Account for Different Beginnings
Organisational resilience is your capacity for change.
Principle 4: Account for Different Beginnings
One of the most surprising aspects of working in resilience is how often leaders assume they know what their people need. And that they tend towards over simplification with a one-size fits all solution. For resilience, your capacity for change, one size definitely doesn’t fit all, and what your resilience needs is different than your colleague next to you.
Take these examples:
- Those feeling frantic want to feel Calm. And once they connect with how to feel calm, they may not have capacity for any other ideas until the calm-ness is really secured. That might take some time.
- Those seeking higher performance will seek several resilience-supporting facets. Energy first. Then Purpose and Perspective. They then need to hone their skills of Learning, in many different domains. The cocktail of all of these resilience-supporting facets leads to higher resilience, which in turn powers sustainable performance. It’s not time that counts here, but a fluidity around all of them.
- Those feeling over-busy might simply need more Energy. And given that’s such a biggie, they again may have to concentrate on only that for several months before they can take anything else on.
- Those who feel bruised or hurt may just want to sit and learn to ‘Be Present’, just to figure out what on earth just happened.
So many different start points and different needs. How does an organisation support that well, without spending a bomb?
The key is first of all to accept the simple fact that people need different things. Because of their context (both home and work), because of their experience and skills, because of their support network.
Here’s the ticket through to how to enable this: you don’t have to solve everything. Your approach needs to take account of two key aspects:
(1) Give people the chance to take their own resilience in their own hands
This is about ensuring that you both invite and require your staff to take responsibility for their own stuff. It’s also about taking the ideas of resilience out of the icky (see Principle 1), making it a normal discussion, and allowing clarity, simplicity and practical action.
(2) Help them by offering different solutions, especially right at the beginning
Don’t assume one size fits all. Celebrate the different paths into resilience. Don’t probe specifically, but offer flexibility. Guide. Make it normal to explore.
This isn’t hard to do, it’s just about ensuring that the pathways and the solutions are very clear, and are easily accessible. And remember, people’s first step is everything. If you match what they need, right there, right in that moment, then they will notice the benefit and seek the next step themselves. What you need is resilience yourself as a sponsor or leader– your flexibility in terms of trust, humility, boundaries and clarity of goal – will make the difference.
Encourage resilience and it will come.
Author: Jenny Campbell, CEO of The Resilience Engine