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3 Simple Yet Effective Ways To Teach Team Resilience

Source | FastCompany : By Luis Gallardo

We tend to think about resilience as something individuals learn through experience: Get knocked down and figure out how to brush yourself off, and chances are, you’ll be back on your feet faster the next time you’re thrown for a loop. But the truth is that resilience is as much a characteristic of high-performing groups as of high-performing individuals. And many of the leaders I know aren’t quite sure what resilience is in the first place, much less how to imbue their workers with it.

Resilience, according to the American Psychological Association, is “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.”

Unfortunately, business throws some hard punches—not just at individuals, but at entire teams and companies, too. I’ve seen structural changes, angry clients, and missed sales opportunities cause companywide tension. Left unaddressed, these stressors snowball,creating toxic work environments. This can lead workers to mismanage stress, become disengaged, or even give up.

That puts the burden on leaders to take a proactive approach toward building team resilience. Here are three simple techniques that can help.

1. BE AN ALLY, NOT A CRITIC

To build workers’ resilience, you need to buffer their collective stress. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have confirmed that social support is essential for stress management within and among groups.

While you don’t need to be everyone’s best friend, you do have to cultivate a sense of belonging and self-worth among employees so they can thrive. That doesn’t mean withholding constructive feedback—just ensuring that you give it alongside encouragement and in a spirit of support.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai embodies that ally-to-all mentality. A former project manager described his leadership style to Forbes as inclusive and relationship-focused, saying, “He has great relationships. He’s just not a polarizing figure.” Last October, Pichai made his first round of promotions as CEO and, in sharp contrast with CEO Larry Page, picked company veterans based primarily on their congenial, amiable personalities rather than sheer technical abilities.

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