So far in this blog series on the Six Characteristics of a Resilient Team we have looked at the topics of common purpose, team norms ,trust, candid conversations and resilient thinking.
Even if I do say so myself there is a wealth of resource included in these articles so check them out if you haven’t done so already.
Last week we started to look at the fifth characteristic of a resilient team – the ability to manage their energy.
Resilient teams need to manage their energy as well as their time.
In their great book ‘The Power of Full Engagement’ Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz identify four separate but related types of energy that impact on our engagement and our resilience as follows:
Physical energy – this includes not only eating healthily, staying hydrated, taking exercise and sleeping enough (all those things we already know!) but, importantly, taking regular recovery breaks every 90-120 minutes to keep us fresh and able to address the next challenge. So, work is a series of sprints rather than a marathon.
Leader Tip: No meeting should be longer than 2 hours without a 15-20 minute break to stretch and move around (NOT to check emails!)
Emotional energy – resilient teams understand that it is important to draw on positive emotions during times of intense stress. Identify ways to renew and recover emotional energy so that you can access positive emotions when you need to. We can all learn to do this, the same way that we can learn to become physically fitter.
Leader Tip: Emotions are contagious and people take their emotional cues from you more than anybody else. What are the emotions you want to encourage in your team?
Mental energy – ‘my brain hurts’ – the mind needs rest just like the body does. And yet at work we run from meeting to meeting, eat lunch at our desks and don’t stop. Does this make us more productive?
In fact it’s more likely to lead to mistakes, bad decisions and time wasting.
Leader Tip: Lead by example. Take a lunch break, take time out for thinking and reflection (away from the desk) and encourage your team to do the same. Don’t send emails outside of normal work hours. People will feel obliged to respond out of hours too.
Spiritual Alignment – Doing work that is connected to our values, that has meaning and purpose, helps us be spiritually engaged.
Leader Tip: Is everyone aligned to your common purpose? Do you have one? Do you know what values your team holds dear?
Next week: Habits and rituals that support team resilience