RESILIENCE. Does your team have it?
It's the "ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change" per the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Easy to read that definition, but difficult to apply at times.
Having the ability to cope under extreme pressure, work well through times of challenge and bounce back following disappointing setbacks undoubtedly matters in business. Think about this for a moment, what is the strength of your OWN resilience?
How well do YOU maintain focus, optimism and the energy levels needed to keep striving towards a challenging goal? What impact does your mindset and behavior have on your team when you’re under a lot of pressure? If we all admit, there are plenty of times we fold under extreme pressure - and our teams know it!
Eroded patience, tolerance and emotional control, matched with heightened sensitivity, aggression and defensiveness, are common signs people are lacking resilience. When attitudes and behaviors become destructive or unproductive, a team’s capacity to collaborate and reach their collective potential is dramatically undermined.
Leaders NEED to invest in developing their own resilience as well as that of the people on their team. One of the first steps you should take is to nurture strong relationships across the group, as trust and respect are at the heart of people’s ability to battle through tough times together.
When people believe their leader and colleagues are capable and trustworthy, they’re more likely to feel confident and courageous in the pursuit of challenging objectives.
So how do we, as leaders, encourage steps towards confidence?
First, we need to have a clear view of our own strengths so that people are more likely to maintain belief, optimism and ultimately a ‘can-do’ attitude when under a lot of pressure. Learn the limiting beliefs that hold you and other key members of your team back from being at their best.
Second, manage stress by expecting every team member to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. Lead by example and demonstrate how to maintain balance regardless of their workload demands. Yes, it's important for our team members to work hard, but not at the expense of rest and self-care.
Help your team members to recognize that energy is the vital fuel that enables people to think, feel and behave successfully. If you or your people are constantly running on empty, it’s just a matter time before signs of burnout start to appear.
Finally, give your team members the resources for the problem-solving skills they need to work through complex issues and then identify practical solutions. Sometimes, they may not have been able to meet targets and have that setback because they didn't have the skills needed to solve a particular problem. Don't just hand your team off to a seminar or training course and think that will teach them all they need to know about how to solve problems. You need to step in and work closely with your team to understand how they currently tackle problems and what changes you can suggest to improve the process.
So, let’s not forget the importance of resilience and learning from failures. Whether it’s a project that didn’t meet its targets, a major pitch you didn’t win, or the loss of a big client – helping your team recover from significant setbacks is something you’ll need to learn to navigate as a leader. Don't get complacent with your teams. While failure is never fun, don’t let it also be a wasted opportunity for growth, learning, and above all else, success for the future.