My first meeting with Leading Teams Partner Ray McLean wasn’t in my job interview. In fact, it wasn’t in an office at all, it was on the football field. When I was playing for Central District Football Club, Ray came in to help us fix our long-time culture of mediocrity. During his time with us we learned a lot about what it takes to build a successful team. Looking back on the process, one of the biggest lessons I learned was the importance of resilience.

While losing was the norm for us back then, Ray taught us that it didn’t have to be. When a group of determined people build a shared vision and make clear decisions about what to do to achieve these goals, nothing is impossible. This kind of group-oriented resilience is what changed a team with a 30-year losing culture into a top-rate team.

Resilience - a team of people working together

When a team has a shared vision they are capable of tackling any obstacle

Why does resilience matter?

There’s plenty of research out there that outlines just how critical resilience is to any organisation – especially in a world that is constantly changing.

The 2016 Global Resilience Diagnostic Report, conducted by The Resilience Institute, found that when leaders focus on building resilience across their company, their employees definitively improve in key areas. Resilient workers feel more fulfilled with their work, sleep better, have heightened focus and increased purpose in the workplace – and these are only the top four improvement areas. Other notable improvements were shown in the fields of:

  • Emotional insight
  • Values
  • Creativity
  • Positivity
  • Presence

Resilience provides people with the critical ability to react to change while also better positioning people to deal with the pressures of work in a healthier way.

“Resilience is an evidence-based, integral and practical solution to the human dimension of work. Building resilience mitigates problems like depression, distress and illness. It liberates the potential in our people to be well, effective and whole,” explains the report. “When your organisation is resilient you will attract resilient people. This virtuous cycle separates the truly great from the average.”

This leaves us with one major question: How do you build a resilient organisation? We use the principles of our high performance model to identify three key areas for creating a resilient team:

When you have durable relationships within your business, you have the support you need to tackle any obstacle.

1. Building relationships

Without the right support systems, there is no such thing as resilience. Leaders must invest in creating strong relationships within their team. This means making the time to get to know your staff and facilitating the creation of their own relationships. When you have durable relationships within your business, you have the support you need to tackle any obstacle.

2. Creating clear professional visions

Resilience is made much easier when people have a purpose within their team. It gives people a sort of ‘north star’ to guide them, so when they do struggle they know they simply have to redirect towards that purpose to get back on track. The ups and downs of everyday work become much less daunting when people have a plan. The leader’s role is to get their team to buy in to the agreed collective purpose – they need to get everyone on the same page and then ensure each individual can see their role in helping to achieve that vision.

3. Having genuine conversations

The backbone of resilience in the context of any team is communication. If you can’t have genuine conversations with your employees or they feel like they can’t speak honestly with you, it becomes very difficult to solve problems as a team. Leaders must ensure they are building an organisation where honesty underpins every conversation. This will only happen once trust and respect has been built through the development of relationships.

The Leading Teams high performance model was built with resilience in mind. With a combination of strong professional relationships, agreed-upon visions and genuine communication, you can create a high performance team that is able to adapt and thrive in the face of any obstacle. To learn more about how we can help your team build their resilience, please get in touch today.

How to develop leaders who are ready for a crisis
How can Australian leaders boost engagement within their teams?