I’ve been working with teams for the last twenty years as a coach – and prior to that was in a variety of junior and senior global and virtual teams myself. I was also on the UK Board of the ICF for two years.
In all that time, I’ve come to realise the importance of team resilience – particularly when the pressure is on. Because whilst there are many external pressures on teams and organisations that we may not be able to control there are also a lot of things that we CAN influence and change. The problem is, so many teams get stuck in what I call the ‘victim spiral’ and put all their energy into feeling helpless, ‘done to’ and powerless – this isn’t helpful for them, for their collective health and well-being or for the organisation.
Here are what I believe to be the six characteristics of a resilient team:
- The team has a common purpose
- The team has a high level of trust for each other (or as Peter Hawkins in his book Leadership Coaching says :’enough trust to disclose their mistrust’)
- The team has candid and honest conversations
- The team can think resiliently
- The team manages its energy as well as its time
- The team has habits/rituals/behaviours that support its resilience
I’ll explain these characteristics in more detail over the coming weeks.
P.S. If you’re interested in all things team I wanted to let you know about a podcast that my colleague Lois Burton and I recorded for you. It’s a 35 minute listen on How to deliver outstanding results as a Team Coach (the Ten essentials). There’s a worksheet that goes with it too. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the podcast and the worksheet.
Apparently, one of the biggest challenges to our resilience is our co-workers!
If you’re surrounded by mood hoovers, drama kings or queens or whiners and whingers you are quite likely to be feeling short of resilience right now.
As you can see from the graph above a UK study indicated that ‘managing difficult relationships/politics in the workplace’ is shown as the biggest drain on resilience at work.
Similarly, a recent USA Today study revealed that:
- 78% of employees reported that they waste at least three to six hours per week listening to the complaining of co-workers.
- 11% of employees reported actually having left a job due to a toxic environment that was created by a co-worker.
- 73% of employees said they would turn down a $10,000 raise if it meant they would have to work directly with a whiner, complainer or someone who saps their energy.
Mood hoovers should not be tolerated in organisations. In too many cases people work around them and have done so for years.
So here’s what you need to do:
- First, seek to understand (there may be a good reason why they’re in mood hoover mode so it’s important to understand their perspective);
- Help them focus on what they can influence or change and not what they can’t (call them out if they’re blaming others for everything);
- Let them understand the impact they are having and what specifically needs to change – this is not the time for vagueness. Be crystal clear, here;
- If they are not willing to change then move them on or out (but don’t just move them on so someone else has to deal with them!)
AND…..If you’re an experienced coach, facilitator or consultant who wants to provide world-class leadership team coaching for your clients? Join our Ultimate Team Coaching Solution programme starting soon.
So, 25 days in to the New Year – how are those resolutions holding up? Not working out?
Either they don’t have enough emotional importance for you, they’re the wrong resolutions or you’re making excuses (‘not enough time’ and ‘too difficult’ being the most common……)
Beating yourself up serves no-one.
You’re NOT a failure.
Simply review, renew and get going again for February! (And if ‘not enough time or ‘too difficult’ continue to be your excuse….. hmm. How are you going to deal with that?) We often ‘don’t have time’ for the ‘difficult’ things – the things that scare us the most. (My hand’s up here, too!)
Remember…. Just take the first step.
I love a good checklist and I know that you do too.
I’ve put this one together to help you and your team get absolutely clear on what’s working and what isn’t – questions about your organisation, questions for your team and for you personally.
You can complete the checklist online.
Contact me if you’d like the link!
I’m always tempted at this time of year to rush headlong into goal setting. But I’ve found it much more powerful to reflect on the previous year first. These questions work for me:
Question Number One
What were the highlights of 2018 – the things that brought you joy and personal satisfaction?
Know what brings you joy – so you can do MORE of it! No joy to be had? Time to change what you do!
Question Number Two
What mistakes did you make and what did you learn? (those things that, with hindsight, you’d do differently or wouldn’t do at all?)
What mistakes have taught YOU the most? (I’ve learned the most when I’ve really screwed up).
Question Number Three
WHO do you want to be in 2019? I want to step out of my comfort zone even more. I want to embrace possibilities that are a bit scary (‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ as the saying goes). There are habits I need to say goodbye too. And some new mantras I need to embrace. What about you?
If this resonates with you, check out my three short Impostor Experience videos (drop me an email at email@example.com, I’ll send you the links AND a checklist).
Question Number Four (in two parts)
What helped you to be more successful in 2018 WITHOUT working harder or longer? Maybe you reduced your meeting time or streamlined some processes…. Or spent focused time talking to your team rather than getting stuck in email trails……?
Now…… what things waste your time and energy and need to be much sharper and punchier in 2019?
These two questions are a great ‘brain dump’ type of exercise. Just list everything that comes to mind.
These questions are great for you personally – AND you can use them to kick start your next team meeting.
That’s it for another year.
Your tree’s looking a bit sad and droopy (if it’s still there).
Maybe you’re feeling a bit sad and droopy too.
Or you’re energised and raring to go feeling shiny and sparkly about the year ahead.
Or … you’ve got all these feelings going on at the same time….. you feel conflicted.
Because you’re at a crossroads.
Thank you for being part of my community – for reading my work, commenting, agreeing and disagreeing – and sharing.
I really appreciate it.
I wish you a joyful and happy Christmas and see you in 2019.
Maybe I live in a cave and everyone knows about this book, but if you haven’t come across it, ask Santa to drop it down your chimney this Christmas.
Compelling, frightening, illuminating and completely mind boggling.
And I’m only half way through!
The lowest, saddest points of my leadership career were when I felt completely useless – drowning in the detail and floundering like a fish in a shark-infested sea.
I couldn’t hold my own; stand up for what I believed was right for our customers (because other louder voices had another agenda) and flapping and waffling when I had to speak to one of the Executive board. I felt exposed and vulnerable.