Building resilience in an ever-developing industry, by Caroline Thompson

Letitia Oglesby
February, 2022

ENI recently caught up with Caroline Thompson, an accredited Leadership & Personal Coach who has also enjoyed running her own qualitative research practice for the last 20+ years.
We discussed the stress factors the industry (and people in it) are facing at the moment and how to build resilience to this. We wanted to share Caroline’s thoughts and an article she recently published on how to find that “balance” and avoid burn-out!

About Caroline Thompson.

I love coaching market research professionals to bring transformative change to their mindset.

As we enter life post Pandemic, I am hearing a lot from people about the stress they have been experiencing, how they want to feel more satisfied with their life/work balance, and how they want to ‘get on’ with achieving their dream job!

Much of my work falls into these areas – with building personal resilience being a particular area of interest to me. But equally well, I absolutely love it when clients tell me that the clarity and confidence, they have gained from our coaching conversations has helped them get their dream jobs!

It is a privilege when someone shares their inner most thoughts, self-beliefs, and aspirations with me – and it is really exciting. When you become aware of your true north, your personal motivations and what is holding you back, you begin to play on a whole new playing field with a new sense of motivation and confidence that leads to more success and a greater sense of well-being.

I am also keen to support organisations harness the benefits of a truly diverse culture (whether that references culture, gender, age or disability).  Whilst it is our social responsibility, organisations which create open thinking environments, where people can be equal as thinkers and contributors, provoke greater creativity and success.

We all want to be empowered to be the best version of ourselves and achieve our dreams.

Think better, do better, feel better.

If we were elephants, a great night’s sleep wouldn’t matter so much.

“Do you recognise this? Working at full tilt all day and then piling into bed exhausted only to wake up fully alert at 2am unable to sleep? And feeling jaded again the next day?

So, what’s that all about?

It’s quite possibly because you’re riding on high levels of stress and adrenalin all day every day at work – which disrupts your natural Cortisol cycle, and that affects your sleep pattern. Naturally, our Cortisol is highest in the morning, coinciding when we need to get up and get going. It’s what helps us to get things done when we’re ‘fresh; and thinking well. Then as the day goes on, the levels of Cortisol we produce gradually diminishes.

Elephants can manage on 2-3 hours of sleep a night, and ‘elephant nap’ standing up against a tree trunk. They need so little sleep in order to graze enough calories to survive. Oh to be an elephant…We humans are designed to sleep a good 7 hours and have 3 square meals a day.

Too much caffeine, too much adrenalin, a ‘manic’ workload that extends beyond your energy levels .. all keep the Cortisol levels high into the evening and distort your natural daily rhythm. When it’s out of sync with our natural Circadian rhythm, we can start releasing Cortisol in the early hours of the night – instead of in the early morning. All due to stress.

As Jenny Campbell says in ‘The Resilience Dynamic’, “If cortisol levels stay high, you’ll be wired but tired…..if this happens daily you will start to lose your enthusiasm for life.”

Some stress is a good thing. There are times when we need the natural hormonal response to stress to release adrenalin and cortisol – it helps us to lift our performance e.g. to manage a difficult meeting, to take on a new challenge.

But when our natural cortisol cycle is being hijacked with a prematurely early start to the day, it’s it’s a ‘shout out’ to take notice of the factors that are causing that stress to rise…and it’s a call to manage those stressors. So next time you feel you’d like to lean up against a tree trunk for a quick nap,  be curious about what is hijacking your sleep at night….

At a simple level, learn to switch off iPhones and electronic devices at supper time; exercise during the day rather than late at night; get out in the daylight when you can.

At a deeper level, be curious about your what’s happening in your daytime life – what are your stress triggers, and how do you respond to them? What is feeding your energy during the day vs holding it hostage? What could you change just a little to lead to a better day for you? Where can you flex? Because therein lie the potential levers to adapting and increasing your resilience bank.

As an accredited Executive and Personal Coach helping people like you achieve the life you want, I believe in identifying the little steps that will make a difference to getting to where you want to go to.

If you’d like an informal conversation about how coaching could help you feel better, do better, be better…message me on

#resilience #sleep #stress #stress management #coaching #Wellbeing #ElephantNaps

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