"There's nothing more powerful than a resilient team. But here's the challenge -
Resilience comes naturally to the lucky few, but it doesn't come naturally to a team. When adversity strikes a team, people worry about themselves, and without a strong team dynamic, they put self-interests first.
When times are good, teamwork's easy. But when times are tough, teamwork gets tested.
So you've got to hardwire resilience into your team dynamic. Here's how you do it...
- You start by making it one of your values. Make it a priority, explain why it's important and promote it side-by-side with your other core values. The companies and teams that survive this recession are going to be resilient. And I'd argue that right now, resilience is the most important quality a team, department and company can have.
- Then make resilience part of your hiring standards.You want to recruit people with the growth mindset. Make resilience a basic qualification highlighted in every job description. Interview people and screen candidates for the grit reflex. That's why people that are military veterans and those with backgrounds in team sports make good hires.
- Make grit and resilience part of your performance criteria and address it in every performance review.
- Build a support system. In sports, teams have captains. They're role models with a growth mindset and grit reflex. And when times are tough, they help the coach rally the team. And you can do the same thing.
- When adversity strikes, seize the opportunity and rally your team. Clarify it as an opportunity and promote the growth mindset. Now is a chance for the team to learn together, improve together, and improve as one unit.
- Then force collaboration. Make the priorities, planning, problem-solving and decision-making a group effort.
- And focus on the process, not the people. Talk about past challenges the teams faced. Remind the team that they've been here before. How did the team respond? How did the team claw their way back then? If it's a new team, share what other resilient teams in your company have done.
- Now seize every opportunity to celebrate resilient behavior like collaboration, optimism, and persistence. It's all about positive reinforcement. But your feedback has to be given in real-time.
Here's a key coaching point: You've got to celebrate the comebacks. Think of yourself giving a halftime speech and your team is down by three touchdowns. Nothing's working, and your game plan is failing. When your team rises to the occasion, when they adjust, adapt, and overcome. When they come back together and win together, that's a comeback win! And that's the strongest team bonding experience you can possibly have. It fuels the team's growth mindset and their grit reflex. And it builds team confidence, commitment and culture.
Remember, people act in their self-interest, but we're social animals too. We crave group support and acceptance, and we want to be valued by others. When you build a strong team dynamic, the members of your team thrive because their confidence and self-image improves. And it's because they're a valued part of a winning team. And it's a team you've built!"
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