Ten Insights into Building your Team’s Resilience – From Home.

From an article by David Sluss and Edward Powley in Harvard Business Review April 14, 2020

1. Resilience is necessary to get through any crisis and three factors are predictive of resilience:

  • high levels of confidence in your abilities
  • disciplined routines for your work
  • social and family support.

2. Develop a ‘resilience inventory dashboard’ by checking with people:

  • how comfortable they feel telecommunicating
  • how they schedule their workdays
  • how you might support them with any life or family commitments (particularly if they need to support elderly or at-risk people).

3. Boost your people’s confidence by conveying your faith in them.

4. Think about how you can help your team adjust to new work routines – you might suggest time blocking and personal productivity strategies but above all suggest they slow down and do not rush.

5. Strengthen your team by displaying compassion – demonstrate you care about your team as people not just employees.

6. The most effective way to measure resilience at work is through individual coaching (a research exercise with the U.S Navy showed that one-on-one guided conversations with recruits sharing positive experiences, comparing challenges and imagining the future saw a 20% increase in resilience).

7. Remind team members they are not alone and help them build a network of colleagues to support them during adversity – the colleague will benefit too because helping offers increases resilience. Also encourage your people to have guided conversations with each other e.g. assign pairs and get them to schedule video chats, discussing successful experiences, problems and what they are learning that can be applied once normality returns.

8. Fear and anxiety narrows our ability to see our future and envision creative solutions. Help your team members face down reality by asking them what plans they have for working remotely longer than they might have anticipated – help them plan constructively. Help direct reports recognise skills and talents that might be especially helpful during a crisis e.g. a term member who is superb at dealing with distractions could provide virtual training to colleagues.

9. Viewing unsuccessful experiences as learning opportunities rather than failures helps build resilience i.e. focusing on opportunities lying within the adversity, rather than despite the adversity.

10. Hold daily ‘stand up meetings’ as done in agile process but remember to focus on relationships as much as tasks. Lead discussions.

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