JEM Management Training

Building Resilience At Work with The Resilience Shield

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Last night, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Ben Pronk, one of the authors of the book ‘The Resilience Shield’. Dr Dan Pronk, Ben Pronk and Tim Curtis are all Australian Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) veterans and have combined their learnings from their experiences in the field with cutting-edge academic and medical research to produce practical strategies to help people build resilience.

Resilience is our ability to bounce back from adversity and deal with the challenges that life throws at us. In today’s fast-paced, high-pressure environments, we often feel overwhelmed with the amount of information we have to process, deadlines we have to meet and people we have to interact with via multiple platforms. All this can result in high levels of stress which can deplete us, especially in regard to resiliency in the workplace.

The resilience shield offers a deeper understanding of why we behave the way we do and provides techniques to master your mindset and build resources to overcome adversity and cope more effectively in challenging situations.

The 6 areas of resilience outlined in the book are:


This is the resilience you already have as a result of your genetic makeup, upbringing and exposure to stressors in your formative years. The hard truth is that some people are just naturally more able to cope with challenging situations.


How you view the world and deal with stressors is critical to building resilience. Locus of control is important. Those with an internal locus of control feel they have an ability to influence outcomes and results whilst those with an external locus of control feel helpless to alter the course of events. Those people with an internal locus of control have higher levels of resilience, especially at work, because they tend to be more proactive and solution-focused.

Resilience training is also enhanced by gratitude practices which counter the negativity bias we are programmed with. This again alters our focus and makes us look for the positives in our lives which can help to buoy us in times of difficulty.

Being able to focus on one thing at a time is also a huge advantage for resilience, the ability to calm the mind for a time. Mindfulness practices help immensely here and can actually shrink the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for our primal reactions, to help us become more aware and present in the moment so we can choose our response, not just react.


Sleep. Diet. Exercise. All the ingredients for physical health and bodily repair. If we don’t fuel our bodies, the stresses and strains of life can play havoc.


Our interactions with other human beings nourish and build our resilience. The support of friends, family and significant others builds this layer. Deep human connections are vital for allowing us to work through emotions and problems solved.


We spend over a third of our lives at work, so finding work with purpose – or purpose in our work – can tip the scales in terms of feeling that we’re making a difference. Our level of competence at work influences how we feel about ourselves and our ability to overcome adversity and navigate challenges. Technical, soft skills and resilience training can help here.


Being able to embrace the unknown and unknowable comes as a result of the previous 5 elements. If we have a strong resilience shield, we become more adaptable and able to cope when things change or become challenging.

I highly recommend a read of ‘The Resilience Shield’ and if you want more information or training in Building resilience please contact us at 1300 850 959

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JEM Management Training

JEM Management Training designs and delivers flexible, in-house management training courses to help  organisations in Perth engage their staff fully in the workplace.

As time is often limited, JEM Training offers flexible half-day management training courses which focus on a specific area of management expertise. These short courses build upon each other over a period of time, chosen by you, to provide ongoing management development.

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