Resilience in the workplace is a skill in high demand by the professionals with whom I collaborate. In this report I share with you the keys to its understanding.óexamples and tools to develop it
Normal life does not exist
It seems that resilience is here to stay. The term resilience came into use during the pandemic, when humanity adapted to an environment of extreme change.
The world literally stopped and what was once known (and therefore safe) ceased to be so. We expected a return to “normal life” in the post-pandemic era. But that never happened. Today we live in constant change. What is valid today is obsolete tomorrow, what used to require months of preparation is now dispatched in the Teams chat. Everything is frugal and imminent. Nothing remains unchanged
The term resilience in the workplace refers to the capacity to adapt to adversity, generally caused by external variables.
We would agree that being a resilient person brings great benefits. And that is why companies invest in training their teams towards the positive adaptation necessary to survive in such a changing context.
However, more than 75% of managers feel alone in their transition to becoming resilient leaders.
Resilience vs. resistance
During the last quarter of the 20th century, resistance counted as one of the most valued professional attitudes in the face of professional promotion. It was linked to the ability to withstand stressful situations.Its value has now diminished, giving way to resilience as the preferred attitude for its value in developing your teams.But what is the difference between the two?
- Firstly, the focus on the ability to influence the ability to influence the adverse situation. The resilient person has developed the ability to stay afloat in the face of difficulty, assuming that the environment will not change. Their energy is focused on facing adversity. The resilient person, on the other hand, asks himself what is in his power to overcome that situation, and acts accordingly. The resilient person is a protagonist of change and invests their efforts in adapting their environment, improving it and learning.
- Secondly, in the result. The resilient person focuses on the present moment and will do his best to protect his team without investing much time in drawing conclusions and learning from the situation. The resilient person looks to the future by learning from the situation experienced.
- Finally, attitude to change: Resisters do not see the positives of change and champion the status quo as the optimal way to get the job done, demonstrating that change is unnecessary. Resilient people do not question the need for change, and need a reference point to rely on.
Examples of resilience at work
Have you been told that you have to work on resilience? Do you intend to develop a resilient attitude in your team?
How to do it?
Let’s take an example: A company in the midst of an organizational transformation towards an agile, innovative and participative model. Until then, vertical governance, procedures and validations governed the agenda of the teams. The transformation, then, looks very seductive. No one would want to go back.
The first steps are taken without much information: The processes, obsolete, are still present without the new ones. Projects that were previously unknown are validated, and others that were already mastered are put on hold.
Against this backdrop, practitioners would ask themselves, why have I not been involved in this change? Who decided on this initiative?
A resilient professional is one who understands that transformation is necessary and that it is to be expected that the new normal will have to be written day by day. The level of risk increases but so does the learning curve. Resilient leaders welcome the unknown with curiosity and are available to actively listen to their employees, not to provide solutions, but perhaps to recognize that the answers to their questions are yet to be discovered.
Sustainability issues provide many examples of resilience in the world of work, as demonstrated in the January 2023 WEF report Seizing the Momentum to Build Resilience for a Future of Sustainable Inclusive Growth | World Economic Forum (weforum.org).
The hidden side of resilience in the workplace
At this point, no one questions the positive effect of resilience, the ability to adapt to adversity in a positive way in a constantly changing environment.
But companies have forgotten to accompany their teams in updating their baseline values, practices or methods in order to make them feel secure.
In other words,training in change is not enough. It is necessary to professionals must be helped to identify what they are losing by changing (reference value of the past) and what they what they need in the new context (future reference value)
The value par excellence is safety. The old methods provided a mastery to the professionals that fed the need for safety when performing the job. But today other values are evident, such as belonging, trust, respect, contribution to a cause that goes beyond.
Resilience can be worked on both in individual coaching and in collective coaching for work teams using methodologies that use concrete examples customized to the company and the sector. You can see more informationóClick here Work with me – Sibega – Silvia Beltrán
I invite you to share this reflection in your organizations and to leave your comments below. We will be pleased to further explore this topic.