How do organisations best provide targeted training, appropriate nudges and effective frameworks to strengthen resilience in teams? And ensure that resilience habits and skills are integrated into business-as-usual activities?

In part 1 of this series, we highlighted the importance of assessing individual and team resilience before embarking on any resilience development initiatives. This assessment process identifies clear targets for effective training or other strategies to strengthen resilience. Importantly, robust assessment ensures that new strategies and tools build on existing strengths, as well as identifying areas for resilience development.

In part 2 we suggested strategies for creating the “scaffolding” for enduring individual and team resilience. Effective scaffolding ensures people can not only maintain but also in fact strengthen or improve their resilience skills during business as usual, as well as in times of high challenge. The right scaffolding makes it possible for people to thrive during challenge and helps teams pull together rather than pull apart under pressure.

In addition to scaffolding, sustaining strong resilience teams over time requires planning, and opportunities to practise, as well as positive leadership behaviours.

  1. Planning and practice. Together, as a team, make time to plan ahead and action resilience plans. We know that people and teams who practise in advance will mobilise resilience skills more quickly and skilfully. Planning needs to be specific:
  • What will help us to practise resilience skills every day, every week, every month?
  • How do we plan and practise in advance of times of pressure?
  • Then, during those times of pressure, what reminders or prompts will keep us on track?

A key resilience skill for teams is being able to view pressure as a challenge rather than a threat. When pressure is experienced as positive (e.g. an exciting challenge), people are more aware of what actions support resilience (sleeping well, managing emotions, taking breaks) than they are when the pressure is experienced as negative or stressful. Practising this skill enhances team confidence and competence in resilience ahead of more difficult times.

  1. Positive leadership behaviours. Leaders who demonstrate traits of being open, approachable and encouraging of new ideas facilitate more flexible problem solving from both individuals and teams. Flexibility is particularly helpful for resilience planning and practice as well as for anticipating effective solutions to problems. Leaders who are optimistic and encouraging will also create an environment where pressures are viewed as challenges rather than threats, and where experimenting to find the best solutions is seen as useful rather than risky. Fostering strong relationships is another area where positive leadership creates an impact. Creating opportunites for meaningful connection, and helping people to feel appreciated and valued as part of a team, strengthens relationship ties and therefore facilitates another resilience practice.

Umbrella offers resilience training for managers and leaders in the workplace that helps them maintain their own wellbeing as well as best cope with dealing with the psychology behind hard-to-manage staff.