The A – Z of Emotional Resilience

I: Inspirational; Intelligent; Intuitive; Inquisitive


There are too many organisations that over define the term inspirational. I have worked for them. They encourage and recognise inspirational behaviours and as a result the bar gets raised higher and higher. It seems like a good idea at the time. It’s a great way of showcasing the behaviours that directors feel would make the business really successful. What often happens, however, is that by the very nature of the awards and recognition a few incredibly high performing individuals get recognised and bar rapidly extends up and beyond the perceived reach of those that turn up, give their best and go home.

I’d like to redefine inspirational behaviours and their benefits

Inspirational is people that genuinely focus on listening in order to listen rather than listening in order to respond. Try it; it is not as easy as it sounds.

Inspirational is people that take care of their own emotional needs do not sap the energy out of others by being needy.

Inspirational is people that genuinely practice self care and don’t come to work when they are blatantly not well enough. They don’t spread germs and they encourage a healthy culture of achievement.

Remember, it’s often the little things that really inspire others.


Pretty much the whole of this A2Z is about intelligence, that being emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence was defined by Daniel Golman as having 5 components. These are self awareness, self regulation, internal motivation, empathy and social skills.

For us at Calm Execs this is roughly the correct order for them to be stated, if there had to be an order.  Self awareness is top of the tree as the skill that will support emotional intelligence. Sometimes it is easier to state the opposite in order to make a point and this is one of those times. We have all met people that have almost no level of self awareness about them. You could never describe them as emotionally intelligent. Many of them ate intellectually magnificent but not being self aware leads to trampling over others, losing emotional connection and thus losing the ability to communicate effectively. Self regulation is vital for maintaining relationships and not scaring people. We need to emphasise this is not a case of putting a lid on it until you eventually blow up anyway. Self regulation comes from self awareness and knowing when to externalise and when not too. An internal motivation to change and be the change is essential and empathy is the real vehicle for social skills. We will all have met people with no ability to empathise. Their impact upon others is quite extreme.


We all have intuition. How finely tuned it is and what we tune into is often guided by our upbringing and the environments that we exist in. Some people have intuition that is powerful and tuned in to fear. Others are able to intuit the full range of feelings (this is quite rare). Most of us are able sense when moods, disposition, or atmospheres change. Where many of us fall down is that we intuit changes but we do not react to it. May be we don’t trust our intuition or we are afraid to externalise what our intuition appears to be telling us.

For me, I have found it helps to follow up on my intuition, at least, with a none judgemental question such as “it feels as if you mood has changed would it help to talk about it?” Some people don’t wish to talk about it but I find the more I give people the opportunity the more fruitful our discussion and relationships are.

Follow your intuition, just follow it sensitively.


I would like to add to this open minded. Emotional resilience, for most of us, is not acquired by osmosis in a natural way and completely effective for life. In other words we start of life as natural learning organisms. As children we are learning all the time. At some point in our life we decide it is safer to stick with what we have learnt and we don’t need any more new experiences especially the ones that may affect, dig into, or revive feelings and emotions that we find difficult to deal with.

Whatever emotional coping mechanisms we have established at that stage of our life will be ones that we have formed over those early (ish) years of our lives. They may be suitable protection for the playground, school, college and university but they may not be suitable to the fast paced, changing and pressurised work that is the workplace from most of us. I view new experiences as exploration. I force  myself to open up to new experiences as often as possible. Exposing myself to a new therapy or to new opinions that challenge my current beliefs does not mean I have to change. It just means I have explored.

As leaders our inquiring nature will rub off on to others. Our role modelling potential is powerful. Let’s be inquisitive.

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