Tip #1: Reset your relationship with your team.
If ever there was a moment demanding a new leadership playbook, this is it.
People are craving strong leadership and clear communication. Many are struggling with loneliness and isolation, and according to Salesforce research over one third of employees say they feel less connected to their colleagues while working remotely. Employees overwhelmingly feel that employers need to be doing more to support them in the ways that matter most.
So much of the larger conversation around returning to work is focused on physical safety and how technology can enable us to be productive in the new normal. These are important, but what’s often lost is a discussion of people’s mental and emotional state. Productivity is not just about technology. It’s also about people. And right now, many people are feeling stressed more than ever.
For managers, this presents an opportunity. Now more than ever, we need to connect with people in a personal way. Practice these Microsteps to reset your relationship with members of your team and, in turn, create a culture where people feel valued for who they are — not just what they do.
Tip #2: Spotlight mental resilience for your team.
So much of the conversation about the return to work focuses on the physical. And what’s often left out is a discussion of our mental and emotional state.
As a leader, you can shift the conversation to focus on the challenges and anxieties people are really struggling with — and give them tools to build resilience.
Science tells us resilience is a muscle we can build. Dr. Tara Swart, a neuroscientist at M.I.T. Sloan, explains that “Our ability to endure and bounce back from adversity is a capability that can be built into our brain.” And according to a study in the medical journal BMJ Open, “There is growing consensus that resilience is a malleable characteristic, wherein an individual’s ability to adapt and ‘bounce back’ effectively from adversity can be developed and enhanced.”
It all begins with leaving behind a cultural norm that has been at the root of the mental health crisis: the belief that we have to be always on, and that recharging activities that build resilience are self-indulgent, instead of what they really are — investments in our own health and productivity, and the performance and success of our company.
But the key to resilience is recharging. And not just physical recharging — our brains need a rest as much as our bodies do. Start by strategically stopping. Give yourself and your team the resources to be tough by creating mental and physical recovery periods.
The following Microsteps are actions you can take to role model resilience for your team.
Tip #3: Cultivate a growth mindset to build resilience.
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