Building Team Resilience, Part 2

Oct 1, 2019 | By Jess Christopher

Now, from our first part, you should have an idea of what resilience is, how it affects performance, and what some of the lead indicators are to improve it. Here we’re going to break down for you the more nitty-gritty details and – hopefully – leave you with enough knowledge that you can employ some of these strategies in your workplace. Without further ado, let’s get down to it.

Inspire, motivate, and challenge to perform

Now here is where some of that transformational leadership comes in from the last episode. Here is where you want to focus on getting the team into the correct mindset. During the season, the rugby team’s members and coaches would frequently emphasise and remind each other of the high expectations they shared, focusing on their performance and development more than the immediate outcome of a game, as even if they achieved a win, they had in the past been told their performance wasn’t what it should have been given the expectations they set together.

They created team goals to commit to, and would define and reinforce team protocols during stressors, so that nothing was a surprise, and everyone knew what to do – a good example of having a shared mental model – and this, in particular, is imperative in teams that are under high stress. Finally, the players reported that their three coaches having different approaches and skills acted as complimentary, and if the players needed comfort, feedback to improve, or the passions in them stoked then there was the perfect coach for each of those needs, depending on what the situation called for.

What to do:

  • Build complementary strengths and roles: Identify who in the team has a particular strength or skillset, and allocate them the role of applying that to the team
  • Establish goals and build a shared commitment to them: Ensure individual goals align with the team’s goals, and frequently remind each other of what those shared goals are
  • Remind each other of the expectations and team values: Even if you get a job done, if it’s not done to the standard that is expected, address the fact, and encourage them to achieve that
  • Communicate with enthusiasm and express confidence to the team during stressors: Remind team members that even if things aren’t working out, you have the confidence – as a member or manager/coach – that they have what it takes
  • Lead by example: Lastly, but most important. Unless you are clear on personal expectations for yourself, and being honest about your performance and if you’re filling your role, you won’t be able to help others

Develop a team-regulatory system based on ownership and responsibility