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The Brief Resilience Scale: A Simple Way To Measure Resilience

The Brief Resilience Scale is a simple self-assessment that individuals can complete to assess their resilience. It consists of six statements for individuals to agree or disagree with. When completed it generates a resilience score of between 6 and 30.

Summary by The World of Work Project

Measuring Resilience

Measuring resilience isn’t a terribly easy thing to do in an objective way. The majority of efforts to do so involve self assessment. Many larger organizations have resilience assessment or stress assessment tools which they use internally.

An example of a simple resilience assessment tool that individuals or organizations could consider using is the “Brief Resilience Scale”. We look at it in more detail below.

The Brief Resilience Scale

The brief resilience scale is a simple, self-assessment tool that individuals can use to assess their own levels of resilience.

The six questions of the brief resilience scale shown as a diagram

The tool asks individuals to decide how much they agree or disagree with six statements. Each answer is allocated a number. Once all six statements have been assessed, the individual can total up their numbers. This summing up will give them an overall resilience score of between 6 and 30.

The tool does not provide any specific guidance in relation to what different scores mean. All it says is that lower scores mean lower levels of resilience.

The brief resilience scale benefits from being used by individuals over a period of time. As individuals take action and work on improving their resilience they should start to see changes in their scores.

A tree growing on a cliff - resilience, per the brief resilience scale, can flourish in unlikely places
Life can flourish in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Learning More

Resilience is an important skill in the world of work. The ABCs of resilience are a helpful way to think about it. As well as improving our own resilience, there are things we can do to help improve the resilience of others. This interesting, if repugnant, experiments on rat resilience also sheds light on the subject.

Similarly, learning about different types of stress and how to manage stress can be helpful. The below podcast covers the concept of stress-buckets, which might of interest.

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Don’t forget, as part of our commitment as a Community Interest Company, we deliver at least one free, online seminar every month to help individuals, managers and organizations develop. You can learn more about them and register for them via the link below:

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We think the brief resilience scale is a very simple and helpful too. While it sacrifices detail for brevity, it is still a very helpful tool for assessing an individual’s resilience.

It is designed for self-assessment. It is, of course, possible for people who use the tool to share their results, for example with a  manager. However, when people know they will share their results they may intentionally inflate or deflate them. This doesn’t particularly change the usefulness of the tool, it’s just something that people should be aware of.

One of the advantages of using tools like this in the work place is that they often help people initiate conversations about how they are doing. It is these conversations that often help people improve their resilience and wellbeing.

Overall, we think the brief resilience scale is a helpful tool. It’s particularly helpful for individuals, or for organizations, without more complex assessment tools as part of their employee management and wellbeing practices.

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Most of the information used as the basis for this post comes from an article titled: “The brief resilience scale: assessing the ability to bounce back” in the International journal of behavioral medicine. You can read the original article here.

Smith, B.W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P. and Bernard, J. (2008). The Brief Resilience Scale: Assessing the Ability to Bounce Back. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine,15, 194-200.

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Carrier, J. (2019). The Brief Resilience Scale: A Simple Way To Measure Resilience. Retrieved [insert date] from The World of Work Project:

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