5 Ways to Build Resilience for Your Team

5 Ways to Build Resilience for Your Team 

Does bouncing back from change seem harder these days? Is your team feeling tired, unfocused, and unmotivated? Have you and your team lost sight of your collective goals?

It may be time to build up some resilience. Long-term stress wears away at our ability to return to equilibrium, and in that state even small challenges can knock us back on our heels. 

There’s no avoiding stressors. The key is to cultivate your ability to ride the waves of chaos without allowing them to engulf you — and to instill this skill in your team as well. 

  1. Acknowledge the impact of a VUCA world

We’re living in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times. From global crises to shifts in the very nature of work, leaders are shouldering an especially heavy burden of ongoing pressure these days. In this context, changes at work, even positive ones, can induce more acute reactions to stress.

Trying to “muscle through” your own feelings of discomfort not only wears you down as a leader, it also leaves your team feeling isolated. Acknowledge the situation and share how it affects you, even if you don’t have all the answers. Your team will follow suit with honest communication and genuine connection. Everyone’s resilience is bolstered by that camaraderie.  

  1. Counter volatility with values

Rapid change puts people into a reactive state of mind, and it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. If your leadership vision and values aren’t already clear in your mind, take time to define them for yourself now. And continually remind your team of the core values that guide your work together.

  1. Meet uncertainty with openness

The unknown can generate anxiety, but it can also be an opportunity for innovation. Invite your team to explore new ways of thinking, brainstorm ideas for novel solutions, and try out never-been-done approaches. Lead by listening — ingenuity flourishes when you create space for everyone to be heard. 

  1. Manage complexity with clarity

Be transparent about challenges and specific in offering support. For example, when a big last-minute project pops up, go beyond platitudes like “We’ll get through this!” Leverage actionable language: “We’ll get through this by dividing the project into three stages, and we’ll develop the timeline together at Monday’s staff meeting.” 

  1. Overcome ambiguity with agility

Change is constant, and you can’t always anticipate it. Blend planning with flexibility.  Brainstorm with your team to identify various possible obstacles and ideas for overcoming them. And when your plans are foiled, reorient your team around your larger goals as you collaboratively pivot to a new approach.   

Resilience is a team effort

Stress and anxiety are human responses that indicate something unusual is happening. A non-attachment approach, or realizing that these thoughts and emotions are simply part of a larger experience you’re all having, helps everyone develop the skills to bounce back from obstacles and return to a pre-crisis psychological state. You and your team can cultivate resilience together, even when the changes keep on coming.

Powerful question: What kinds of obstacles are most likely to send you into a tailspin of stress? What skill could you strengthen to reduce that impact? 

Follow us on LinkedIn