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  • Writer's pictureYamit Armbrister

From Classroom to Clinic: Why do organizations hesitate to train Resilience?

Organizations in the private sector hesitate to engage their employees in resilience training compared to the public sector (Education, Military, Social Affairs, Medical).

What is behind this resistance?

One of the factors is the misconception about the nature of resilience and it is often misunderstood within the corporate context. The lack of knowledge results in an undue association with mental health.

Managers and leaders that perceive resilience training as addressing mental health issues are intimated to touch the subject. This stigma and misconception deter organizations from focusing on the superpower of all skills. This short-sighted perspective of leaders and managers not only impedes individual growth but also undermines the resilience of the organization.

So, let's get it in order.

For the sake of comparison, let's call it from classroom to clinic: that is, distinguishing between building and improving resilience (classroom) to emotional support in cases of mental concerns (clinic). In other words, the difference between teaching versus clinic. Yes, there is a reciprocal relationship between them, but this is a critical distinguishment between the two.

Teaching in-depth resilience and strategies to improve this skill is not the same as mental treatment that requires intervention of professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists.

When I coach in-depth resilience strategies for coping with challenges, stress, and potential crises, the goal is to increase the chances to better cope with the future and decrease the potential need to undergo in-depth mental intervention.

In fact, resilience education focuses on imparting skills so that we can navigate life's challenges, adapt faster when our lives change, and develop coping mechanisms. On the other hand, trauma therapy is an example of the clinical side of mental health. It may involve treating deep emotional wounds resulting from distressing experiences that sometimes require special therapeutic intervention, medication, and or long consultation.

To summarize it crudely, we can say that resilience training (classroom) is a proactive and preventive approach for the future, and mental health treatment (Clinic) delves into healing a wound that has already happened.

Furthermore, improving resilience promotes a strong mental foundation in the face of a variety of possible challenges while mental health therapy often focuses on a specific event or problem with personalized strategies.

Both efforts are essential, but they operate on different fronts.

So why is it important to improve employees’ resilience?

Because we are not taught how to cope with life, but somehow, we are expected to recover quickly after challenging events. Managers and leaders should know that resilience training is not an admission of vulnerability within their workforce, rather it is prioritizing the skill that enhances employees’ ability to navigate uncertainties, better manage stress and maintain peak performance in the face of challenges.

Managers and leaders that understand that do not wait for the crisis to come.

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