The Leader's Role in Building Workplace Resilience

The Leader's Role in Building Workplace Resilience

"Humans do not function well when our senior leaders gloss over the reality. We don’t need them to sugarcoat in order to make us feel better. It won’t. It is far more frightening, and damaging to the psyche, to downplay tough or dark realities, or to pretend they don’t exist, because then we allow our imaginations to run riot, and who knows what kind of demons we can conjure in our mind’s eye.” - Marcus Buckingham

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The ADP Research Institute’s research revealed two main drivers of resilience which are:

  1. Resilience is a reactive state of mind created by exposure to suffering.
  2. The more tangible the threat, the more resilient we become.
Leaders Can Build Workplace Resilience by Exposing Their Team to Suffering

Buckingham says resilience levels increase the more intimately exposed your team members are to suffering. They looked at people who had personal connections affected by Covid-19 to prove this.

“Instead of downplaying the reality, tell it to us straight. Don’t rush us back to normal in an effort to assuage our fear and anxiety. Instead, describe in detail what the threat actually is." - Marcus Buckingham

Leaders Can Build Their Team's Resilience by Getting Specific

In addition to transparently exposing our teams to tough realities, we develop resilience in our team members when we get specific about what suffering means for them. 


They looked at people who experienced changes at work related to Covid-19 to prove this.

"Show us up close and personal what real-world changes we will have to make in our lives, and tell us the truth about how these changes are designed to protect us. Show us in practice what our ‘new normal’ is and why, and then trust us to figure out how to live happily and healthily inside this new normal.” - Marcus Buckingham

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RELATED IDEAS

The journey through suffering

The five stages of grief are described as anger, bargaining, denial, depression, and acceptance. Yet, when a tragedy strike, we already know how bad things are. What is most needed is hope.

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Mental resilience

Resilience is the ability to walk through bad experiences.

It generally means adapting well in the face of chronic or acute adversity.

Making A Crisis Out Of Everything

Our diminishing resilience and decreasing psychological threshold of handling pain and struggle is, in turn, making everything look like a crisis.

We are making a catastrophe out of everything, getting offended at the drop of a hat, mostly for no legitimate reason other than our own ego-filled state of being.

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