The Kissing Cousins of Resilience and Adaptability

I just presented to a group of senior staff members on being adaptable and resilient. Their organization is going through a number of significant changes including new leadership, high demand for their products, and needing to bring in new staff to help grow the business.

They told me that coming to work every day not knowing what new demands might be put on them, hearing from colleagues that work is “crazy”, and finding the responsibility for growing the business has been unbelievably challenging. As we explored ways to strengthen their leadership, we came back to the idea of mindset as a key aspect for adaptability and resilience.

As we discussed these, we agreed on the following 5 mindsets as being great tools for growing these skills.

  • See events with a curious eye that allows each of them to ask questions, so that they can fully understand the situation.
  • Recognize how their own biases create more problems on top of the already identified ones. Do they freeze up, get scared, or turn negative? Once they saw how their behavior impacted their team, they began to shift their thinking away from the negativity bias.
  • Delegate responsibilities. A key task for any manager is to use their team effectively.
  • Embrace failure. The greatest baseball players only get one hit out of three. When they return to the dugout, they are always thinking what can I do better next time.
  • There are almost always 5-6 different possibilities for every problem. Check them off and evaluate each for its benefits and risks before deciding which action to take.

Adaptability and resilience are kissing cousins and one builds on the other. If your organization is having trouble adjusting to change, it may be the way your leaders are thinking about it. Give me a call to discuss this further.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2018


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