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Developing resilience as a leader

Feb 21

Resilience is a person's ability to sustain energy and adapt to difficult situations such as stress, trauma, and adversity. A resilient person can easily bounce back, stay focused and keep functioning emotionally and physically even after a difficult trial. This is one of the skills that make a good leader.


As a leader, you will encounter various problems and conflicts in the workplace and your resiliency will be tested. Here are some ways how you can further improve your skill:

  1. Know your purpose


Knowing your purpose allows you to easily recover during challenging times. You won't be easily defeated if you are passionate about what you are doing and you know where you are headed to. Your purpose gives you stability, perspective and determination to continue. 


As a leader, you can take a purpose-driven approach to motivate and empower your team. By always emphasizing why you all are there, and what your goals and missions are, you will be able to instil the importance of cooperation and collaboration no matter what. 


  1. Get your much-needed rest


We've known of leaders who sacrifice sleep to get things done. But more often, the lack of rest and sleep can become counterproductive. Before you know it, you're already spending more time on work you would otherwise finish faster if you are just well rested.


According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine in the US, sleep loss inhibits the normal functioning of the areas of the brain that are vital for resilience. So if you want to improve your resiliency, perhaps you could start by simply getting enough sleep.


  1. Reflect and get feedback from others 


To become a resilient leader, you also need to have a strong understanding of yourself and know your strengths and weaknesses so that you can successfully guide others in different situations. 


Apart from self-reflection, it's also a good idea to get feedback from your colleagues, leaders and trusted peers. They can help you identify your strong and weak points based on their experience working with you. From their feedback, you can plan your next steps to improve your leadership skills.

  1. Explore the power of positivity.


According to The People Mentor, a consultancy firm based in the UK, positive thinking is linked to better resilience. Positive people tend to be more resilient because they trust in themselves that they can overcome. The same positivity also lets them see setbacks as temporary situations and expect them to turn out well. They treat challenges as learning opportunities. 


If you are a resilient leader who sees situations through a positive lens, you can easily find something good in every situation, and this boosts or empowers you to work until you achieve your desired outcome. 


  1. Develop good relationships


Work relationships that are based on trust and mutual respect help bolster your resilience. When situations get tough, your most trusted peers can be a source of strength and guidance. They can give you insights from their perspectives that will help you fully understand the situation.


To improve your resiliency, aim to develop a robust professional network as they can offer you different perspectives or resources in the future. You can learn from their diverse backgrounds and apply this knowledge when dealing with various situations at work.

Even the most resilient person has room for improvement when it comes to developing this skill. 

Developing resilience as a leader is a lifelong endeavor and it is our goal at Change Works to support you. Our one-day program is designed to help you improve your ability to manage pressures and stressors and develop strong foundations to become a more resilient leader.