What doesn't kill you doesn't make you stronger
The truth is, what doesn't kill you usually makes you weaker. Unless you have the resiliency to convert trauma into new strength. And that is a lot harder than spouting motivational-speak cliches.
Even if the current economic climate is not affecting your business in the way it is impacting others, resiliency is a critical requirement for sticking around for the long haul. Resiliency enables us to convert challenges into growth, disaster into reinvention, failures into extraordinary transformations.
When your business or organization is resilient you can come out stronger.
Resiliency is not about just bouncing back. It is about learning and bouncing higher.
Is your business resilient? If a competitor, an employee, an angry customer, or the economy, gives you a near-fatal mauling, do you come out not only intact, but smarter and stronger than ever?
If not, what do you need to become a resilient organization?
In her doctoral thesis on resiliency in operating room nurses, Brigid Gillespie identified a small number of predictors of resiliency. They are: Hope, Self-Efficacy, Coping, and Competence.
At the Heart of Resiliency is Hope
Hope is not a vague sense that things might get better. True hope is rooted in two things: a clear and positive vision of the future, and the belief we possess the means to get there.
First and foremost then, to build resilience we require our leaders to provide clarity about the future. And we require the belief that individually and collectively we have what it takes to get us there.
Can your business or organization cultivate this kind of hope, and therefore become more resilient? Yes it can, through three actions:
Our sense of hopefulness is in direct relationship to our sense of clarity about the future. To be resilient we must have confidence in our direction. Our sense of confidence in the future can be eroded when our goals are vague or confusing. As the leader, set clear goals, describe them as vividly and simply as possible. When we run into obstacles, bumps, and early derailments, we remain hopeful because we know where you are leading us.
Let us do what we do best…
There is nothing that develops confidence more than knowing that we are doing what we do best. Ensure that everyone on your team is doing what they do best as often as possible. If you don’t, you run the risk of having your employees feel unsure of their ability to be successful, especially in the face of challenges. The more time we spend outside of our sphere of confidence, competence, and satisfaction, the less sure we become, and the more vulnerable to seriously crashing in the face of obstacles.
The second part of our definition of hope is the belief we possess the means to reach our goals. Asking your best systems tech to ‘pitch in’ by going out and making sales calls is a sure way to make him feel way out of his comfort zone. And when he crashes as he very likely will, his sense of hopefulness diminishes. While this may seem simplistic, Marcus Buckingham's work with Gallup has shown only one-third of employees world-wide agree with the statement “I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” Yet business leaders wonder why their employees seem uncommitted and seem to crash and burn at the smallest challenges!
Discover the strengths of every member of your team, and place them where they can do the most good. If you can do this, you will go a long way towards building the hopefulness and resilience in your team to enable you to ride out any storm.
Break it down…
Scaffold every activity, every goal, and every change process. Scaffolding is building smaller steps into larger processes. This lowers anxiety, and increases real hopefulness. Remember that great English teacher you had who finally got you to understand that every story is written one sentence at a time? The music teacher who showed you how to master each phrase before worrying about perfecting the whole piece? The coach who helped you improve your performance on the field or course or court by helping you master one skill after another before putting it all together? All of these people were scaffolding.
Scaffolding supports the creation of a hopeful and resilient team member because it fosters the powerful idea no task is too large if broken down, and builds the habit of expecting success at each step.
With the resiliency born of hopefulness, what doesn’t kill you can make you stronger. You and your employees or team members will be more prepared to take on calculated risks to win, and if there are failures, you will all learn and bounce back higher.
Learn more about the foundations for growth in business. Sign up for our free 5-lesson email mini-course.