June 30, 2020

How to Build & Show Resilience as a Leader

by Wendy Ryan in Blog Roll, Leadership

Leaders don’t need to be resilient only in times of crisis; they need this every day. Consider that most of us experience disappointment and suffer failures every single day, in addition to coping with the history-making and world shaping events going on around us. For example, when:

  • The traffic light that turns yellow just as you approach it and you are already late for an appointment
  • Or the store doesn’t have an item in your size.
  • Or when you forget to hit “send” on that email and miss a deadline.

These are minor hiccups in the grand scheme of things. What leaders (and their team members) can often do better is apply the same coping skills we use to deal with the little things to bigger disappointments and failures.

You can begin to do this by noticing first what exactly you are thinking about a big disappointment and then redirecting those thoughts toward a growth mindset and productive actions.

It also helps to anticipate challenges so you’re more prepared to meet them head-on if (or when) something goes awry. Your own mindset is key. You need to adjust how you think about, perceive, interpret and respond to each situation you encounter if you want to respond in the most productive ways.

Let’s take a professional situation as an example. If you’re like most leaders, you may have hosted your first virtual team meeting recently. And, if you’re like most leaders, it may not have gone quite like you expected.

There’s a new piece of software you needed to use, from your home computer, in an environment that probably wasn’t conducive to a traditional professional workspace.

I hosted a training session on this exact topic recently and I suggested to the participants that the best thing to remember as you are preparing to start a virtual session is, “I wonder what’s going to break today?” Lead with curiosity and you will be far less likely to experience as much annoyance and frustration when something does break.

We’ve all seen memes and heard stories over the last few months. Internet speeds seem to be at their slowest and we’re asking team members (who may not be tech savvy) to use new tools with little or no training. Sometimes teenagers have had to step in to help their parents figure out how to log into a work meeting.

It’s true. I’ve seen it happen. And all we can do is laugh and be thankful that we had “tech support” at the ready.

With all of us charting new territory, most people seem willing to extend each other a little more patience and understanding and even find ways to have some fun. It’s getting past that first part, when we are still learning something new, that can be a struggle.

How resilient are you, and how are you showing up in the eyes of your team and organization right now? To find out, get your hands on my guide to Build Your Self-Awareness. Enter your email address below for immediate access.