Resilience During Times of Change

In one of our recent articles, we looked at some of the outputs from discussions held at our breakfast event in Edinburgh looking at the challenges associated with turning business intent into reality.

The second keynote session delivered at this event by Jill McLean provided an extremely insightful and thought-provoking look at the importance of personal and corporate resilience through periods of continual change. Jill explored a number of key questions including, “How can leaders build the capacity for resilience in their people?”

Many of our attendees were familiar with the challenge of being asked to deliver more with less and cope with an ever-increasing number of change initiatives and the resilience this requires of them as leaders to support their teams.

During a follow up working session with attendees, we had a number of small round table discussions to enable everyone to share their own experiences on how they support themselves and their teams in becoming more resilient during periods of continual change.

Below are a few of the key insights that came out of these discussions:

Personal resilience

  • Self-awareness of your own capacity for reliance is key – being honest about your own situation, what have I done well and what have I struggled with, enables me to take control of my own agenda.
  • Having a close social relationship with someone who knows me and I trust to be really honest about my own self-assessment is an invaluable aide
  • Recognising that the social support is just as important for my emotional support as it is for practical guidance – a key factor in strengthening my resilience
  • Have a technology ‘detox’ session. Technology is a great enabler to encourage more flexibility in working practice, but often leads to an increase in availability and lack of personal time to recharge the batteries – this can be very draining on resilience.
  • Knowing I have met and overcome issues in the past helps me build my own resilience when I’m doubting myself. Resilience builds with exposure, almost like being “inoculated”
  • One delegate spoke about having ‘Impostor Syndrome’ – a feeling of I’m not worthy at times. They had been allocated a mentor and now at least recognises the condition and is better able to rationalise things.
  • Looking after myself and doing something outside of work that provides a balance and ‘you’ space. My wellbeing is key if I am going to lead my team through change.

Team resilience

  • Openness and honesty with my team are imperative if we are to work through change successfully – we are in this together.
  • Recognising and promoting awareness of my own and my team’s health  –  both physically and mentally
  • Encourage my team to have the same technology ‘detox’ session that I find so invaluable.
  • Recognising the “whole” person.  My team have a life outside the organisation – which may be a source of stress as well as a support to them
  • Meeting people in the same boat – support network.
  • Live my values and set an example – if my team can see me living my values they are more likely to follow

These are just some of the key points shared by our delegates during these discussions. Following the success of this event, we are looking to run further breakfast events at other locations later this year. If you are interested in attending – watch this space for more updates.

Alan Thompson