Merge's Blog

Train your people to build resilience in themselves

I’ve been focusing all this year on tools to help you help your employees build resilience.  Today’s tip is to give your people training to help them increase their own competency in building resilience.  Let me explain.

Train your people to build resilience in themselves

Not surprisingly, it takes more than just your effort as a leader to build resilience in your people.  They need to take ownership for it themselves as well.  But not everyone has the skills to build resilience in themselves.  Which is why helping them develop these competencies will not only make them stronger, but serve you and your organization too.

Historically, it was unacceptable to show emotion in the workplace; in fact, being composed and calm at all times was seen as a key leadership skill.  Leaders often believed that it was imperative to handle problems and issues quickly, without having to depend on other resources.  And burnout was considered a career stopper.  Fortunately, today workplaces have changed.  We know that the most resilient people are the ones who are able to show and regulate their emotions.  We recognize that it’s okay to both slow down, and ask for help from others when needed.  And perhaps most importantly, we are well aware that we need to make time to rejuvenate to refuel resilience BEFORE we burn out.

Focus on six specific competencies

The research in this area indicates that there are six specific competencies that are important for people to develop in order to embrace current beliefs on this subject, and build resilience in themselves.  Here are the six competencies:

  1. Self-awareness – the ability to identify your own thoughts, emotions and behaviours, particularly counter-productive patterns that cause stress and burnout.
  2. Self-regulation – which is being able to regulate your thoughts, emotions, and actions. In other words, not just recognizing what might cause stress and burnout, but also taking action to manage those negative thoughts and emotions.
  3. Optimism – being able to stay positive and maintain hope, even when things seem to be going wrong. By identifying what is controllable, you have confidence in yourself and believe that you can do it.
  4. Mental agility – the ability to think flexibly and take in other perspectives and views on adversities. It also includes the willingness to “think outside the box” and try new approaches.
  5. Strengths of character – you know what your strengths are, and how to use them to achieve goals and overcome challenges
  6. Connection – the competency of building strong relationships, supporting others, and having positive and effective communication skills.

Good news!! … these competencies can be learned!

The good news is that all six of these competencies can be learned.  And if you feel that you don’t have the ability (or time) to teach them to your staff, there are training programs available that both build resilience and mindfulness.  In fact, I offer a program in my leadership development practice that focuses specifically on these six competencies.

There is an old adage that says “Give a man a fish, and he will be hungry again tomorrow; teach him to catch a fish, and he will be richer all his life.”  As a leader, you can take a variety to actions to help your people become more resilient.  Or you can train them to build resilience in themselves, and you’ll set them up for life.

I would love to hear about your experiences when it comes to resiliency training.  Is it available in your organization?  Elsewhere?  What have you found to be the most valuable resource?  Please share by commenting below.

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