Teach Resilience These Four Ways

Research tells us that about 1/3 of us are inherently and highly resilient. Those lucky folks have an inborn attitude that tells them that no adversity is too great to overcome. While the rest of us have some measure of that fortitude, we may have to do a bit more self-convincing that the world has not come to an end because we did (or did not) __________________(fill in the blank).

That is why we have to rely on our friends and colleagues to help us build our resilience. In the workplace managers fill the role of helping team members build mental toughness. Bosses can do this in 4 ways:

  1. Be a listener and let your team member fully describe what happened including their frustrations, fears and concerns.
  2. Engage in a conversation that honors what went wrong but doesn’t live there. Begin to move the discussion towards what went well by emphasizing the exact behaviors that were on target. Being specific is much more powerful than just saying, you did or did not do a good job.
  3. Parse out what was the responsibility of your colleague to improve and what were factors that were out of their control. Recognizing what is controllable and what is not controllable gives your team member a clearer view of what they can improve and what they have to learn from their experience.
  4. Set the stage for success by setting up an experience that will lead to a win. Accomplishments build on one another and incremental gains create a powerful momentum.

The tools of resilience are simple, the mindset is tough.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017


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