5 Master Skills Supporting Resilient Leadership in Turbulent Times

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Elite athletes and their coaches understand the importance of compensating for intensity with recovery. In the workplace, we are beginning to realize that caring for oneself and others is not a spongy welfare ideology, but a critical driver of productivity and commitment. Without clearly defined rhythms, bad habits, such as multitasking, meaningless employment, and hypervigilance, become the default. Then, instead of a fundamentally nervous state of calm, employees get used to a baseline of fighting, running away, or freezing.

For those who have made “stress” their default value, it is crucial to punctuate the day with deliberate practices, such as relaxation techniques and quality sleep, to regulate the nervous system down and avoid anxiety. chronicle.

Remember that our ancestors activated the stress response in acute bursts, when they faced direct threats to their survival. Now, every day, we face thousands of virtual lions and tigers in the form of news feeds, social media posts, inboxes, ambiguity, and ongoing interruptions. The vast majority of news is negative because it is more likely to catch the eye. Those who do not disconnect and recover deliberately are likely to be exhausted into overwhelm, fatigue, anxiety, languor, and exhaustion.

Related: 9 Ways High Performance Entrepreneurs Manage Stress

Understand what high yields do differently

I have always been fascinated by the tools, techniques and rhythms practiced by the most resilient people. My Resilience Institute team decided to accept the pandemic as an opportunity to investigate the exact combination of skills that are most important when dealing with extreme adversity.

We subsequently measured 60 resilience factors in a global cohort of 23,990 professionals. Our 2022 Global Resilience Report reveals five critical success factors that differentiate people from the least resilient. Organizations and leaders seeking to mitigate the risk of disruption, loss of talent, and volatility will benefit from integrating these learnings into their human growth and development strategies. The five critical factors are as follows.

1. Sleep

Over the past two years, sleep quality has become the defining factor for high overall resilience, which has led to better mental health and well-being. How often do you wake up refreshed and ready? In a world full of bright lighting and push notifications, the boundaries between work and rest have dissolved. Left to chance, a good night’s sleep may never happen. So how does a leader ensure quality sleep?

My easiest recommendation is to turn off the bright lights and avoid the screens for the last two hours before bed. Watch Netflix if necessary, but do your best to create an environment for deep rest. Your melatonin levels will stay high and you will be more likely to fall asleep and fall asleep. If you wake up with a busy mind, use long exhalations to switch from fight mode and flight to a state of calm.

Related: Tips from a Brain Surgeon for Managing Front Stress

2. Compliance

As companies struggle with “The Great Resignation,” compliance is critical to both individual well-being and talent retention. The loss of key talent is accelerating as millions of employees and professionals use the disruption caused by the pandemic to find more satisfying jobs.

One of the main reasons for this dissatisfaction is that conventional leadership does not create an environment for happiness and personal fulfillment. Organizations that clearly articulate their purpose and consider the impact of the business on all stakeholders are more likely to create a full, mission-oriented workforce.

3. Rebound

Bounce is the basis of resilience. When faced with adversity, it triggers awareness, learning, and adaptation. In most cases, research shows that even in severe adversity, there is post-traumatic growth. Thus, “bounce”, as a set of learned skills, allows us to recover quickly after facing change and disruption.

In late 2020, I worked with Texas A&M University to conduct a study that measured the impact of resilience training on engineering students. We found that an eight-hour virtual course, taught over four weeks, resulted in a 53% increase in bounce rate, in addition to significant gains in welfare factors. Resilience can be learned.

Related: 11 Effective Ways to Cope with Entrepreneurial Stress

4. Relaxation

Pressure to act mixed with anxiety, self-critical thinking, anger, and perfectionism create an explosive cocktail of distressing symptoms in today’s work environment. Relaxation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing for calm, connection, and concentration.

Modern leaders should model and emphasize the importance of marking each day with moments of deep relaxation and recovery. Recognizes and rewards those who take micro-breaks, walk outdoors for lunch, or practice meditation. When explaining this concept, refer to the tennis players and the usual micro-pauses they do to restart and rejuvenate. That is to act carefully.

5. Focus

Focus has consistently tracked the top three factors as a differentiator of high levels of resilience. In a sleep-deprived and digitally invasive world, our focus or attention span has fragmented. The average adult changes attention every three minutes, and the average young person changes every 18 or 19 seconds. Focusing on a clear goal is a prerequisite for the flow state and the productivity gain of 500% that follows.

When interrupted by an email, tweet, or notification, it can take up to 30 minutes to regain the focused commitment needed for the flow. If productivity is the goal, the focus is the facilitator. Encourage and model deeply focused work, followed by rest and reflection. The first hour of each day is usually lost in email. What if your team used that first hour, probably the most important day of the day, for the most important tasks instead of the most urgent ones?

Related: 40 entrepreneurs share their secrets to stay focused

Be the change you want to see

As a leader, you are the change you want to see in business. Emotions are contagious and, if left unchecked, quickly create chaos within a team. A leader who models anxiety, fear, or anger indicates to the team that the environment is unsafe.

Humans naturally seek safety, so team members can undermine the distressed leader, retreat, or seek safer pastures. The great resignation may, in fact, be a response to an anguished and fearful leadership.

So what is the priority of leading turbulent times? Simply relax, rejuvenate, and model the success factors of sustainable performance: sleep, satisfaction, bounce, relaxation, and concentration.

Make sure you wear an oxygen mask before taking care of those around you. You will be a better leader and your team will notice.

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