2021 Will Require a New Kind of Business Resilience From Your Team
Only a year like 2020 could bring this kind of stress and decision fatigue for your team.
It’s been a year of hard decision making. And it’s been a time of focus, re-calibration, and immense opportunity. Too many teams and team members have tried to power through, vs. power up with resilience.
The key skill your team needs right now is resilience.
Resilience is, according to the American Psychological Association, “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.” Resilient people still freak out from time to time but they also recognize when they need to take a deep breath, grab another cup of coffee, and get to work.
Resilience is the secret superpower that gets us from this sucky day to a hopeful future, and to find the happiness and joy in between.
Build resilience with this step-by-step toolkit.
Resilience is the ability to adapt well in the face of stress — to go from flying by the seat of your pants to purposeful growth. This is the essential skill needed for the recovery ahead. Get started with this toolkit.
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Equip Your Team to Bounce Back Stronger than Ever
You need to model the way for resilience in your leadership style. And you need to equip your team to also have resilience. The responsibility of leadership is higher than ever.
- Communicate pragmatism and hope. This creates calm and stability for your team. You probably don’t need to communicate daily updates and changes at this point. But you do need to continue sharing current messaging on a routine basis. Consistent, routine messages from you creates a sense of safety for your team. Even if you don’t have any updates, say that! Also, overly optimistic leaders tend to lose credibility pretty quickly. While I share your unicorns and rainbows perspective, the problem with too much optimism is that your world doesn’t tend to work out well that well. When they’re looking to you for answers, temper your enthusiasm with a bit of skepticism (just a little bit).
- Use the 90-day sprint to remain nimble and engage your team. Strategic planning usually has a perspective that consensus and buy in are possible and that goals can take awhile to accomplish. During economic disaster recovery, your team needs to stay more nimble with a focus on goals every 90 days or quarter that move more quickly. You’re not looking for consensus. You’re looking for agreement and commitment on the focus. There’s much more you can control in a quarter, making success and momentum more likely.
- Ask for high expectations and accountability in every part of the business and for every person. When folks are stressed they make mistakes and their self management techniques go out the window. There’s grace to be given there. And it is an opportunity for folks to learn better techniques for accuracy, time management, and focus.
- Get your team members mental health support. Times like these call for new tools. And the burden is being placed on employers if they want to retain talent. EAP and tele-mental health is one option. Professional development coaching can be a key differentiator when recruiting and is a mental wellbeing resource that supports employees in planning ahead, vs. ruminating on the past.
- Re-think transparency. Sometimes employees don’t carry that same stress as you because they don’t have the same information. Share accountability by sharing more information. I’m working with an organization on an interim strategic plan/disaster recovery plan. Those on the working group are seeing the dire financial situation for the first time. And they need to. There’s an urgency for change and key staff need to be involved in that change.
Your team is capable of so much more, but chances are they’re going to need more support to make that happen. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to do all of that by yourself, bring in coaches and consultants for an outside perspective.
As a director or mid-level leader, you need to know what's creating chaos and complexity in your team. Take the Hot Mess Quiz.
As a leader, you've felt paralyzed by where to start first with your team's and organization's problems. Do you need team building or a frank conversation? Like a Rubik's cube, one shift changes everything else, but may create more problems than it solves. Take this 3-minute quiz to find your next best step.