Develop Self-Efficacy through Emotional Flexibility

General Self-Efficacy can be built by developing emotional flexibility of employees. This is a conclusion of new study by the VU Amsterdan, IE University Madrid and Nyenrode Business University. Having a strong general self-efficacy is important to help employees be resilient in a fast changing environment. Emotional flexibility helps employees and professionals to handle changes better and to develop a stronger mental health.

10/15/2020 | 10:47 AM

Consequences of a changing environment and society

Employee engagement world-wide is at an all-time low, a majority of the working population are disengaged at work. Depression, stress and other problems related to mental health are an important cause of absence. Millions of work days are lost each year due to mental health issues making this the leading cause of absenteism at work. According to the World Health Organization, mental health issues cost the global economy an estimated 1 trillion US$ in lost productivity per year.

General Self-Efficacy is essential for employees of today 

The fast changing work environment demands employees to be flexible and to have the ability to change and adapt. A study by McKinsey and Company predicts that 30% of work potentially will be automated in 2030 and about 9% of today’s employees, will have complete new jobs in 2030. People need to continue to learn and develop. The current pandemic situation additionally demands for ability to be and remain flexible and resilient. Learning new skills and adapting continuously can result in a lot of pressure and insecurity. Developing self-confidence to handle this and to continue to learn new skills is essential for sustainable employment in workplace and participation in society. 

Self-Confidence can be trained by developming Emotional Flexibility                    

Dealing with ongoing change asks for skills that help employees become comfortable with discomfort. Emotional flexibility, also called ‘Acceptance and Commitment Training or Therapy’ (ACT), includes a set of skills that teach dealing with stress and discomfort. ACT is evidence based and successfully applied within Clinical Therapy and proven effective a.o. for treatment of depression, anxiety and chronic pain. These skills have also been effective at a small scale in the working context, but were not yet researched amongst knowledge workers. Additionally, a fine-grained measurement instrument to measure the effectiveness of training in workshop format was missing. This newly published research amongst knowledge workers in Germany showed that these skills can be trained and additionally increase self-confidence of employees and through that resilience. 

Make these skills part of your core learning curriculum 

There is an increasing need in society for skills related to self-confidence and emotional flexibility. Both schools and organizations offer increasingly training in the areas of emotional intelligence and flexibility but these trainings often remain optional and are not seen as an essential part of training curricula. This research emphasizes the urgency, effectiveness and feasibility of training in the area of self-confidence and emotional flexibility. 

You can read the article here.

A practical book about ‘Advancing Authentic Confidence through Emotional Flexibility’ by Dr. Jacqui Brassey, Prof. dr. Nick van Dam en Prof. dr. Arjen van Witteloostuijn was published in 2019. More information.

In November 2020 the Dutch updated version will be published via Vakmedianet. Pre-orders available