Building Resiliency

Building Resiliency

By LAURA LESTUS, CAS, The Liberty Group

from ‘ABODE July 2021’Building Resiliency..

It’s so much more than a buzzword. Resiliency is the key to one of the biggest problems companies and their leadership face today: successful change.

If we have learned anything in the past year and a half, it is that working on the resiliency muscle is not a one-time training session but should be a large part of our company culture. The ability to be able to bounce back, persevere and finish a task, no matter how difficult it is, facing the situation head-on and come out a winner is the ultimate goal.

How confident are you feeling today? How confident do you think each member of your team is feeling today? I often ask myself “Am I doing everything I can to lead my team competitively into the future?” That is a heavy load to carry for those of us who thrive on the success and development of others.

More recently, consistent training and continuing education often get pushed down the list of priorities because let’s face it, in our industry, so much is out of our control, so this is why we need to dominate what we can control!

Our world throws curveballs at us every day. It’s ever-changing and often leaves us feeling defeated at times. If we want to survive, scratch that, I mean to thrive in our personal and professional lives, we have to intentionally focus on what will help our teams develop the skills to not just adapt and manage change but drive the change!

Developing a Resilient Team

My brother and I grew up in a single-parent household where my mother never worked less than two jobs at a time to support us. My brother was special needs and required quite a bit of additional care, as he was in a wheelchair from the age of 8. I truly believe I developed my own resiliency by seeing what a resilient person looks like firsthand.

I feel like resiliency is something that should be a major focus for the development of leaders and their teams. If we have learned anything in the past year and a half, it is that working on the resiliency muscle is not a one-time training session but should be a large part of our company culture. The ability to be able to bounce back, persevere and finish a task, no matter how difficult it is, facing the situation head-on and come out a winner is the ultimate goal. That is not an easy task if you are not a naturally resilient person.

So, what can we do to help develop a resilient team? The good news is, resilience is not something that you either have or don’t have, it can be taught.

In navigating change, resiliency is required because it helps people handle the inherent pressure that change brings, uncertainty and setbacks. Leaders need to build their own reserves and resiliency in support of their mental and physical health.

As a leader of your team, you can start by gaining greater self-awareness.

Identify your own gaps in resilience. To start, employers can recommend individuals take the proper steps to take care of themselves. Developing a resilient mindset starts with taking care of your mind and body. When we commit to getting adequate sleep, exercise or movement, spending time on activities that bring us joy, and practicing gratitude, we’re better able to cope with challenges or roadblocks in life and at work.

In navigating change, resiliency is required because it helps people handle the inherent pressure that change brings, uncertainty and setbacks. Leaders need to build their own reserves and resiliency in support of their mental and physical health.

Now that we have begun the work to remain resilient as leaders, we can help our team on a path of resiliency by consistently providing the following:

Team Support. Effective leaders facilitate change and devote a considerable effort to engaging everyone involved in the change effort. Assistant Vice President for Training and Organization Development at Eton Properties Philippines, Alvin Abrantes, wrote in an article published on LinkedIn titled “How to Be a Successful Change Leader,” successful “change projects” are characterized by leaders removing barriers to employee success. These include personal barriers such as wounded egos and a sense of loss, as well as professional barriers such as the time and resources necessary to carry out a change plan. Leaders of unsuccessful change focused exclusively on results, so employees didn’t get the support they needed for the change.

Learn. Abrantes also said that successful change leaders never assumed they had all the answers. They ask lots of questions of their team, peers and even family members and gathered formal and informal feedback. The input and feedback allowed them to make continual adjustments during the change. Asking many questions to gather accurate information will give your companies leaders the knowledge they need to make appropriate adjustments along the way to ensure your team feels supported and strengthen their resiliency muscle.

Professional Development. I believe some of this is individually driven. If you require professional development that isn’t in alignment with each individuals’ values, goals or purpose, it will be a waste of time and money for your employee and your company. However, if you challenge the individual to find something they want to learn, that will have an impact in their dayto-day life, you now have an opportunity to build a training program around that.

A very important question to ask them is, “What are the things that you’re drawn to?” Or “What are the things that excite you?” It is important to make them clearly define what growth and development mean for them. These conversations will foster an atmosphere of collaboration, team growth and a sense of ownership in the organization’s vision.

Help others. Whether you volunteer with a local homeless shelter, or simply support a friend in their own time of need, you can garner a sense of purpose, foster self-worth, connect with other people, and tangibly help others, all of which can empower you to grow in resilience.

Be proactive. It’s helpful to acknowledge and accept your emotions during hard times, but it’s also important to help you foster self-discovery by asking yourself, “What can I do about a problem in my life?” If the problems seem too big to tackle, break them down into manageable pieces.

Even though different groups within your company may look at change management differently, it is extremely important to always address the human side of change within your organization.

Change is inevitable, but the resiliency of our team will determine if we survive or thrive. Let’s thrive!

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