How To Make Your Personality More Resilient – Part 1

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Marshall Goldsmith said, “What got you here won’t get you there.” Henry Ford said it another way, “The biggest threat to future success is past success.” I’m facing this reality more than ever during COVID. It’s time for some upgrades in how I lead my own team and company. Here’s what I’m experiencing. Can you relate?

Hunkering down makes you less resilient

During change and disruption it’s common to rely on our most developed personality strengths. As a result, we double-down on our favorite approach, convincing ourselves that we are doing all we can to cope. Unfortunately, hunkering down reduces resilience. How does hunkering down make you less resilient?

The solution is Openness

Personality science reveals that authentic emotional expression is the key to resilience during change.

Taibi Kahler, PhD, originator of the Process Communication Model, discovered that humans often hunker down to avoid dealing with particular emotions. The paradox is that only by authentically experiencing these emotional issues can you unlock your personality to deal with what’s next.

There are six personality types in each of us. One is primary. They all hunker down in their own way, and they all have their own emotional issue to face.

Thinkers cope negatively with change by over-thinking. They double-down on planning, preparation, and analysis and become inflexible. For me it shows up as excessive pressure I put on myself to have everything figured out. The secret to unlocking my Thinker personality is to authentically experience the natural grief associated with the loss of control during change. Only then can they take in new information, learn new things, and problem solve for a new reality.

Persisters cope negatively with change by over-persisting. They double-down on outdated values, draw lines in the sand, and go to war against change as if it’s the enemy. The secret to unlocking their personality is authentically experiencing the fear of not being able to protect everyone or live up to the unrealistic standards they have for themselves. Only then can they update their values, rebuild their mission statement and recommit to something better for the future.

Don’t see your primary personality? Stay tuned. In my next post I’ll share the other four.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2020

My latest book, Seeing People Through is the definitive guide on leadership and personality.

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