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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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Book review: The Resilience Pocketbook


HRZone has a range of books available for review. If you would like to receive one of our business books, free of charge, please contact the editor on editor at hrzone dot com and we can send you a list of what’s available. In return, we ask for a 400-700 word review of the book, its content and whether it’s appropriate for a senior HR director audience and for business professionals looking to become more effective in their roles.

Title: Resilience Pocket Book (Management Pocketbooks)
Author: Janine Waldman & Paul Z. Jackson
ISBN: 978-1906610920
Reviewer: David Evans, Burn Bridge Associates
Reviewer’s rating: 4 out of 5

This book is “crammed full of tips, tools and techniques … to help you bounce back from difficulties”. So say the authors in the introduction to this pocket-sized handbook.

And it is no idle claim: each of the 110 bite-sized pages packs a punch, making this a very useful accompaniment for all team leaders and managers striving to guide their colleagues through the high-intensity, device-driven world of work.

After a brief introduction in which the authors provide some accessible definitions of the resilience concept, they provide helpful three pages of “do’s and don’ts” and some simple facts and figures about the prevalence and impact of the degradation of resilience.

This is followed by a section on “you and your resilience” (try the self-assessment rating on pages 32-33 to evaluate where you currently are) which includes Covey’s circle of concern and draws the distinction between stress and pressure.

The next section explains the four dimensions of resilience – physical, mental, emotional and social – and offers a number of simple and practical tips for staying sharp; none of which will be new to the reader but are nonetheless a useful reminder of good practice.

This is followed by the resilience toolkit, a section which itemises several simple psychological techniques for arresting any personal slippage into fragility and negativity.

The next part of the book covers the issues relating to mistakes, progress, failure and recovery. A large part of this builds on the concept of flow: read the book; it works! Finally, a short section exhorts the value in spreading the word via your team: a group of resilient people working together is – after all – a resilient team.

The authors sign off with a short selection of additional resources, to which I’d add “Developing Mental Toughness” (Clough & Strycharczyk; Kogan Page; 2012) reviewed on HRZone back in 2014.

The resilience pocketbook is well-presented, succinct and information-full. It lacks pretension and, instead, provides immediately-deployable tools for being a better individual, people-leader and role model.

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

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