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How to Build resilient teams

Resilience is the power to recover rapidly from obstacles, difficulties, or toughness. No matter which aspect you are looking at, in life, setbacks and failures are inevitable. We need to learn how to cope with the disappointment and frustration of these failures. Coping does not mean we overlook the difficulties, it means we need to help each other work through them.

Team culture is one of the most vital parts of building resilience and creating a successful team. There are many different strategies that you can follow to develop a team that thrives.

There are a few questions you could ask yourself about your team to see if they have the characteristics of a resilient team:

1. How do they handle open, honest dialogue and feedback with each other?

They need to speak the truth to ensure they can identify and solve the problems they may face.

2. Can they come up with creative and effective ideas when faced with difficulties?

They need to be able to bounce back and welcome new challenges. The team should be able to remain focused regardless of what is happening externally.

3. Do the team care for one another? Do they care about each other’s failures and successes?

The most resilient teams are committed to building up the team instead of only focusing on their recognition or success.

4. Are they able to ask each other for help?

They need to have the confidence to admit there is a problem and to ask for help. The team does not hide that they are struggling but uses them to help face challenges and find solutions.

Building confidence. When individuals are more confident, they cope better with challenging times. This confidence may also result in individuals embracing innovative solutions and being more engaged in their work. When people are more confident, they do not spend too much time dwelling on their failures, and when challenges may become a little overwhelming they do not panic. But rather face whatever it may be head-on.

You can encourage individuals to improve and learn new skills with development programmes. Improving the team’s skill set also provides them with the ability to adapt to new situations. When the team uses their skills and knowledge more frequently, they will start perceiving challenges as opportunities.

Create purpose. When a team is simply going through the motions every day, there is very little incentive to overcome challenges or setbacks. Giving a team set objectives or something to accomplish will increase their sense of purpose. Successful and resilient teams are committed to the goals that resonate with a person on a personal level. The individuals must understand why those objectives are so important.

Ensuring that you provide a sense of purpose can be a challenge. One of the best ways to do this is by building relationships and taking the time to understand what motivates them. Inform the team member how their efforts are vital to the greater goal. Creating a sense of purpose allows the team to become more accountable and committed to overcoming challenges.

Another great way of doing this is by controlling what you can control. Be realistic about what your team can do and what your team cannot do. When facing challenges, identify the components you can control, cannot control, and what you can influence. When you identify them, you can delegate roles and responsibilities to each team member according to their strengths.  

Provide support. More often than not, people think resilience is a character trait, but this is not true. It overlooks the positive role a strong support network can play in helping people overcome challenging situations and setbacks.

You can create a team culture that provides support and feedback when there are challenges. Effective communication is vital as it allows the team members to discuss and generate solutions or new ideas. The best teams understand that their success lies in a team effort.

Encourage and reward. Being adaptable and able to think critically is critical to being resilient. The best leaders understand that circumstances change in the blink of an eye, and challenges may come in many different forms. In most cases, the solutions that may have worked before may not work again. This type of thinking can be passed down to the team pushing them to look at situations from different perspectives and come up with creative solutions.

You can build a team that is constantly pushing their way of thinking to constantly improve and become better equipped to take on any challenges.

A resilient team is not as simple as just hiring individuals that you believe portray the characteristic. It is also your responsibility to develop a team culture that views challenges that resulted in failure as stepping stones on their way to success.

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