Importance, Resilience and Management

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    As regular readers know, each week we drop a video to help you be more productive in work and life, a future of work insight, and share our favorite new thing. Our goal is to be the most useful newsletter you read each week, so if we meet that goal please let us know, and if we are not, also let us know! And as a reminder, if you are finding this useful your colleagues and friends probably will too, so don’t just keep us to yourself!

    Let’s get going!

    In the United States, probably the most common question you will get at a party is “What do you do?” If you are like most people, you give the standard company name and job title and move on.

    In our interviews for BillionMinds, we also ask “What do you do?”, but we are looking for a REAL answer. We want to understand the day-to-day activities of our interview subjects. Surprisingly, many of our interviewees find it really difficult to come up with an answer.

    The reason is the inherent unstructured, ambiguous nature of work for so many employees today. Think of it in terms of the when, where, what and why of your day-to-day actions. If you are like many people, those things have not only changed a lot over the last few years, they may even change from day to day.

    All of this speaks to the nature of today’s work environments. On the plus side work can be fascinating, exciting, freeing and rewarding. On the downside, it can be confusing, uncertain, shape-shifting and unnerving. If you work in an environment like this and you are unsure of what success looks like, it’s hardly surprising. So if sometimes it feels difficult to cope, that shouldn’t be surprising either.

    These apparent contradictions are one of the many reasons why employees and managers have such widely varying thoughts about their work environments. Some of the same factors that make work wonderful can also make it excruciating for the same people on different days.

    So if that rollercoaster of emotions feels like you, what should you do about it? You could, of course, choose a line of work that is far more predictable, but if you did, you would lose all the things you love about it. So if you want to thrive in this type of environment, you will need to hone the skill of resilience – where you become particularly adept at expecting the unexpected and responding to it. Many people believe that resilience only comes from experiencing and overcoming adversity, but this is only partially true. These experiences can under certain circumstances provide you with great perspective and an ability to cope you didn’t have previously, but it is also true that you can learn behaviors through practice that inherently improve your resilience, which is why we teach resilience as one of our five core skills for employees and managers. So, if you are struggling to deal with the ever changing workplace, don’t wait for resilience to magically emerge – start practicing techniques to help you become more resilient today.


    Our Podcast – Making Remote Work, is about to change its name (more on that next week). In the meantime, we are happy to recommend the last episode of the current series. It features Tamara Sanderson, the co-author of the appropriately titled book Remote Works.

    We recommend both the book AND the podcast, but in the latter Paul and Tam discuss:

    • Common manager archetypes and how suited (or not) they are to remote and hybrid work
    • How to get excellent at asynchronous work
    • Why picking the right tool for communication can really matter in remote work environments

    Even if you do all of your work in a traditional office, there are some really interesting insights that will apply, so check it out!

    Check out the episode by finding Making Remote Work on your favourite podcasting platform, or to watch the video version, click here.

    The Tip: Getting Important Things Done

    Video Length: 104 Seconds

    This just in from the Department of the Blindingly Obvious: It’s important to do important things. Yet, there is a category of important things that many of us find difficult to do – important things that are NOT urgent.

    In this week’s tip, we discuss how you can use three complimentary techniques to make it easier to get this type of work done.

    Check it out in the video below.

    About Us

    BillionMinds bring you Skills for the Future of Work each and every week. But that’s not all we do. We also help employees and managers in companies around the world embed key soft skills to thrive in the modern workplace and get certified in those skills. Each of our Learn/Do experiences is less than 10 minutes a day and you can see meaningful change within two weeks.

    We work with both companies and individual employees. Certification programs start at $200 and we provide discounts for those seeking work. For more information, visit us here.