The higher the level of emotional resilience an individual has the better they are likely to handle disadvantageous and ambiguous situations. Emotional resilience is also a strong indicator of a number of attributes, including:
- a person's ability to solve problems in emotionally charged and ambiguous situations,
- their level of persistence, especially in difficult circumstances,
- their latitude towards diversity, both of other people and differing situations
- the ability to analyse, weigh up and take risks,
- the ability to collaborate,
- as well as an individuals level of autonomy.
Simultaneously similar work was being carried out by the author in 2002 - 6 whilst training disaster managers in a number of countries around the globe. The aim was to develop a system to improve the reactions and problem solving abilities of individuals and teams given the job of managing and leading in natural disaster and post terrorist attack incidents. These are situations which by definition are high in ambiguity, emotional stress and often personal physical danger. Not the ideal environment for high quality problem solving, however one in which such quality is required as people's lives often depend on the solutions.
The importance of emotional resilience in problem solving, especially when any solutions derived are critical to an individual, company or group, can not be understated.
Emotional resilience comprises of
- Emotional Regulation - the ability to recognise and control (reduce or increase) our emotions at will, (yes it is possible!)
- Behavioural Control - the level of ability to be able to determine and regulate our outward behaviours especially when we are in a heightened emotional state,
- Emotional - Cognitive Switching (ECS) - the ability and speed at which we can move from our awareness of and concentration on internal emotional events to engaging with logical, cognitive (thinking) and meta-cognitive processes.