Building Resilience with Executive Coaching

June 24, 2011  |   Executive Coaching Blog   |     |   0 Comment

“Resilience is the key to success,” performance improvement consultant Caron King told the CIPD’s HRD conference in London. “It makes the difference between an organisation that is just muddling through and those that are doing really well.” One way of building and enhancing resilience is executive coaching.

Expanding on the theme, King’s business partner and co-presenter Chris Hopkins added: “In these new tough times, when we have more work, fewer resources, and motivation is down, we need to pull on resilience. It has never been more important. The question is how we can help our people to be more resilient in their jobs given that change is relentless.”


King explained that individuals feeling flattened by life needed to find a way to muster their resources so they could continue to work at the same pace. “Most successful organisations and individuals in changing times have resilience and the ability to be flexible in their behaviour and to try more than one approach,” she said.  Executive Coaching for resilience was about bringing individuals’ innate resilience into their consciousness.


King had a mnemonic spelling out the different qualities of resilience that executive coaching needed to draw out of individuals. Executive coaching had to encourage them to look for instances in their lives when they had shown they were ‘resolute, evaluating, showed self-esteem, were irrepressible, lion-hearted, interacting, enterprising, negotiating, in control, and endlessly learning.’


Having these phrases was useful, King explained, because individuals tended to notice the absence of resilience, not its presence. Executive Coaches could use the 10 steps to show individuals they still had some of those qualities left. “It’s useful to know which bits you can bank on and which aspects you need to have an early warning sign for,” she said.


“There is a lot of listening in executive coaching,” said King. “You hear a lot of ‘poor me’. This is victim thinking. Or ‘I’m perfect. Everybody else is causing the problems’. You need to get individuals to focus on the positive – this is outcome thinking. It’s useful to ask, ‘when life is perfect, what will it look like?’ You need to ask people where in life they are at their best – whether that’s football coaching or baking cakes – and take that learning into the workplace where they’re feeling squashed.”  It was crucial to remember, she said that this kind of executive coaching was not a process. “It’s about how you do it, not what you do,” she said. “It’s not about applying a formula – that won’t work. It’s about having a conversation with a human being at work, just as we would in a coffee shop.”




Key words; Executive Coaching, Executive Coach, Executive Coaching Company, Executive Coaching Provider, Executive Coaching Services, Resilience

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