff deal with complex situations, make difficult decisions and cope with change
  3. 3. RESILIENCEBE OBJECTIVE ADAPT BOUNCE BACK DON’T GIVE UP “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill “All failure is failure to adapt. All success is successful adaptation.” Max McKeown “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison Developing personal resilience is important to work effectively in a demanding, changing environment
  4. 4. The Library’s Leadership Development Network (LDN) took part in a workshop on personal resilience in July 2015. The Staff Learning and Development Unit offers a course on Personal Resilience. BUILDING PERSONAL RESILIENCE
  5. 5. For this Spotlight piece, members of the Library’s Senior Leadership Team have reflected on challenging situations encountered at work, and how these have helped them to develop their skills of personal resilience.
  6. 6. EXPERIENCEREFLECTING ON RESILIENCE A major challenge in my career has been taking on something that I don’t feel expert in! I’ve had to do this quite a lot and always end up looking back on the experience wondering what I was worrying about. I find it’s important to be open about what you don’t know and to call upon others for help in forming your views in the early stages. A network of trusted people is really important – and not just peers – I benefit from the expert or front line knowledge of so many of my team on a daily basis to help me shape my views. KATY WOOLFENDEN Head of Teaching, Learning and Students
  7. 7. EXPERIENCEREFLECTING ON RESILIENCE Another challenging aspect of work is tricky HR issues. As a senior manager you can’t avoid theseand they are always difficult to deal with because every one is unique, and they often involve people’s feelings and their futures. A tip I picked up years ago was to frame every issue in the most objective terms possible – look at the bigger picture. So for example, in a potential disciplinary case, I spend time focusing on how the individual’s behaviour affects other people, the team and the organisation more generally – what would be the impact of doing nothing? That’s not to say that you don’t still take the individual’s perspective and the “softer stuff” into account, but going through that process really helps me to see things from the perspective of “the greater good” and to limit the emotional impact these cases can sometimes have on you. Whatever the outcome, feeling I have been fair to the organisation, the team and the individual in making an HR decision, is all important. KATY WOOLFENDEN Head of Teaching, Learning and Students
  8. 8. EXPERIENCEREFLECTING ON RESILIENCE The Alma project was a great challenge for many people in the Library and it certainly required me to be resilient to deal with the challenges of being the project lead. What helped me deal with this was being honest and open with colleagues about the issues we were facing and working together across teams to find solutions. I found this approach improved relationships and built trust with other teams through sharing the problem, while supporting each other when things got tough. LORRAINE BEARD Head of Digital Technologies and Services
  9. 9. EXPERIENCEREFLECTING ON RESILIENCE As a trainee accountant, I was asked to take charge of a Finance department at Rolls Royce after the Management Accountant left suddenly. Although I wasn’t qualified and had less than 6 months experience I said I could cope with the role, but it didn’t take long before I found myself out of my depth, working long hours and feeling very isolated. It all came to a head one day when I somehow ‘lost’ £8.5Million of income from the accounts. I remember crying for a very long time in the Ladies (I don’t cry very often so it must have been bad!) before I had a long talk with myself and decided on a plan of action… CAROLINE RICHES Head of Finance and Planning
  10. 10. EXPERIENCEREFLECTING ON RESILIENCE I went straight to the Director of the department, explained what had happened and that I wasn’t really coping. He was very understanding and more concerned that I hadn’t spoken up before. Everything got sorted out: the £8.5Million was found, I worked with a colleague to understand my priorities and was encouraged to speak up when things weren’t going right and to ask lots of questions if I didn’t understand. To be honest this advice has stayed with me ever since and I think back to that day when sometimes everything feels as though it is out of control. CAROLINE RICHES Head of Finance and Planning
  11. 11. TOP TIPSFOR BUILDING RESILIENCE LET OFF STEAM PLAN AND MEASURE “Letting off steam in a controlled way outside of work helps me stay resilient. I find that a good boot-camp session or a long run often helps me to relieve the tensions of the day!” Katy “I plan my work daily, weekly and monthly, setting time aside in my diary to complete tasks – there are a lot of lists in my life! I set myself two objectives at the start of the day (this is for both work and home life) so that large tasks are ‘chipped’ away at, and don’t overwhelm me.” Caroline “Having a balanced life really matters to me and enables me to perform at my best while at work. Outside work I try to maintain an active lifestyle through the gym, yoga as well as walking my dog, Dylan.” Lorraine
  12. 12. TOP TIPSFOR BUILDING RESILIENCE MOTIVATE YOURSELF SUPPORT NETWORK “I have quite a few cheesy postcards on my wall which help to keep me in check when I have a wobble on the journey - ‘Trust yourself you know more than you think you do,’ ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,’ etc. (Told you they were cheesy!)” Katy “Seek out colleagues, friends and family who can help you gain a different perspective on difficult situations. Also be prepared to do the same when others need you.” Lorraine “If I am struggling with my work load I will raise it with my manager so we can discuss a way forward.” Caroline
  13. 13. TOP TIPSFOR BUILDING RESILIENCE GAIN PERSPECTIVE SWITCH OFF “I like to talk to others about what I am working on so as to get another perspective or just as a sounding board, especially with difficult situations or challenging decisions.” Caroline “I try to see the positive side of situations, and work with people to find solutions that work for both sides. Being able to see the funny side is also very important to me, never take yourself too seriously!” Lorraine “I use my journey home to clear my head of work things (by listening to music or reading) and to start thinking about my home life so that I don’t take work home with me. I draw a very distinct line between home and work and when I do work in the evenings it is never when my children are awake, or around, as I want to be Mum when they need me.” Caroline

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