Building resilient teams through leadership in a changing business world

In recent years, the contemporary business landscape has undergone a paradigm shift characterized by ongoing change and disruption. In such dynamic times, nurturing a resilient workforce is paramount for sustaining business operations. This article delineates an approach aimed at empowering your team not only to adapt to change but also to emerge stronger, more adaptable, and strategically positioned for sustained organisational success.

The Core of Resilience

Resilience, according to Sebastian Lelio, author of Gloria Bell, involves embracing change's emotional impact, unlike mere toughness. It's about letting challenges shape you and moving forward from that transformed perspective.

Leaders as the First Responders:

The contemporary business environment is characterised by constant flux. Organisations must be adept at navigating periods of disruption to ensure continued success. A crucial factor in achieving this is fostering resilience within the workforce.

Employee Mindsets and Engagement:

During these phases, employee mindsets significantly impact their engagement and overall well-being:

  • Crisis Mentality: Employees are consumed by concerns about organisational survival, leading to disengagement and a focus solely on perceived losses.
  • Change Fatigue: A sense of uncertainty and questioning the effectiveness of ongoing change, resulting in unpredictable engagement and potential burnout.
  • Growth Mindset: Embracing change as an opportunity for improvement and adaptation, leading to high levels of engagement and a commitment to success.

Leading by Example: Self-Awareness as a Prerequisite

Effective leadership during periods of change necessitates introspection. Leaders must first acknowledge and address their anxieties and concerns. Only then can they effectively guide and support their teams through the process.


Building Resilience: A Three-Pronged Approach

Step 1: Recognizing and Reconciling Loss:

Change often triggers a sense of loss, impacting aspects like economic stability, status, and a sense of purpose. This initial reaction can manifest as the "4-Dis's":

  • Disorientation: Confusion about roles and a feeling of being adrift within the organisation.
  • Discontent: Frustration and negativity towards the implemented change.
  • Disidentification: A feeling of detachment from the organisation and one's previous role.
  • Disengagement: Apathy and withdrawal from work-related activities.

Acknowledging these emotions and actively processing the perceived loss is crucial. Leaders must then reframe their perspective, focusing on the opportunities presented by the change.

Step 2: Intervening to Support Others:

Like leaders, employees will also experience a sense of loss due to the change.

Proactive Intervention:

Leaders need to be:

  • Observant: Actively listen and identify cues indicating employee struggles through video calls and other communication channels.
  • Supportive: Offer guidance and support as employees navigate their individual losses and emotional responses.

Communication Strategies:

  • Transparency: Communicate openly and honestly, acknowledging uncertainties associated with the change.
  • Virtual Environment: Utilize video conferencing to build trust and maintain a personal connection, especially in remote work settings.

Resilience lies in proactive intervention, helping individuals process their emotions, and choose how they will engage with the change.

Step 3: Leading the Change Process:

Shifting the Focus:

  • Move away from solely addressing the negative aspects of change.

Opportunity vs. Loss:

  • Focus on the potential for growth, sustainability, and collaboration within the organisation.

Leading the New Narrative:

  • Reframe the Conversation: Guide the team's energy towards the positive aspects of the change, highlighting the potential benefits and improvements.
  • Highlight Potential: Emphasize the gains associated with the new way of working, such as increased efficiency or access to new markets.

Leading from a Growth Mindset:

  • Embrace the Challenge: View challenges as opportunities for personal and organisational development.
  • Understanding the Dis's: Recognize the varied ways individuals might react to change and tailor support accordingly.
  • Virtual Leadership: Adapt your leadership style to effectively support and motivate a remote team.

Leading through change requires a growth mindset, proactive support, and addressing the emotional impact. Understanding this fosters resilience and guides teams to success.

Access the complete article and dive deeper into how you can foster resilience within your team and adopt a strategic approach to leading through disruption and thriving among the change. Read the complete article now to unlock strategies to gain valuable insights into proactively delivering tangible business value through the changing modes and mediums.