Groupwork Centre Blog

Staying grounded is a workplace martial art

Practicing the workplace martial art of staying grounded is part of emotional resilience

Many of us have had exposure to professional training, but one area often overlooked is emotional resilience. We believe it fundamentally underpins our capacity to act professionally… and wisely. How effectively has your training helped you with your capacity to deal with all the challenges your work throws up?

Working with people, we’re often faced with challenging dynamics, conflicts and tension in groups. These moments are the true test of our ability to collaborate. Yesterday, participants at our most recent two day facilitation training reflected on the skills and practices that enable us to meet these challenges in a compassionate and effective way. We identified self awareness, self-care, strong principles and the ability to remain centred in challenging circumstances.

At Groupwork Institute we call this skill-set ‘emotional resilience’. In essence, it’s our capacity to remain grounded – or to quickly return to it – when faced with unexpected or difficult scenarios – in groups or life! Rather than becoming frozen in the headlights and letting things continue, or reacting without reflection, we’re able to respond in a more centred way with compassion and flexibility.

For instance, what do you do when a group member flies off the handle with anger, or throws an insult at another person present? I like to think of emotional resilience as a peaceful martial art. And like many forms of martial art, we need to develop the capacity to meet strong behaviour or energy and go with it – rather than defending against it or retreating into our shells, leaving others to fend for themselves.

People can feel when you are acting with emotional resilience. When things are tricky, this invites others to act well, helps create a sense of safety and provides a better chance of finding a good outcome.
But how do we cultivate emotional resilience? Our recent course participants noted it’s not something that happens overnight. Instead, it needs to be nourished, by:

  • developing strong principles that guide us in difficult situations;
  • fostering self-awareness so we can manage our own responses while acting on what is happening in the group;
  • taking time to familiarise ourselves with what it feels like when we are feeling centred – and finding ways to get ourselves back there when we’re wobbled by events;
  • commitment to self-care practices – including the ability to honour our needs and boundaries; and
  • strengthening our dexterity with the practical communication skills required to relate well with others.

We offer training in emotional resilience. It’s a great investment in yourself and your relationships with others. I invite  you to join us.


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