Leading Resilient Teams

Leading Resilient Teams

Many organisations are experiencing the challenge of supporting their workforces to embrace “the return” and as leaders we are trying to respond to what this means for individuals and the wider team. We are calling on ourselves and our team members to be resilient and to find a way forward in a nuanced environment. As we try and navigate this new normal it is important to remember that how resilient we are as a team is still as important as how personally gritty we are. So as a leader what can you do to encourage team resilience?

Firstly, what is resilience? At its core, it is our ability to get back up again following setbacks. Many great leaders and teams will experience setbacks and adversity – it’s all part of the human experience. No one has had a straight line to success or achievement. Cultivating a team that is gritty will help sustain a high-performance culture and creates an ability to weather the tough times.

It’s not about endurance but building behaviours over the long term – it’s holistic and requires commitment and practice. There are a set of core principles that underpin our holistic personal wellness such as rest, nutrition, movement and hydration but here are the behaviours that as a leader you can encourage:

  1. Building Self-esteem / confidence within your team’s DNA– Celebrate the successes, analyse what you do well together as a team and reflect on where you need to improve. Encouraging individuality and an environment of self-assessment and personal development builds reassurance that everyone is a work in progress and everyone’s strengths and weaknesses have a place in the team.
  2. Purpose – successful and resilient teams believe in their ability to achieve things together, there is a sense of cohesive purpose. As a leader helping your team to understand the wider purpose and team-specific goals is a key step, If, as a team, there is a shared sense of purpose and goal congruence then there is more pulling together during times of stress as everyone knows what is expected of them and how their roles fit together.
  3. Creating connections – resilient teams feel connected to each other, understanding their position in the team and the wider goals. Encouraging opportunities for team members to share personal goals and drivers, important events through their careers and preferences builds connections on a deeper level and a greater understanding of the strengths of the team.
  4. Trust – this is often referred to as psychological safety but at its heart there has to be sufficient trust within a team in order for individuals to take calculated risks, work outside of their comfort zone without fear of criticism or blame. Trust takes time to build but as a leader sharing experiences of failure and demonstrating empathy is key. 
  5. Feedback – providing regular constructive feedback and engaging in 360 feedback demonstrates commitment to continual improvement as a team. Also having a zero tolerance towards negative cross-talking and team politics requires you to be brave as a leader. Confronting negativity, addressing inequality and calling out disrespectful comments or behaviours that may deteriorate the team’s sense of respect will reinforce what it means to be part of your team.

If you are keen to understand more about your own resilience as a leader, we at Rise Well Coaching + Consulting provide 1-2-1 and team leadership coaching focusing on resilience and emotional intelligence helping create thriving workplace cultures.

If you’d like to learn more about our workshops and coaching, please do take a look at our leadership, wellbeing and culture services.

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