It’s often presumed that resilience in the workplace is a natural trait that some people have, and others don’t. But this isn’t true. While some people are more naturally resilient than others, it is a skill that can (and should) be coached.
It’s important to remember here that coaching is the key word. While the theory of resilience can be ‘taught’, embedding it is something that only comes through individuals practising the techniques and being guided through tricky situations. And the more they do it, the easier it becomes.
The benefits of resilience coaching in business
Teaching resilience can benefit your team and your business in several ways:
- Develops a positive attitude
- Aids productivity
- Promotes self-regulation
- Reduces tension within a team
- Improves staff wellbeing
- Reduces sickness
- Develops a culture of support
- Encourages innovation
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity. It’s a vital skill in business as no matter how well you plan, things will often go wrong. When this happens, leaders and team members must maintain focus and composure to remain in charge of the situation and turn a negative into a positive.
It can be summed up with the 7 Cs of Resilience:
Without these traits, UK employees are 59% less engaged.
Is resilience the same as determination?
No. Determination is a desire to make things better. Resilience is the ability to do so. Imagine a situation in which a major client decides to switch to an alternative provider. All leaders would be determined to win them back or find alternatives. But only those who are equipped with the tools and techniques that make them resilient will be able to do so.
They will keep calm and make sensible decisions because they understand their business, have clear objectives and make sensible calculated decisions.
How does resilience coaching work?
Resilience coaching isn’t something that is separate from other forms of business coaching. For example, when you teach leaders the core skills they need to do their job, you are helping them become resilient.
Knowledge of company policies and procedures, or how different aspects of an organisation rely on one another will build confidence and enhance decision-making. Resilience coaching is about deepening this knowledge while also learning tools and techniques that enable leaders to adapt to changing situations.
Resilience works hand in hand with business coaching but comes into its own when uncertainty takes over. For example, emotional intelligence coaching helps individuals become more resilient by enabling them to become more aware of how and why they react to certain situations. In turn, this allows them to adapt their own behaviours and become more rounded as individuals, employees and leaders.
What are the challenges when things go wrong in business?
Several obstacles can come into play when plans are disrupted:
- Splits within a team
- Lack of direction
Just one of these can have a significant adverse effect on results. But they are all linked, with each making the others more likely to occur.
Resilient leaders know how to react to prevent these from happening and instead maintain a clear focus on their objectives.
And by approaching such situations with a level head, they are also able to assess what went wrong and how things could be done differently in the future.
Why is resilience coaching important for businesses?
Government figures show that over 30 million working hours are lost in the UK each year because of work-related stress and illness. Resilience is the ability to manage stressful situations and continue to work and deliver results.
Anything that helps individuals cope with the stresses and strains of working life is a step towards reducing this number and maintaining business resilience in the face of challenging or changing situations.
Resilience reduces stress
Stress is the enemy of productivity. When individuals become stressed, they’re more likely to make poor decisions or other errors. It’s also contagious. When one person begins to panic and rush things, the atmosphere in the workplace changes and others begin to feel the same way.
Resilient leaders know how to step in and prevent the spread of tension and anxiety. Leaders without resilience in their toolbox often exacerbate the problem.
Stress also leads to wellbeing challenges and increased sickness which further damages productivity and ROI.
How to coach resilience in the workplace
Coaching resilience requires knowledge of the psychology behind the skill. This is because we’re all different and need to figure out how we react in challenging circumstances. Simply telling somebody how you would react to an unexpected change is not coaching as it doesn’t help them to understand their own approach.
Displaying calmness is, of course, important. But leaders need to also know how to help each individual build their own resilience.
At Richmond, our Skills Coaches deliver coaching training packages for organisations that develop resilience alongside other skills.