One of my friends owns a coaching company. Post-pandemic, three topics of great importance to his clientele have emerged.
Wellness. Purpose. Resilience.
This week and next, I’ll discuss resilience.
It has been three years since the pandemic hit like a cyclone. Thankfully, things have returned (mostly) to normal, but some people are still feeling pretty beat up.
For leaders, this represents a two sided challenge. First, how do we maintain our personal resilience? And second, how do we help build resilience in those we are responsible for leading?
First, let’s create a working definition.
Resilience is the ability of a leader to recover quickly from setbacks, adapt to change, and maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity, for both themselves and those they lead.
Tall order? Perhaps. But eminently doable.
Today we’ll discuss six resilience building tools. Next week, we’ll tackle a few more.
Develop Self-Awareness – All of us have different strengths, weaknesses, emotions, and triggers. Sometimes, as leaders, we feel pressure to come off as “perfect.” If you are trying to project that image, it will ultimately catch up with you and undermine your leadership and possibly even your physical health.
Invest time in understanding what your triggers are. For example, I get easily discouraged. When this happens, I start feeling that my successes are meaningless and that I’m a fraud and have no business leading.
I’ve learned over the years to catch myself as soon as I get discouraged so I can nip it in the bud. Not always, but probably 80 to 90% of the time. The sooner I catch it, the quicker I bounce back.
Practice Optimism and Gratitude – I did a post on gratitude a while back. If you want to check that one out, just click the button.
For me, this step comes immediately after I catch myself traveling down discouragement boulevard. It really helps me keep my focus where it needs to be. And, it’s simple!
Another helpful tip here is to focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems. This will help both you and your team to lead better.
Focus On the Long Game – Will what you’re stressed about today even be an issue in a week? A month? A year? Probbably not. Establishing proper perspective brings both clarity and an increased sense of control.
Remind yourself and your team about WHY you do what you do. This will prop up flagging energy levels and help you stay motivated and committed to your vision.
Embrace Change – yep, I said it. And nope, I’m not kidding.
Adopt a growth mindset. Be open to learning from new experiences. Understand that change is inevitable, and adaptability is a vital skill for successful leadership.
If you can, embrace changes in areas outside your comfort zone. This will bolster your confidence and renew your energy for the things you know well. Over the last few years for me, I’ve done this with sailing and scuba diving. I was quite fearful of both, at first, but both activities have given me more courage to try new things.
Foster Strong Relationships – My realtor friends say “location, location, location.” For leaders, I say “connection, connection, connection.”
Everyone needs a support network of colleagues, friends, and family who can provide encouragement, advice, and guidance during difficult times.
Set Realistic Expectations – Setbacks and failures are a part of our leadership adventure. Accept them as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as personal shortcomings. Giving yourself a little grace from time to time can really help.