From the VetPartners Experts: Building Resilience to Thrive in Disruptive Times

Mar 6, 2019 at 1:12 pm
Joy Fuhrman, DVM, MBA, CPA

To survive and thrive in today’s rapidly changing, unpredictable world, organizations and teams must be resilient. When you are resilient, you are able to stay true to yourself and bounce back in times of difficulty and stress. You are able to cope with disappointments, overcome obstacles, and deal with change. You are flexible and adaptable, and you remain calm when under pressure. You are in perfect alignment with the person you want to be.

There are five core principles to building personal and team resilience: ¹

#1: Emotional resilience

This is the ability to remain calm and to self-regulate when under pressure. You respond rather than react in difficult circumstances. You maintain self-control, exercise empathy, and you are non-judgmental of others.

To build emotional resilience, you must first understand your triggers. What is your biggest trigger? How do you typically react when this trigger is activated? Understanding your triggers and their impact on your leadership effectiveness will afford you the self-awareness needed to build emotional resilience in challenging and trying times.

#2: Physical resilience

Never underestimate the toll that stress takes on your body! Managing stress, keeping yourself in peak state, and making wise use of your time and energy are essential components of physical resilience.

To build physical resilience, you must remain focused and be present, set clear boundaries, and manage your time, attention, and energy effectively. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with emails, messages, Tweets, and notifications, being able to block off time for yourself, your family, and your friends is a necessary step in maintaining your well-being.

#3: Relational resilience

We are often unable to bring our true, authentic self to the workplace. We engage in conversations that take people down. We criticize, condemn, and complain. We get wrapped up in what is not working, rather than maintaining positivity. Relational resilience is the ability to be truthful, transparent, authentic, and relentlessly positive.

To build relational resilience, you must refrain from participating in negative conversations and redirect them to create possibility. Give everyone (clients, colleagues, etc.) the benefit of the doubt and ask yourself what you might do to help them have a deeper understanding of a situation.

#4: Value resilience

This is your ability to remain true to your purpose and to act in accordance with your deepest values. For an organization, this means that the entire team is bonded to the organization’s mission. Organizational success is driven by employees’ alignment with the organization’s values. A disconnect in values results in dissonance, frustration, and lack of fulfillment.

To build your value resilience, you must demonstrate kindness and compassion to your colleagues. You must ensure your team feels valued and appreciated. You must help others manifest their full potential. When you exercise value resilience, you make better decisions; build trust; develop stronger, more loyal relationships; and improve business outcomes.

#5: Mental resilience

Resilient leaders are bold and courageous. They push themselves beyond the limitations of old habits and preconceptions. They are tenacious and exercise perseverance. They constantly challenge the status quo.

To build mental resilience, you must stop getting caught up in the nitty gritty and focus your time and energy on your true purpose—no matter how bold or audacious. You must stop making excuses, as they prevent you from experiencing your best self. You must constantly learn and grow in order to stay relevant. Complacency is the enemy of resilience.


¹ Sandy Asch, Resilience at Work™ How to Thrive in Disruptive Times, 2015-19.

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Joy Fuhrman, DVM, MBA, CPA
Originally from South Africa, Dr. Fuhrman has extensive experience in financial consulting and corporate accounting. A graduate of Colorado State University's combined MBA/DVM program, she brings with her a combination of veterinary practice management, financial analysis, business valuation, professional development, and leadership training skills. Her veterinary experience includes small animal general and emergency practice, small and large animal anesthesia and pain management, and small animal dentistry. She has served on the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association Board of Directors and helped develop their Power of Ten Leadership Academy program. In her current role as director of finance and operations for Shepherd Software, Inc., Dr. Fuhrman is responsible for managing the business operations for this start-up practice management software company. She also provides financial and practice management consulting services to its clients.
Joy Fuhrman, DVM, MBA, CPA

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