You’re in charge of a team at work that you really like and respect. They work well together, know and appreciate each other’s quirks, and have a strong bond.
But lately, a few team members have had some serious personal issues. One’s son has an addiction problem that isn’t getting better and another recently put her mom in hospice care. Adding to the stress, last week the team was asked to speed it up on a major project and have deliverables ready to go two weeks earlier than planned.
Resiliency. It’s the ability to recover quickly from disruptive change or hardship without being overwhelmed or acting in dysfunctional ways. It’s such an important competency for leaders. In fact, resilience to challenges is often the single most important factor distinguishing those who succeed from those who fail.
What makes a person more resilient than another? Emotional intelligence and empathy are two main characteristics that these folks have in abundance.
- Emotional intelligence is the capability to recognize your feelings, understand what they're telling you, and realize how they affect people around you.
- Empathy is understanding other people’s thoughts, feelings, and state of mind from their point of view rather than from your own.
Resilience is not something you do, it’s something you are. ~ Dr. Erica Seville
Check out these tips on becoming a more resilient leader:
Develop a communication strategy.
- Be open and honest by being transparent from the top-down and offering honest communication from the bottom-up without the fear of retaliation for telling it like it is.
- Insist on frequent formal and informal exchanges of ideas.
Initiate a change leadership approach.
- Demonstrate a healthy attitude and approach to change.
- Understand, predict, and prepare for the inevitability of things changing.
Know the importance of personal and professional growth.
- Search out new learning and assignment opportunities for your team.
- Have a plan in place for mentoring, leadership development, and professional evolution.
Don’t underestimate the ongoing re-recruitment of your top talent.
- Resilient, hardy employees will wither in non-resilient organizations—and have a serious potential to be poached.
- Regularly review compensation and ways to increase nonmonetary-based rewards.
What’s the impact of reinforcing resilience? A robust organization that produces strong workers. Resilient employees often have higher engagement, better health, less stress, improved morale, and are better teammates. And often these companies are more profitable, more productive, have better customer loyalty, experience reduced absenteeism and turnover rates, as well as exhibit more innovation and creativity.
Teaching and practicing resilience at work is worth the effort. Want to learn more? Be sure to visit our website and download articles and discover training opportunities, such as our Principles of Leadership Excellence series and Emotionally Intelligent Leader class, to tune up your organization’s resiliency know-how.