Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

I was once late to catch a plane to London. The flight had already closed, but there was a delay, so the counter staff relented. I dashed through the various checks, along the travelator, panting, and came to a halt at the end of a long queue of passengers.

After a few minutes I heard an American businessman complain about having to wait. ‘Ah well,’ grinned his companion, looking totally relaxed, ‘It sure beats being an ant in a sand hill.’ It sure beats missing your flight too. It’s all a matter of perspective.

That kind of positive thinking is a key to resilience and a tool we can sharpen...

Reframing using helpful comparisons

We can focus on 'reframing' our initial reaction to an event to come up with a more healthy way of looking at it. It sounds easy, but can be very challenging if it's a particularly distressing event.

Comparisons can be helpful. If you are distressed because your team lost an important game, try comparing your success with those teams that didn’t even make the semi-finals. If your business is worrying you, try comparing yourself with someone who is bankrupt.

Even when the situation seems desperate, some people manage to find a useful comparison that makes them feel better. Researchers recall an AIDS patient who made a list of diseases he would rather not have than AIDS and said, ‘You’ve got to get some perspective on this, and where you are in the Great Nasty Diseases List’.[i]


[i] Shelley E. Taylor & Marci Lobel, ‘Social comparison activity under threat; downward evaluation and upward contacts’, Psychological Review, vol. 96, pp 569-75

About Ralph Brown

ralph brown blog3

Ralph is our founder. He has a background in psychology, television journalism and business.

Ralph's passions are positive psychology and writing. He leads workshops on both and speaks to conferences on the psychology of thriving at work.

Professional Speakers Australia has awarded him its top speaking accreditation, the CSP. He has since been made a life member of Professional Speakers New Zealand.

He has written six books, six e-books and more than a hundred articles on psychology and writing. International research journals have published his articles reviewing the research on resilience.

Ralph lives in rural Canterbury. He is a JP and marriage celebrant and enjoys travelling to French-speaking countries.

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