The workplace-based list of people who you feel like should find themselves at the receiving end of a screwdriver stabbing tends to get longer as a particularly slow and stressful day drags on.
- Someone stealing your parking spot in the morning.
- Your branch manager who doesn’t understand the challenges of meeting that tight deadline.
- The person who filled the last cup from the office water dispenser on a scorching hot day.
Stress is a normal part of many workplaces. That said, it’s not always entirely clear if a situation requires a conversation and refined discernment, or if that special someone should get a major slap in the face with a cast iron original Chinese-designed wok.
The truth is, if you’ve ever truly wanted to stab a coworker with a screwdriver – you’re not alone.
To reduce the number of your employees and coworkers landing in jails and hospitals and get more work done, too, building their psychological resilience is an absolute must.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how you can build a more resilient team that can get their tasks sorted out before lunch – come hell or high water. As you will see, pulling this off is easier said than done, but with proper training and if you invest the necessary time, you can rest assured you will be able to pull it off.
Plenty to cover in the passages below, so without further ado, here’s the deal.
What makes a team resilient?
Being down 4-1 in the first game and still advancing to the semi-finals of the 2004 UEFA Champions League by beating AC Milan 4-0 in the second game. That’s what made the legendary Deportivo de la Coruña such a force to be reckoned with back in the day.
Or, how about being behind deadline and collectively pulling an all-nighter to finish off an important project.
Whether it’s football, paper-pushing, or web design, a tough team that can look adversity in the eye when the going gets rough can reap all kinds of benefits in highly stressful situations.
It’s easy to look strong and tough when everything’s going your way and you don’t have a worry in the world.
But being able to do so when the stakes are high and when everything seems to be conspiring against you – from your stapler getting jammed to your main competitor stealing your marketing ideas, is what makes a team truly gritty.
Characteristics of a resilient team
In general, grit is a greater predictor of future success than just ability or talent.
If you have honed your ability to go the extra mile when the journey becomes difficult, you will be considerably more likely to succeed than if you just happened to be talented in a certain area. (Although talent and ability certainly help.)
It is relatively easy to spot a resilient team when you see one. The members may argue and get loud, but they always stay coherent and get to work that ends up producing results.
Here are some of the crucial traits of a resilient team.
One of the main driving factors of people coming together and forming teams in the first place, would be trust.
If you don’t trust your teammates, then being a part of a team may do you more harm than good. Not trusting other people from your group might mean you’re better off alone.
The way trust between team members manifests is being able to challenge each other without fearing repercussions. No one likes to appear stupid or to be in the wrong in an argument – especially when there are five other people present that can laugh at you or look at you derisively.
Also, entrusting your teammates with smaller tasks and knowing they will pull it off easily makes life considerably easier for the higher-ups in a company. As a result, the whole team effort is more efficient, speedy, and gets you better results.
Whether it’s an all-nighter at the office filing reports, or the ability to improvise when you run out of Internet in the building, flexibility and finding solutions where others don’t see them is a sign of a strong team.
A flexible team can bend the ‘rules of engagement’ to get the results they need. For example, if there is no Internet in the first shift, the team members agreeing to come to the second shift instead can be a great way to bypass this issue.
Or, maybe your team members need to learn to use a new special piece of software for an upcoming major project.
Adults often display disinterest or even aggravation at the prospect of ‘going back to school’, even if it’s just an app. So, if you can gather around a group of people that can bypass this obstacle, you can rest assured that you can never get outpaced by the technology when it comes to starting new projects.
Successfully solving an onslaught of incoming issues often means having to learn on the go. What this means is that your teammates will have to learn a new skill on a regular basis.
For a team where there is a learning culture ingrained in the office walls themselves, tackling a demanding client asking for endless edits will be a piece of cake.
One colleague proposes a way to resolve a situation that just sprung up, but he uses a tone that comes across as too aggressive.
Now, he could have been sleep deprived or had too much on his plate in the personal field, but the other teammates will perceive him as simply rude if he doesn’t communicate well.
Thus, a lunch that did not sit well can turn into a sour meeting with considerably more conflict than necessary.
Encouraging your team members to develop their communication skills can be a great way to achieve much more under pressure – when the going gets really tough.
How to make effective strategies for building your team’s resilience
Building up your team’s resilience requires a multi-pronged approach that you can slowly let unfold over time.
If you take professional basketball for example, cases where you get together a team of ten or more players (not all players play, some sit on the bench and provide moral support) to immediately click together are rare.
What usually happens, though, is that team members take weeks, months, or even years of practicing together, to create strong enough bonds.
Here are some effective strategies for building your team’s resilience that you can employ straight away.
Make a supportive culture
Some team members are going to be tougher, more naturally resilient, and more likely to voice their opinions than the others.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that the other team members are simply not as valuable as the louder ones, but they need a more delicate approach so they can come out of their shell.
A supportive workplace culture means promoting an atmosphere where everyone’s voice can be heard.
Encourage growth mindset
Whether it’s a type of team-building, enrolling your team members on a special cooking course, or having to learn to use a brand-new custom-made piece of software – adopting a growth mindset is a must.
Maybe you want to take your team members on a painting course, so they can relax after a tough month of too much work and too little fun.
Or, what about a shooting range excursion, where your employees can learn how to use ar15 drop in trigger – a new modification for what is already an iconic rifle. The gun enthusiasts in your team would certainly love it.
Professional and education stagnation at work represents one of the major motivation killers for many employees, so encouraging your workers to hone their skills and acquire new ones is a must.
Speaking of overwork, it can get quite easy to disregard the needs of your employees when there is a major deadline looming over your head. As an employer, you know that the efficacy of your employees getting that project done means getting paid, and getting them paid, too.
That said, encouraging your workers to unwind and relax every now and again can be a great way to dislodge some of the negativity that some employees will inevitably accumulate as the work week drags on.
Set realistic expectations
Overreaching as a student can have negative impacts on your life, as you can miss out on social gatherings and other parts of your personal life. That said, what you do with your life is no one else’s concern.
Overreaching as a workplace superior, on the other hand, can make you look like a tyrant and alienate your employees.
To make sure you get the most out of your team, set realistic expectations that your teammates can meet. Getting things done is considerably easier if you break tasks down into smaller, bite-sized chunks.
All in all, whether you need the projects to arrive quickly and are constantly looking at the clock, or you’re simply a fierce competitor who wants to see your company beating all the others – you’re going to need a kick-butt team to get it done.
Creating one, however, is not just a matter of flogging your underlings into submission and expecting excellent results no matter what.
If you are willing to dedicate the time, energy, and resources needed to help motivate and encourage your employees to become more mentally resilient, you’ll get a bunch of people you can truly rely on when going gets tough.
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