Developing Leadership and Team Resilience

The intensity for leaders and teams to produce results faster along with constant changes can seem insurmountable. Fortunately, leaders and teams can successfully cope with the pressures and setbacks by developing resilience.

Developing Leadership and Team Resilience

I lead a regional human resources development team responsible for training 500 HR personnel. Recently, our training budget was eliminated due to financial constraints. Therefore, students could not travel to attend required training. As you might imagine, we panicked. Our overarching thought was, “how will this impact our jobs?”

Our situation may be different than yours. However, the emotions experienced during adversity are similar. Luckily, we recognized the importance of moving past our current mindset. Just as we did, you can apply the following four practices to develop resilience and overcome adversity.

See the opportunity in adversity. In our case, I asked the question, “What if we could provide training at no cost that simulated job requirements?” The initial response was it couldn’t be done. Instead of debating, I encouraged dialogue that reframed the problem into an opportunity for us to add value. With a new mindset, the problem became smaller while at the same time reducing everyone’s anxiety.

Adopt a get it done now attitude. Armed with a learning and discovery mindset, we brainstormed ideas, selected a solution and developed an implementation plan. With a plan in place, we made great strides in small steps to achieve the desired outcome. Furthermore, procrastination and emotions were minimized because we took action instead of simply wishing the problem did not exist.

Create collaborative relationships. Achieving the desired outcome meant enlisting the support of 15 HR Directors. First, it was important they understood how the new method would benefit them and their employees. Second, for the plan to succeed we needed the input from HR subject matter experts to develop simulated training scenarios. By involving the people impacted, we gained the necessary assistance for success.

Anticipate and manage setbacks. Since our idea was a new concept, we expected problems to occur. To manage the issues we established follow-up methods to address problems immediately, allowing the team to communicate the improvements. Furthermore, everyone continued to support and benefit from the training. As a result, managing setbacks minimizes finger pointing and blame.

Daily pressure and adversity are the norms in today’s work environment. How leaders and teams respond to problems is a choice. Choose to apply the four practices to become more resilient. The payoff is worth the effort.

Question: What other practices do you recommend for building resilience?

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