“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of Resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. It’s true on the cancer wards, it’s true at the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom” – Dean Becker
A business, like a person or any other living thing, must grow and adapt to be able to live. If it stands still, it dies, sooner rather than later.
Resilience is the indispensable ingredient for personal, team and business growth.
So, what is Resilience, how is it made up, and why do your teams need it?
Let’s dive straight in:
The 3 Characteristics of Resilience
Resilient people have three characteristics (this is a result of a meta-analysis of a whole host of studies):
- a staunch acceptance of, or the ability to face down, reality,
- a deep belief including strongly held values, that life is meaningful, and
- an uncanny ability to improvise or roll with the punches.
In work and life, it is standard practice to deal with success and failure. You could even say that this is how most individuals measure the outcomes of their lives.
Businesses appear to stand or fall on their ability to manage those two things. Most empirical research states that only the most Resilient survive. This holds equally true for people, teams and businesses.
In the video, I showed you what happened when I worked with a sales team for nine months. Their goal: To build greater resilience.
I helped them define their business challenges in a particular way:
- to share dilemmas by asking powerful questions,
- to capture knowledge by asking powerful questions,
- and to collaborate with each other more powerfully.
This process created greater team resilience, it underpinned teamwork, and it accelerated personal development. At the end, it led to a more cohesive team, a decrease in attrition, and greater business to business sales.
How did my coaching empower the team to become more resilient?
I am able to bring my 20 years of international executive experience into play, my expertise in building teams. This enabled the team to ask powerful questions, to have powerful conversations and to fuse into a cohesive team with well-oiled internal communication instead of ripping each other apart.
How did the 3 characteristics of Resilience come into play?
1. Facing Down Reality
What does it mean to Face Down Reality?
A common belief about resilience is that it stems from an optimistic nature. That is partly true, but not if this attitude distorts your sense of reality.
In fact, one study of former prisoners of war showed that those who survived employed extremely realistic views on their survival.
A general was asked: “Who did not make it out of the camps?” He replied: “Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. The ones who were convinced they would be out by Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving.”
A good question to ask is: “Do I truly understand and accept the reality of my situation?”
Why would you ask that?
One reason might be to stop yourself slipping into denial as a coping mechanism.
Another might be, when you truly stare down reality, you prepare yourself to act in ways that allow you to endure and survive difficulty and hardship.
One of the elements that help you take this stance is Meaning.
2. The Search for Meaning
The second building block of Resilience is the “search for meaning”.
It is a way of helping you to construct meaning in your everyday life. It is also known as Purpose.
Resilient people look for a purpose to whatever they are doing, especially in times of hardship or in situations that may be perceived as hopeless.
They seek answers in ways which will help them build a bridge from where they are to where they need to be. That way of thinking appears to be key to survival.
Here are some questions you might ask yourself in this process:
- What is trying to reveal itself Through, In and As my life?
- What Purpose can I find through what is happening?
- How can I use this to learn something which will bolster my existence?
Having a sense of purpose transforms your energy from a lower state to a higher one. This enables you to cope with present day hardships in a more manageable way. It is a dynamic state of consciousness and requires one-pointed knowing, total confidence.
How you would you achieve a higher state of consciousness?
This can be done through self-awareness exercises, which help you recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well as their effects on others.
The hallmarks of self-awareness exercises are self-confidence, realistic self-assessment (another way of practicing being totally honest with yourself) and a self-deprecating sense of humour.
Did you know that the hallmarks of practicing self-awareness are also some of the components of Resilience?
It seems almost obvious: when you are self-confident, realistic about your situation and don’t take yourself too seriously, let them come. You’re ready for it.
This readiness leads us directly to the third characteristic of Resilience:
3. The Ability to Roll with the Punches
The third building block deals with your willingness to be creative and innovative in the face of severe challenge.
Studies have shown that when people are put under pressure, they regress to their most habituated ways of responding.
The ability to roll with the punches requires you to step out of your comfort zone and behave in ways you would not normally do.
You can start by asking yourself these questions:
- How is your willingness to improvise so you may find a solution to your problem?
- Do you see Improvisation as a core skill?
- Do you have what it takes to roll with the punches?
So, based on all this…
How do you lead your team to achieve Innovative breakthroughs?
You prepare and lead your team through the practice of Resilience.
The hallmark of a team is not defined by its successes only, but by its ability to morph and do what is necessary in the face of perceived failure.
This relies on:
- How well the members of a team know themselves.
- How realistic are they upon encountering challenges and difficulties.
- How comfortable are they with the idea of finding meaning in the midst of disappointment.
- How tooled up are they to roll with the punches.
When teams are able to create these powerful mental habits that enable them to steer a successful path through challenge and disappointment, they are equipped to recover quickly and morph in ways to achieve what such situations require of them: innovative breakthroughs.
If you wish to know more about how you can empower your teams or to work with me as a coach, call me on +44 (0)7983 164 667 or click here to complete the contact form. I look forward to talking with you.