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How To Be More Resilient

1 week agoWords by Mr Alfred Tong

Illustration by Mr Tommy Parker

Even a billionaire can have a bad day at the office – or in the case of Mr Travis Kalanick – it can happen in the back of a car. (The beleaguered Uber CEO was recently filmed angrily insulting a driver in an argument over fare prices.) This followed an investigation into sexism and sexual harassment at Uber’s headquarters. The company is now on the hunt for a COO (chief operating officer), presumably to prevent a total meltdown before Uber’s imminent IPO. In short: ouch.

The above scenario is an extreme demonstration of the fact that our working lives tend to be as full of embarrassments and setbacks as they are triumphs and successes. How to deal with the former, while maximising the later? Enter Dr Tara Swart, a leadership coach who uses her background in neuroscience and psychiatry to coach CEOs in times of intense pressure, such as after a major failure, or ahead of a challenge like a merger or IPO. Dr Swart, author of Neuroscience For Leadership: Harnessing The Brain Gain Advantage, calls the ability to deal with stress, “resilience”.

“Resilience is not only the ability to bounce back from adversity but also the strength to thrive in situations when confronted with change and uncertainty,” says Dr Swart. “I use neuroscience to help my clients to get back to good decision-making after a setback and to develop the cognitive resources necessary to achieve peak performance during times of intense pressure.”