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January 17, 2013

Toughen Up

Resilience keeps you going when the going gets tough. It allows you to accept and adapt to changes without letting them derail you. As a leader, you need to be resilient and help your team develop resilience. Here are some tools that can help:

  • Create a support system.

Mountain climbers do not reach the summit alone. They have a team supporting them every step up. You too need a team of people you trust, people with whom you can talk honestly and openly. Your support team can give you advice, guidance and a different perspective. Likewise, your team needs to know you are their support! Offer guidance and encouragement if you see someone struggling and help him or her reframe the situation.

  • Reframe for positive results.

Reframing is a tool that lets you see a situation or issue from a new perspective. Just as a new frame can completely change how a painting looks, so can a reframe change how you view a situation. The key to successful reframing is asking yourself what you can learn from this. For example, let’s say a customer complains that your service was not up to par. You can dismiss the customer as wrong, beat yourself up or review the service to see if it can be improved. The reframe is the third option—viewing the complaint as an opportunity to improve customer service.

  • Focus on accomplishments.

Focusing on accomplishments gives you hope—you solved other problems in the past and you will solve this one, too. Start an accomplishment journal. This can be a paper document, a Word document or a note on Outlook or your phone. Every Friday, take a few minutes to jot down what you accomplished the past week and how you did it. This record boosts your morale and offers a ready resource of successful actions you can refer to. Encourage your employees to keep their own accomplishment log and to share their success stories with you.

Resilience is the power to keep going up the mountain. Eventually, you will reach the summit and reap the rewards resilience brings.

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