Stop Telling Employees to Be Resilient - Deepstash
The Power of Storytelling

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The Power of Storytelling

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Resilience is not the answer to everything

Resilience is not the answer to everything

Resilience - the ability to withstand hardship and bounce back from difficult events - is helpful when it comes to work. However,  it is often presented in a way that overlooks issues while employees must bear whatever comes in the way.

It is much easier to be resilient in an environment that makes it easy. It's easier to adjust and figure out a new path if you trust your manager or feel safe opening up to your team.


161 reads

Make well-being a collective practice

Make well-being a collective practice

Teams can put shared practices into place that make it easier for individuals to improve their well-being. Saying you want your people to have a healthy work-life balance is great, but if their calendars are filled with back-to-back meetings or they get pinged at all hours of the day, they won't feel safe taking needed breaks.

Improve team well-being by creating shared rituals, such as starting weekly team meetings with a fun prompt, or putting a daily 15-minute team break on the calendar.


115 reads

Look back at how far you’ve come as a team

Look back at how far you’ve come as a team

A ritual around reflection and recognition can help your team members connect and build confidence.

To take stock of all that your team has accomplished, set aside time at the end of each month or quarter to discuss the following:

  • What have we learned over the past few weeks or months?
  • What was difficult? How would we approach it differently?
  • What important progress did we make?


104 reads

Use one-on-one meetings wisely

Leave one-on-ones for personal conversations, not for status updates.


  • What one thing can I do to better support you this week?
  • What kind of flexibility do you need right now?
  • How does your workload feel right now?
  • What was a win for you over the past week? What was challenging?

Ensure to communicate the action you will take. “You mentioned last week that you could use more heads-down time. Let’s work together to see if some meetings could be handled asynchronously or pushed to next week."


96 reads

Understand and adjust for different emotional expression tendencies

Don't push your employees to open up to you in detail. Instead, let your reports know that you’re there to support them.

It’s useful to be aware of where on the emotional spectrum your reports are so you can adjust your behaviour.

  • Over-emoters are people who are highly emotionally expressive and are always ready to share how they feel.
  • On the other end are under-emoters who are less emotionally expressive. Under-emoters can calmly figure out a way forward when they have a problem.
  • Even-emoters sit in the middle and can swing either way.


76 reads

Create shared language

Create shared language

Establishing a shared language can make it easier for employees to feel safe opening up and trusting one another.

For example:

  • Teams use a red, yellow, and green system to check in at the beginning of meetings. Red means someone is struggling, yellow means feeling stressed but manageable, and green means feeling good.
  • Create an OK list. For example, "It's OK to say you don't understand", "have quiet days", "ask why and why not."


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"Dreaming big means planning big." - Patrick Llewellyn


Teams can be resilient when they have systems for support and dialogue.


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