In this series of posts on resilience I’ve put forward a three part prescription for your own resilience.
First: Turn away from a victim mindset where your response to challenge is to throw up your hands, throw in the towel and ask “Why is this happening to me?” Instead get into the habit of meeting difficult moments with a pause to catch your breath and ask yourself “OK. Here we are. What am I going to do next?”
Second: Start thinking about your mental wellbeing on a sickness-wellness-fitness continuum. Practice recognising where you are on that spectrum and adjusting your self-expectations accordingly. And take steps to proactively move yourself towards the fitness end of the spectrum.
Third: Stay on top of your priorities. Make sure you’re making time for work that is important but less urgent, and for the things that keep you grounded and sane.
The final piece of the puzzle for this series of posts, is that as a leader, wherever you are in the hierarchy, keep an eye on your team in terms of all of the above. This is a key part of fulfilling John Adair’s idea that as a leader you have to pay attention to task, individuals and team.
All the time, and especially when things are particularly busy, check in with the individuals you work with. Are they on top of things? How are they doing with the three-part prescription of mindset, mental wellbeing and priorities? If their balance is off, how can you help?
If you think someone needs some help, don’t try to be too clever. Just talk with them. Ask how they are. Ask how things are going. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help. You might be surprised. All it might take to really help is to give permission to go home an hour early. Or pick out a key priority from in-amongst a mass of deadlines and pressures.
But as well as looking out for the individuals you work with, think about the resilience of the team. Is the team coming together to face challenge (not as a victimised minority, but) as a proactive group? Does the team have time in its schedule to build its cohesiveness and communication? Does the team know what’s most important right now?
Care for the team’s wellbeing as much as you do for the individuals in the group, and you’ll be embedding resilience on every level.