PITTSBURGH, April 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past 80 years, physicians, psychologists and health experts have been teaching people that in the face of stressful conditions, they should batten down the hatches, brace themselves for the worst, and hold on for dear life.
"We call this approach, the 'stress management model,' and it is fatally flawed," according to organizational and consulting psychologist, Richard Citrin, co-author of the newly released book, The Resilience Advantage. "The idea that we can manage stress is no more realistic than the idea that somehow we can manage gravity."
Citrin goes on to say that the messages we've given people about being able to manage their stress has actually worsened our ability to deal with challenging situations because now we feel bad that we don't handle our stress very effectively. It has created a culture of victimhood.
In place of trying to manage stress, we should turn to a new paradigm for addressing challenging situations and that is to build our resilience effectiveness at work and at home.
Co-written with award winning global consultant Alan Weiss, The Resilience Advantage makes the case that resilience is actually hard wired into all of us and that we can use stressful and challenging situations as a way of growing and learning about our limits to see what we can achieve.
Citrin and Weiss propose a new definition of resilience that goes beyond the simple idea that resilience is merely our ability to return to our previous state of functioning. They suggest that resilience can more appropriately be defined as:
"Our ability to effectively plan for, navigate successfully in real time and gracefully recover from challenging and stressful events in such as way that we are strengthened by the experience."
The authors point out that business leaders have adopted resilience strategies for operational, logistical and IT infrastructures but somehow have missed out on using resilience approaches to address people issues.
The Resilience Advantage provides ideas for senior leaders, line managers, and employees that will help them address issues around work overload, impossible deadlines and shifting priorities.
"It's time for a new way to look at the routine and even big challenges we face at work and at home and recognize that we actually do much better than just manage them," say Citrin and Weiss. "The truth is that we are usually magnificent in the face of stressful times and that is because we are built to be resilient."
About Richard Citrin
Richard Citrin, Ph.D., MBA coaches and consults with business leaders and senior executives how to make their businesses and themselves powerful through the discovery of their own best capabilities.
Richard is an organizational psychologist, entrepreneur and former health care executive. He consults with Fortune 500 corporations and leading non-profit organizations.
For more information, go to www.citrinconsulting.com.
About Alan Weiss
Alan Weiss, PhD, is the only non-journalist to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Press Institute. He has built a global franchise around working with consultants and companies around the world. He has authored more than 60 books that have been published in 12 languages.
For more information, go to www.summitconsulting.com
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SOURCE Richard Citrin