I have an eclectic book collection but three of my favourites involve one person beating the odds against nature. They are ‘Touching the Void’ by Joe Simpson, ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ by Aron Ralston and ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed. These three stories were amazing stories of courage and inner strength by their authors and I have taken to heart some of their messages, for my own personal and working life.
So what lessons can be learned from these three remarkable stories?
Inner Strength – sometimes people don’t know they have any inner strength until circumstances show up that make them realise they do. As well as needing this yourself to deal with difficult circumstances such as a death in the workplace, HR professionals need to have good listening skills and sometimes help people find the strength to get through some tough situations
Resilience – sometimes the job is tough, especially if you have to let people go from the workplace or make sweeping changes through the organisation. It’s important to be able to push through and bounce back and keep doing your own job well
Mindfulness – being present in the job is always important, showing that you are listening and are empathetic
Tomorrow is likely to be a better day – especially if today has been a really bad one. Talk to someone if you can; everyone needs a shoulder to lean on. You don’t have to be specific, just telling someone you’ re having a bad day is often enough to help to feel better
Having time to think is important – when your job is constantly busy and you don’t think you have any more time or brain capacity that’s the time when you actually need to give yourself some head space even if it is only 5 to 10 minutes. Nothing is so important it can’t wait that long. Go outside and breathe deeply if you can
You really do have to rely on your instinct sometimes – often your first reaction or feeling about a situation is right – go with it if you can
Perseverance – it sounds like a cliché but – never give up – if you have a good idea and you don’t think you are being heard, try another way to get heard and remember no. 4 on this list
And as Molly Meldrum, a famous Australian music critic, journalist, record producer and musical entrepreneur, might say – “do yourself a favour” and read one or all of these books. It might just change the way you view the world.