How Resilience At Work Will Save You And Your Team

Dawn Burke Change Management, COVID-19, Good HR, Managing People

We all need a little “saving” right now. But what if we changed our mindsets from being saved to being the person who saves? I’m not implying that we must be the “Saviors” of all around us, instead turn the script in our head from being a victim to victor. That mindset likely gives us a better chance of positively navigating your team, your family and yourself through hardships. 

One trait to accomplish this is resilience, defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

I was truly inspired by a Ted Talk delivered by Lucy Hone titled, “The Three Secrets Of Resilient People.”  Her hook? She asked the audience to stand up if they have been through any of the following: the death of someone you love, had your heartbroken, divorce, a victim of infidelity, a natural disaster, been bullied, had a miscarriage, went through infertility, dealt with mental illness, dementia or suicide (you or a family member). 

Needless to say, everyone in the audience stood up. I’ve dealt with all but one of those. I’m sure your results are similar. 

And those don’t even mention work hardships. The list of current work hardshipsFear of contracting Covid19; scared of spreading Covid19; remaining positive; HR learning new federal employment laws/rules due to Covid19; HR figuring out how to apply for the Payment Protection Program and Small Business Loans; Recruiters seeing their requisition load drop due to hiring freezes. 

Need more? How about these: deciding what remote technology to implement immediately; immediately learning remote technology; fear of “the other shoe dropping”; your business closing; having to layoff or furlough employees; surviving layoffs or furloughs; survivors guilt; indecisive leadership; changes to benefits; losing your benefits; seeing your workload drop; knowing you are redundant. Etc. Etc. Etc. 

It is overwhelming. It is frightening, and for a majority of us completely out of our control. 

Imagine for just a minute what your work environment would be like if you, especially leaders, sunk into the horror of all that. Imagine how that would impact your mental health, your team, and productivity. Imagine for a minute how that could devastate your family as well. Unintentionally you would be a one-person wrecking ball and model to those around you that things are hopeless. 

Now imagine if you flipped your mindset to those who are resilient. Just imagining that makes one feel lighter. 

Lucy Hone stated there are three secrets of resilient people: 

  • Resilient people get that shit happens.
  • Resilient people chose carefully where they select/place their attention.
  • Resilient people ask themselves is what I’m doing helping or harming me.

What does this mean to you at work?

  • Shit Happens: In 2020, much shit has happened to us. Shit we’ve had no control over at work (or life). But remember, shit happens to us all the time, and we got through it. Your company got through it. Your employees got through it. Channel that positive energy and remind people how we got through those changes then and how we will get through difficulties today.
  • Choose Where You Place Your Attention: This is self-explanatory, yet very hard to do when you feel bombarded and overwhelmed. Where do we start? Start with what you have control over. For instance, if you are a recruiter who has lost all of their job requisitions, see if you can use this time to fix your recruiting process. Or even volunteer to help out your customer service or HR teams to get through their larger workloads. 
  • Helping Or Hurting: Think about where you are spending your time and determine if it is helping or hurting you. Is Googling the symptoms of Covid19 every 15 minutes helping or hurting you? If it is hurting you, then stop. Is meeting with your stakeholders on how to support them during this time helping or hurting you? If it is helping you, then, by all means, continue. 

What Now?

I encourage you to watch the entire 17-minute Ted Talk. Afterward, take some time to write down how you can channel the three secrets of resilient people and build your day around those items. Determine how you can lead your team around these concepts and work priorities. 

If you start thinking like a victor, not a victim, you have a great chance to save you and your team’s confidence, well-being, and productivity. And considering we only have one life to live, that is a much better way to spend our time, hardships and all.