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The Hardiness Institute evolved from a landmark study by Dr. Salvatore R. Maddi and his team of researchers at the University of Chicago. We worked with 400 employees at Illinois Bell Telephone (IBT) before, during, and after the greatest divestiture in history. Almost 2/3 of the people showed significant wellness breakdown. But, the remaining third maintained health and performance and actually thrived on the upheavals. Those who thrived had three, related, characteristics that we came to call Hardiness.

The first characteristic was their HardiAttitudes that is, powerful attitudes about self, the world, and the interaction between the two that motivate and enable one to engage in Performance, Leadership, and Health Enhancing thoughts and behaviors. The HardiAttitude™ of commitment led them to feel important and worthwhile enough to engage fully in work tasks despite stressful changes. The HardiAttitude™ of control motivated them to find ways to influence the outcome of stressful changes, rather than lapse into helplessness and passivity. Rather than feel threatened by such changes, the HardiAttitude™ of challenge helped them to stay open to the work environment and to the work community, while they searched for innovative solutions to workplace problems.

HardiCoping™ was the second characteristic of IBT employees who thrived. These employees engaged in coping habits that helped them to turn adversity to advantage by broadening their perspective and understanding of the stressful changes.

IBT employees who thrived also possessed a specific pattern of giving and getting social and personal assistance and encouragement to, and from, the work community. HardiSocial Support™ contributed strongly to the strengthening of their HardiAttitudes and HardiCoping efforts.

Hundreds of corporate managers have benefited from Hardiness services and products. Some of our corporate clients include ARCO, Baxter Health Care Corporation, California Pacific Medical Center and, of course, IBT. Also, throughout the world, numerous researchers across a variety of settings conduct studies to evaluate the role of hardiness in performance, leadership, health, and personal and professional satisfaction.