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Assessing Resilience: The Resilience at Work Assessment (RAWA)

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Given my work with executives and the challenges they face, I, along with Karlin Sloan, wondered how we can help leaders develop resilience.  The first step was to create an assessment that could assess an individual’s level of resilience and identify what attributes of resilience were strengths and what attributes could be strengthened.

Based on the existing research and our coaching experience, we created a resilience model.  It is based on the biopsychosocial model described by psychiatrist George Engel (1977).   He suggested that to understand medical issues, one needs to consider the physical, psychological and sociological factors that contribute to the illness.  Our research has suggested that we can think about resilience in the same way. How we care for our bodies, think about ourselves and those around us all contribute to our ability to be resilient.

We created a list of attributes that resilient people display.  We divided these attributes into three categories: attributes associated with how we relate to ourselves (the psychological self); how we relate to others (the social self) and how we relate to events in the environment (the context).

Below is a list of the 15 attributes we identified and how we distributed them among the three domains.

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