Building Resilience Community Training Program

Group photo of participants in the conference.
Resilience and Strategic Thinking- 04/2019


“After 26 years as a government employee and the last 10 as a consultant, trainer, and facilitator for organizations nationwide, I have come to realize how important and relevant the topic of resilience is in virtually every facet of the work I do. From strategic planning to change management and everything in between, a piece of resilience training is necessary for forward, positive movement. Participating in resilience training at the Agents of Change event in Tampa in April, I was exposed to a wide range of techniques that serve as guiding forces when navigating challenges, both for individuals and the organizations they work with. It was during this time that I saw that this type of training, modified to fit the specific audience, would serve as an excellent framework for organizations to follow in a variety of situations.” – Lisa Paradis, founder of Agents of Change

The work that we do is intended to build personal resilience among members of a group/community. Phase 1 involves building personal resilience Skills & Attitudes and teaching basic peer coaching skills in order to form peer coaching networks to sustain the learning. Once community members at this level have practiced, are comfortable with applying the Skills & Attitudes, and established their peer support networks, it’s time for Phase 2; practicing the Skills & Attitudes in less comfortable/familiar settings.

Adversity is often experienced when differing communities become oppositional. Some examples may be the police department and immigrants and/or impoverished communities, students and teachers/administrators, or indigenous people and government programs. Practice applying the Skills & Attitudes of resilience in high stakes settings builds a new level of resilience. The sharing of stories allows communities to focus on the human side of what is similar in all of us. Applying the Skills & Attitudes of resilience to the unique challenges of each community, discussing/sharing strategies, discarding the misunderstandings that lead to cognitive bias and coming to a place where future problem-solving can be based on a better understanding of the needs of both communities are the goals. Resilience despite difference.

Phase 3 is the Train-the-Trainer step. This is the step that allows this program to be sustained long term and passed to the next generation of members.  Members of the community are trained to carry out Phases 1, 2, and 3 within their own communities as needed at no additional cost. No new hire is needed.  The trainers become the experts on how to apply the Skills & Attitudes to meet the ongoing needs of the community. Should assistance be needed, we are always available for additional consultation.

Beyond personal resilience training, the presentation can be used to carry out another level of training.  Though the focus is on personal resilience and because it is customized, it lends itself quite well to the need to communicate a more planned/fixed response to job-specific challenges. For example, F.E.M.A. workers respond to a multitude of natural disasters. In order to work in this field, personal resilience is a must. This is where we start. Beyond the assimilation of personal resilience Skills & Attitudes, F.E.M.A. responders need to follow a specific protocol when responding to disasters. The challenges presented can be used to facilitate another level of training that incorporates community-specific challenges and the application of the proper protocol.

If your community would benefit from training please contact c.fernaldmoynihan@building-resilience.com.