How Resilient Are You? Key Tips in Leading Through a Pandemic
Does this sound familiar?
Scott received an email at 4 pm from his manager requesting to jump on a conference call with the team at 6:30 pm. Scott’s stomach sank as he had been up early starting his work at 5 am that morning and was planning to take his son to soccer practice at 6 pm after preparing a quick family dinner. Frustration and resentment started to build as he had worked hard all day and this was the third time in two weeks that he was being asked to jump on a late evening call to update his boss about progress on business development activities. He was at a breaking point as he didn’t want to disappoint his son or his manager, but being asked repeatedly to work late was getting out of hand.
During these days where many of us are working from home, the line between work and our personal lives are more blurred than ever. Many of us are experiencing anxiety about work and are worried about things such as: is our business going to fail? I don’t want to layoff my employees. When will this pandemic end? People are relying on me personally and professionally, and I’m exhausted. As leaders, the need for developing our resilience by increasing our self-management skills is essential.
What is self-management?
Self-management is about managing our emotions and one’s own mood; time and behavior. Self-management is one of the core competencies in developing emotional intelligence. Genos International, a world leader in emotional intelligence programs, developed six key competencies for developing emotional intelligence and there is likely no more important time in our recent history where self-management is needed to build our resilience. The competency of self-management is often described as being resilient rather than being temperamental. When high demands are placed on you as a leader, the stress can often cause negative emotions and unintended outcomes.
As a leader, your mood can be infectious and have a powerful impact in the workplace that can lead to your team being productive or unproductive. Developing self-management skills helps you build resilience and manage high work demands and your stress level. Paying attention and being conscious of how you behave and manage your time will continually improve how you lead others.
A resilient leader manages emotions effectively in challenging situations, demonstrates a positive and energizing demeanor, manages their time effectively, learns from their mistakes, and quickly adapts to new circumstances. Here are some key tips to tackle building these skill sets.
Keys to Developing Resilience
Effectively Managing Your Emotions
When we have strong emotions, it can narrow our thinking and limit our interpretations of events. This is why we do not always think clearly and then later regret our responses. Be aware of your emotional reactions. For example, when receiving an email that creates upset, resist the urge to reply quickly. Take time to reflect on what is creating the reaction for you. Are you interpreting what is being said in the email correctly or are you putting meaning into the message that may not be there?
Take time for yourself to decompress and find an activity that calms your mind and spirit. Perhaps it’s going for a walk, meditation, playing your favorite sport or relaxing in the park.
Extensive research has been done on the need for getting the proper amount of sleep, eating well, and getting exercise. While you may know this, are you putting it in practice? Are you being intentional about how you are getting these activities done? Your ability to clear your mind and have a positive outlook will greatly impact your ability to respond to challenging situations that not only help you but your team will notice.
Demonstrate a Positive Energizing Demeanor
Focusing on gratitude and the positive things that are occurring in your workplace make a significant difference. Talk with your team about what is going well for them and for the business, and encourage them to do the same. Start your meetings by asking your team what they are grateful for in their work or their personal life. Discuss the positive things that are happening in your industry or with a company initiative. If you jump into the meeting with challenges and issues from the start, the energy of the group will be impacted and ideas and solutions may not be generated as easily. Lead the way; be vulnerable in sharing your gratitude. Your team will follow, if not immediately, in interactions to come.
Managing Your Time Effectively
Determine the most effective time of day and schedule it to get the most important things done. Set expectations for your team around being on time for meetings, sticking to the agenda, and ending meetings on time. If the meeting needs to be extended, ask for people’s availability to continue or schedule more time later to finish the meeting. Setting expectations on how much time you have available will help them to manage their time with you more effectively, as well. And of course, model the expectations you set for yourself and the team.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Everyone falls short at times. Be vulnerable and admit mistakes to yourself and others. Then spend some time reflecting on what happened and why you made a mistake. In the process, be careful not to shame yourself or others and instead be open to ideas and actions you can take to overcome the challenges next time. Having someone to talk through mistakes and insights can be very helpful. Look for internal support from a peer or mentor that can help you process and reflect or find an external coach that can help you.
We as a society are in unprecedented times and operating in this “new normal” continues to challenge us individually and collectively. When you focus on developing your self-management muscle, you continue to build your resilience which, in turn, provides you the access to encourage yourself and others in ways that move you, your team, and your company forward.
If you want more information about building resilience for yourself, your team or company and develop emotional intelligence, reach out to Kevin Jonell at Kobalt Coaching. For more information visit our website at www.kobaltcoaching.com or email Kevin Jonell at email@example.com.
Kobalt Coaching is based in Denver, Colorado and is in business serving leaders to create impact, develop high-performing teams, lead with purpose and intention to generate results. We provide leadership and team development through individual and team coaching in addition to training on emotional intelligence.
Hello, I’m Kevin Jonell and I hope you enjoy reading my blogs on leadership with ways to increase your effectiveness for yourself and others. When I’m not writing blogs I am passionate about serving leaders and teams by helping them achieve goals and results through an engaging coaching process. Reach out to me for a free 30 minute consultation to discuss the goals you are looking to achieve and let’s explore how I can serve you in that process.
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