“Resilience is within you. We are all innately resilient.” Dr Jayanie Kodituwakku PhD* made this powerful statement as she welcomed attendees to the Imperial Women’s Network Personal Resilience and Leadership workshop at the Business School on Thursday 25 May.
Attended by over 60 alumni, students and guests, the interactive session focussed on individual perceptions of the world and how these influence resilience and performance. Dr Jayanie believes that we tend to view resilience as something to work towards, to achieve, when really we already have the ability in us. We just need to learn to tap into it. One way to do this is to understand why we react the way we do to certain situations: “There is great power in understanding where your experiences come from and how these are being created.”
The importance being present in the moment and learning to listen properly were also a key skills in this process, and especially relevant in the workplace. “Listen to your work colleagues – be more present in the moment and listen to what they are really saying,” Dr Jayanie told the audience.
Dr Jayanie’s main lesson from the evening was: “The knowledge that you understand where your experiences are coming from is the most important and empowering thing you will learn. External influences can’t impact your experiences, that comes from your mind and the more you understand the nature of thought, the more ‘lightbulb’ moments you will have. Thought is creating your experience from inside out and external influences have no impact on how you are feeling.”
The emphasis across the whole evening was about empowering minds to understand more about how we react to certain situations and in time leading to greater insight in our behaviour. Prior to the evening event attendees were also given the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with Jayanie to discuss their own personal issues with resilience.
Xia Chen (MSc Management 2015), who helped organise the event, said: “I learned that when facing difficult people, be aware of how your reaction can create a different experience to both parties, and take control of your emotions.”
The Imperial Women’s Network recently celebrated its first year, which has seen the committee host some successful sessions around the theme of ‘personal, including personal finance and personal brand, as well as informal social events and networking breakfasts. The next event is an informal social on 22 June in London, and a new series of workshops/discussions will kick off in September on the theme of ‘Growing’. More details will appear on the website shortly.
*Dr Jayanie Kodituwakku PhD is a speaker, consultant and leadership coach. She works with some of the world’s most ambitious leaders and organisations with her innovative business consulting programmes. Jayanie has a background as a Management Consultant of over 12 years working with global firms across multiple sectors including Aerospace and Defence, Finance, IT, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals. She is a former scientist having completed a Doctorate in Cardiac Medicine, MSc in Genetics and BSc in Biochemistry all at Imperial.