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Resilience – Grow Through It

During this hybrid era of work, I have noticed and appreciated how open, personal, and supportive clients and colleagues are interacting. The standard greeting of “How are you?” brings all sorts of personal stories from triumphs to challenges of how we’re going through this time of disruption. It’s why topics such as employee well-being, burnout, company care and concern, and resilience have become vital topics for leaders and learning. Progressive executive teams are making crisis resilience plans with learning from the past year to consider how to be better prepared and positioned for the next black swan event.

What if we added a question to our conversations, “How are you growing?”? How are you preparing to be better equipped and positioned for the future of work? A focus on developing greater resilience is one way to help future-proof yourself as a leader, your teams, and your organization.

Resilience is defined as adaptation to the challenges and trauma of everyday life. It includes emotional intelligence skills that can be learned by leaders, teams, and organizations to demonstrate emotional strength and effectiveness during tough times – with recovery afterwards. And it has close ties to our physical and mental health and well-being.

What can we do nurture and develop more resilience?

Get to know yourself under stress.

Have you ever considered how you show up to others when under stress? Typically, we all have blind spots, strengths, and gaps in how we manage ourselves and others during challenge. Both self-reflection and feedback are excellent tools for helping us uncover blind spots and position ourselves for growth. I enjoy helping clients reflect and collect feedback through coaching, 360-feedback and 1:1 stakeholder conversations. And if you’re preparing to tackle a complex project, go through a significant transition, or you encounter an unexpected challenge, you may want to invest time seeking feedback from your trusted advisors and teammates.

Visit your values and purpose.

How crystal are your personal and leadership values? How accessible is your purpose? Our values and purpose serve as valuable guardrails to guide our behavior and can ground and refuel us during crisis and uncertainty. If values and purpose are not easily accessible today, leaders spending time weaving questions into coaching conversations with employees can help clarify and reinforce them and make them readily available for the day-to-day challenges. According to Limeade behavioral science research, demonstrating leadership values such as care and concern for employees’ well-being can lead to employees being 4x less likely to suffer from burnout and stress; 7x more likely to feel included at work; and 9x more likely to stay at their company for 3+ years.

Disrupt yourself on purpose.

While the disruption of the past year has likely felt like it’s happening to us, we can also increase our resilience by disrupting ourselves on purpose. Seek ways to make yourself uncomfortable and gain new perspectives by making changes. Changes like: alter your social media habits; rearrange your home office; volunteer in the community; take a different route to work; add or change up your fitness routine. Prepare to learn new insights about yourself – your strengths and gaps and gain awareness of new possibilities that you may apply to your work and leadership.

Discover your traits and learning resources.

At TalentQuest we help leaders and organizations assess personality traits and cognitive abilities for specific hiring and development purposes. Knowing your natural preferences and abilities for adapting to challenges provides a good baseline to aid leaders in developing greater resiliency. We also provide learning resources such as leadership coaching and, both, instructor-led group learning for emotional intelligence skills and self-directed eLearning on emotional intelligence with our Leadership Series.

Ask others, “How are you growing?”

This is what I did at TalentQuest. I asked my colleagues a one question poll: “How have you grown through it?” and prompted them for an insight or skill gained or for a breakthrough experience. I received the most encouraging and inspiring stories. One leader shared that he learned to trust his team even more by focusing on results vs. operational rules. Other colleagues shared that they have learned to be more fluid and entrepreneurial in using their time; to identify and seize opportunities born from adversity; to rethink processes and strengthen team culture; prioritize self-care; and increase virtual communication skills and confidence. Another leader noted how important it was to learn the uniqueness of every person’s experience and perspective and the power of showing intellectual and emotional curiosity and empathy to others.

There are many meaningful growth stories for us to carry forward as leaders and teams to develop our collective organizational resilience. I’ve learned that it’s important to ask and share these stories with each other.

How are you preparing yourself and your teams to be better equipped and positioned for the future of work?

Let TalentQuest prepare with you

Dr. Schrage is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and an Executive Consultant at TalentQuest. Having served the bulk of her career inside the business in talent leadership roles, Dr. Schrage’s experience leading organizational development, talent management, and learning teams spans big technology, global restaurants, financial services, and the non-profit sector. Since joining TalentQuest in 2018, Marsha partners with clients to deliver customized talent management and leadership development strategies, facilitate employee engagement and learning solutions, and provide executive assessment and coaching services.

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