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Culture of Resilience and Flexibility for Employees

Istanbul Kültür University (İKÜ) organized a "Resilience - Resilience and Flexibility in Tough Times" workshop for its personnel to increase the endurance in the living conditions that has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Belkis Kazmirci, an executive coach and consultant, took part as a speaker in the online workshop that was organized for the academic and administrative staff.

The event started with the speech of Dr. Bahar Akıngüç Günver, Head of IKU Board of Trustees. Dr. Akıngüç Günver who stated that they will celebrate the 61st anniversary of Kültür College on September 26, said “As we approach the anniversary of our foundation, it is very meaningful to be at an event themed with resilience. When we look back, the questions we often hear about Kültür College are: How did you get to these days? How did you manage to stand for 60 years despite many social, economic and political changes in Turkey? What is the essence of your story? I think the key word here is the awareness we have as an institution. What inspires our resilience is our awareness of who we are, our goals, our strengths and weaknesses "

Institutions live with their crises and fears, just like people do 

Dr. Bahar Akıngüç Günver, who stated that institutions are beings who live with their fears, anxieties, crises and expectations like people, also said, “It is the people who make institutions durable, give the power to overcome time and space, and shape the spirit of struggle. As a Kültür family, we have worked with individuals who are highly aware of our purpose and mission for 23 years at the university and 60 years at the college. The strength and courage to overcome time is also hidden here. With the description of our Honorary President, we are doing a human-oriented business. We are doing a job that touches the mind, heart and future of people. At this point, in order to be good in every sense, we need to feel good first in order to raise good people. We are not going through easy times in this period. All of our individual roles in life pass certain tests. "

Our aim is to end the pandemic well

Dr. Günver who emphasized that the past 6 months have been difficult for everyone, ended her speech by saying, “The pandemic is a period of time in which we review all the information and experiences in our repertoire. The pandemic is like a script written in dystopian fiction. It's a story that we will tell our children and grandchildren in the future. One day a virus entered our lives and all our settings were changed. However, our aim is to end this story well. To be able to come out of a resilience test that we have experienced on the same ship together. To be able to continue our journey by adding new spiritual and emotional equipment to our luggage. We cannot do everything alone. At times like this, a different eye, another interpretation, a new voice is good. ”

We need to improve our resilience skills

Belkıs Kazmirci, Founder of Kazmirci Training and Consultancy, who stated that the world has been going through a very difficult period for the last 6 months, everything has changed and these rapid changes have left people in a chaotic world, said, "This period has shown us that we all need to develop our resilience skills; and need to be more resilient and flexible. Resilience skills are both innate and acquired traits. It is impossible not to fall. However, after the fall, the main thing is to get up and keep going. This is the psychological meaning of resilience. To be able to recover quickly, returnişng to its old form, transformation and development. The meaning of resilience is to be prepared for negativity, to adapt to difficult conditions and to be able to cope with moments of feeling powerless. "

The Concept of "VUCA World"

Kazmirci who talked about the concept of "World of Vuca" prepared by the US army for uncertain situations, said, “Vuca means instability, uncertainty, confusion and indefinableness. We are in such a situation right now. We suddenly found ourselves in a digital transformation, a transformation that we thought would spread over the next 10 years. We are in an unknown right now and therefore we are anxious and afraid. Of course, this pandemic will end one day, but VUCA will not. Because the change we have mentioned will continue at an accelerated pace. In this case, what we need to do is to be calm and cool. Stress, anxiety will always be. The important thing is our own stress that we are responsible for managing."

Don't give up, keep calm, manage your emotions

Belkıs Kazmirci who pointed out that being optimistic is an important part of resilience, listed the qualities that a person should have in order to be resilient - flexible as "not giving up", "flexibility", "stay calm" and "agility". Kazmirci added that the resilience characteristics can be improved with "approach", "awareness" and "energy management". One word of Victor Frankl is very meaningful at this point: "Everything can be taken from man’s hands, except one thing: the last of human freedoms - freedom to determine his own attitude and choose his own path in any circumstances. With this approach, Belkıs Kazmirci shared the following headlines about the essence of Resilience with the participants in summary: “Accept the truth, direct your attention, time and energy by choosing. Have a meaningful purpose. Take responsibility and take action. Invest in mindfulness and mind management. Develop good living habits. Learn from experience. "

Strongest resilience features: Solution orientation and taking responsibility

Kazmirci, who also had practices done at the event, asked the participants about the strongest resilience characteristics based on their own experiences. In the survey consisting of 9 choices, 15 percent of the participants picked solution-oriented, 15 percent take responsibility, 12 percent have strong relationships and empathy, 12 percent calm and cool, 12 percent curious and open to innovations, 11 percent durable and strong, 9 percent stubborn and not giving up 8 percent flexible and adaptable, and 6 percent realistic and optimistic titles as their strongest resilience characteristics.