Resilience has always been a hot topic in leadership circles across industries, just last year we held two events in Edinburgh and Birmingham where we looked at the importance of personal and team resilience through periods of continual change. Given these challenging times that the coronavirus has forced the country into, we want to share the advice we learned from senior executives with you on what you can do to manage you and your team’s resilience during COVID 19.
How can leaders build the capacity for resilience in their people?
This was going to be a topic at our London breakfast event planned for last month which had to be postponed as a result of the current Covid19 pandemic. In addition to the terrible impact this pandemic is having on health, lives, jobs and lifestyles, it is also having a massive impact on how those companies still able to operate keep their businesses running.
Working from home
Vast number of people are now working from home with only virtual media to keep in touch with colleagues and clients. For many this change in work environment will add to their own stress as they worry about the current and potential impact of the pandemic on family and friends: – health, childcare, partners working in high risk occupations, finances and so on.
Do we know what they are dealing with?
As leaders, it is crucial we think about our own situation and take care of our own wellbeing as best we can – but we also have a duty to support our teams as best we can in this virtual environment as they also cope with their own situation. Do we know what they are dealing with?
- Do they have a partner who is a key worker and at higher risk of infection?
- Are they juggling with childcare challenges?
- Do they have particular concerns about vulnerable family members?
- Do they live on their own?
- As a leader, understanding the challenges facing our teams is crucial if we are to help them.
That’s why we want to share some of the extremely valuable suggestions from senior executives at our events in Edinburgh and Birmingham and hope that some of these may be a small help as you seek to manage your own and your team’s resilience over the coming weeks and months.
Key insights from senior executives:
Managing 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
- Have a personal diary to log when times are good or tough, and what you have learned and done differently as a resultRecognising 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 someone to talk to – leader, mentor, coach – that can be a sounding board and help to put context to your situation
- 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. (This is even more relevant at the moment as we are even more reliant on technology to keep us connected).
- 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 “innoculated”
- 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. (Again, even more challenging at the moment due to the confines of staying home).
- Getting some regular exercise really helps me to keep my mind healthy
Supporting 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
Boosting resilience in times of change
We are planning to host a virtual session with the two guest speakers who were going to discuss resilience at our postponed breakfast event in March, highlighting what actions and practices to implement immediately with the common purpose of getting you and your team back on track.
The programme and date will be announced soon – watch out for more info soon.
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