Resilience

Ron Macklin and Michelle Mosolgo

Resilience

Episode 41: Resilience

Michelle opens the show by reading the definition of ‘resilience’ and then asking Ron how he defines and works with resilience.

  • Ron gives his definition of resilience and then says he works with it by closely examining which stories we have in our own heads that don’t take care of ourselves.
  • He notes that those stories make us less resilient, and gives a few examples of what this looks like in our everyday lives.
  • He continues by saying this leads him to one of his favorite lines to toss, which is, “so what does that mean?”

Michelle jumps in and relays a story of when she had to show resilience in her personal life when she had to become her mom’s caretaker.

  • She then also discusses what resilience looked like over the course of her career, and having your ideas shot down at work.
  • Ron recalls times when he had to be resilient over the course of his career as well.
  • He also adds that the opposite of resilient is being resistant, which is often easier to identify in ourselves and others.
  • Ron says that when everyone is holding the space of being resilient instead of resistant, the team can create things that are much bigger than what they would have been able to do otherwise.
  • Ron gives an example of one of the times this happened over the course of his career.

Michelle asks Ron how he helps people move on if he notices there is any resistance in the room.

  • Ron says that he begins by telling himself the story, “everybody is just as scared as I am.”
  • He continues stating that he figures out how to create a space where everyone feels safe opening up and bringing out their ideas.
  • Michelle comments how amazing it is that our brains can link others ideas with very old distant memories and come up with new creative ideas.

Ron asks Michelle how she would create herself at the beginning of a meeting to notice when she is being resilient versus resistant.

  • Michelle discusses the mentality she maintains when going into meetings, which is to be open and curious.
  • Ron then talks about the two ideas he keeps in mind are being enough, and being modifiable.
  • Michelle recalls a previous experience when she told people what to do versus when she asked people what they would do, and how the mentality of the group changed.
  • Ron says that a part of making that shift is realizing that it’s okay to fail, and how people are often resistant to contributing because they are afraid of failure.
  • He continues by saying that finding a way to let the group know that failure is okay helps others move from being resistant to being resilient.

Ron thinks on Michelle’s experience and asks her what changes in peoples’ way of being she noticed before starting the next project.

  • Michelle says that the first thing was noticing the change in herself, coming to the conclusion that failure can be desirable. 
  • Ron then asks how she looks for resilience in people before the projects begin.
  • Michelle discusses the differences in the mood and the attitudes of the people working on the projects, and how that can change the results.

Ron ponders about how to handle people who might not be meeting expectations, and around their ability to be resilient.

  • Ron says he first focuses on bringing openness to the person or group so that they can feel more comfortable and open.
  • Michelle then discusses how one of her tactics was to bring in chocolate chip cookies, and also spending the first ten minutes of a meeting discussing things people are interested in that are not work related.
  • Ron recalls one of his favorite fun holidays ‘talk like a pirate day’ and how it changed the attitude of the group.

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