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Paul Kudray believes that there are five human qualities which are shared by many resilience professionals. In this article he describes these essential skills; see if you agree with his assessment...

You may already know about my love for the resilience profession; I’ve written about it before. For a large part, my love affair is founded on mutual interests and a personality / character / skills match: I quite literally was born to do this!

I use the word ‘resilience’ to encompass all of us who work in and across business continuity management, emergency and disaster management, crisis management and those who provide disaster relief. To me, it doesn’t matter which resilience discipline or section you work in, the strengths and skills needed remain fairly constant.

So what are the key skills and strengths required to be great at our profession? What are the human qualities that make us great at what we do?

The essential five

1. Empathy – You understand. It doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with each person’s perspective nor do you feel pity for their predicaments (this would be sympathy); but you instinctively sense the emotions of those around you. This ability to understand is powerful and you are able to find the right words and tone because you can see the situations through other people’s eyes and you share their ‘perspectacles’.

2. Futuristic – You love to peer over the horizon. Not only do you want to see the horizon but you want to look beyond it. It fascinates you, it inspires you and it drives you from time to time. This is about ‘what could be’ and ‘wouldn’t it be great if’. You have the ability to energise others because when people become frustrated by the present situations, you have the skills to help them see future possibilities to help raise their sights.

3. Individualisation – You observe each person’s styles, strengths and motivation of how they think and work. You observe how they build relationships. You do not just generalise, because you recognise people as being unique and that is key in true resilience building.

4. Positivity – You are not (as some may think) a messenger of doom and gloom! You look for the positives in the situation; the old ‘glass half full’ scenario. Your enthusiasm is contagious to others. You smile and are quick to praise; you use your in built energy to lighten the spirit and mood. You remain positive, your sense of humour intact and – this might just be me – have a liking for chocolate and coffee.

5. Relater – You can relate to the people you work with and work for. You may work better with the people you know and trust, but you work and build relationships with others too. Although you may not ‘click’ with everyone you work with, you enable people to trust you and your resilience knowledge, across different levels and organizations.

Which leads us to ask a new question: are resilience professionals born or made?

The author

Paul KudrayAn international leader in business resilience consultancy, training and coaching; Paul Kudray, MSc FICPEM CBCI AMBCI Fellow of the EPC, is an ex-emergency services commander who finished an exemplary 32 year career in the UK healthcare sector, working for the NHS - culminating in 7½ years as the Director of Resilience for one of the world’s largest ambulance services, NWAS NHS Trust. He now works with private and public sector clients around the world, training, advising, coaching and mentoring them at the highest levels about emergency and business continuity management. Paul's company is KCLContact Paul at or via LinkedIn 

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