Building Resilience In Team Members
Understand that change, as a personal experience, is something you decide to get on board with or not.
Sometimes you can forget the amazing coping strategies you already have within.
Staff going through change need support. That support does not have to be large and complex, but one of the things I find makes the biggest difference is actually to build your team members’ resilience.
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In an organisation, if you’re going through change, and you don’t actually consider how resilient your staff are, you have a real risk on your hands. If you assume that your staff will just cope with the change, know how to deal with the change, respond to the change and get that behavioural shift that your looking for, you probably have a big risk there.
Resilience is about bouncing back when things aren’t going as well.
Resilience, for me, is something that develops naturally over time.
Resilience is about bouncing back when things aren’t going as well. It’s that natural ability we have that evolves and builds over time. However, we need to actually remind ourselves what are our coping strategies are, when we are going through change, as during a stressful time we sometimes forget the basics.
That’s where a change strategist like myself comes in. I do a lot of work with clients in raising the resilience levels of their staff members either through workshops or coaching processes. One of the big insights that I’ve had in doing this work for a number of years, is the fact that sometimes in change, people forget the amazing coping strategies they actually have.
In the workshops I have conducted, over the last three years, I have kept a record of all the coping strategies (there are hundreds!) and workplaces can encourage staff to utilise these not only at home but at work.
Some of the key items are simply:
- breathe deeply a few times;
- talk to a counselor, friend or close colleague;
- go for a walk outside and look at the environment;
- wash your face and hands in cool water;
- put things in a longer term view (this may be a small bump, not a huge hill);
- prepare a set of questions on your concerns or knowledge gaps; and
- talk to your leader or manager.
A lot of my work is about reminding people what skills and capabilities they actually have. Resilience is raised from a very natural and normal experience of going through change. Even when you were a child, you were growing resilience, through things that went on for you at school or home.
Change is a personal experience.
Some of that change in life might not be very pleasant, might be very sad, might be very heart warming. Likewise, in the work context, the change could be good, or it may be not so good. It could be change we’ve had control over, could be change where we don’t have control over it. How we actually cope with change, and how we move through the change relies on how resilient we are as people. Resilience also has a lot to do with emotional intelligence.
The best change strategies and plans have a number of specific strategies in them that focus particularly on peoples’ hearts and minds.
Change is a personal experience.
You have to personally decide to get on board or not. Attitude and mindset have a lot to do with your ability to work through change. So running a resilience workshop or having a workplace counselor on hand in very complex staff changes are very simple but powerful strategies that will make a real difference for people.
Resilience is something that develops naturally. It’s something that I urge you all to think about: “What are my coping strategies? And which ones would I use if I was actually struggling with a change in my organisation?”
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