Have you ever noticed that some people seem to cope better with negative experiences – to bounce back? Resilience, like most things in life, has a genetic component and an acquired component. Personality is heavily genetically determined and is a good predictor of how likely a person is to be resilient and cope well with life’s challenges (eg. Campbell-Sills et al 2006). Personality markers of resilience are:
- High levels of emotional stability. Emotionally stable people feel emotional experiences less severely than others, so they can cope more easily.
- People who are naturally hard working, committed and organised have “grit” which can help people to cope with difficult situations.
- This is often identified as part of extraversion – for instance it is called “liveliness” in the HEXACO personality model, which we recommend most strongly to clients. Some people are more naturally optimistic and positive than others and, not surprisingly, this is an indicator of how likely people will be to cope with tough times.
Resilience is a very worthwhile characteristic in employees for obvious reasons. It is relatively easy to identify in prospective hires through personality assessment.
Campbell-Sills, L., Cohan, S. L., & Stein, M. B. (2006). Relationship of resilience to personality, coping, and psychiatric symptoms in young adults. Behaviour research and therapy, 44(4), 585-599.
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