In 2017 People and Culture approached us to assist in supporting the legal team through a time of excessive workload, pressure from external stakeholders and exhaustive legal proceedings. Initially the request was for ‘resilience training’, but our first step was to understand the adversity and the team’s responses to adversity, including the impact of unhealthy coping mechanisms.

The team of 18 professionals included environmental scientists, lawyers, engineers and IT specialists. Each with an abundance of technical capacity and a willingness to engage in a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to their work.

Their program included resilience and stress management training and coaching with a focus on a culture of thriving; Seligman’s PERMA model formed the basis of the program to embed practical and relevant evidence based strategies including:

  • Managing emotions and actions
  • Common thinking traps (resilience undermining thinking)
  • Strengthening impulse control
  • Boosting positive emotions
  • Control and influence

The impact evaluations revealed participants rated the quality of the program as extremely high (average score of 98%). Participants reported increased confidence in dealing with challenging events, people and situations (28% improvement from 61% to 89%) and an increased capacity to drive performance outcomes (11% improvement from 61% to 72%).