Building resilience as an executive is crucial for navigating the challenges and uncertainties of leadership roles and the unpredictable adversities of life as beautifully complex as it is.
Here are 6 steps to help you build resilience and get on a steady stream of growth:
As the wind of change sometimes blows hard and abrupt, self-awareness can help you as a leader, foster the unwavering tenacity for which you’re esteemed, by keeping your emotions under check, as solid pegs deeply drilled into the ground.
Start by identifying your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers.
In a research article by Church, A. H. (1997), entitled “Managerial Self-Awareness in High-Performing Individuals in Organizations,” published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers found that self-awareness was positively related to job performance for executives. High performing executives were better able to understand their strengths and weaknesses, make more accurate self-assessments, and engage in self-improvement efforts.
So, let’s start by diving into the three components of self-awareness as they are mentioned here above:
Recognizing your strengths will help you have a clear understanding of your capabilities and areas where you excel. Consequently, you’ll be able to leverage them effectively and make informed decisions that align with your skills and expertise.
Do not hesitate to say, “I excel at this and that” once the records support your affirmation.
It will help you focus on value-added activities by prioritizing tasks and responsibilities that align with your core competencies, get the most of your time and energy, and deliver the greatest impact to your organization.
It will guide you through delegation by helping you effectively delegate tasks that are not aligned with your expertise to others who might be better suited for these responsibilities.
And by focusing on your strengths, you can further enhance and refine your skills, continuously improve, and achieve greater levels of success in your executive role.
Knowing your strengths will help you lead with an unwavering trust in yourself and will mirror what you were able to bring to the table thus far, in times of uncertainty.
It is important for executives to identify their weaknesses to gain resilience so they can improve and adapt.
Indeed, after identifying your weaknesses, you can focus on areas where they need to improve or develop new skills and take proactive steps to sustainably enhance your abilities, by taking corrective measures and setting realistic and timely objectives.
Also, recognizing weaknesses enables executives to be more adaptable in the face of challenges. By understanding their limitations, they can be open to feedback, seek support from others and make necessary adjustments to their strategies and approaches. Thus, embracing weakness as an opportunity for growth, learning and that strengthens their relationships to their teams.
No matter how much emotional intelligence one may have actively cultivated in the past, certain unforeseeable situations with “great stakes” can still manage to get the worst of us. That’s why it is important for executives to identify their triggers to gain resilience and avoid losing control of their own reactions.
In fact, identifying triggers can help executives develop emotional intelligence by understanding their own emotional responses and their impact on their decision-making and interactions with others, distance themselves from their blurred vision and wait for the right moment to react, postponing thus any decision-making until their vision is 100% clear.
By recognizing what triggers negative emotions or reactions, executives can better manage their emotions and respond in a more constructive and resilient manner and mitigate unnecessary damages for as much as possible.
Practically, triggers are often associated with stressors in the workplace. By identifying these triggers, executives can develop effective stress management strategies to mitigate their impact. This may involve implementing self-care practices like focusing on breathing in moments of confrontation, seeking support from others, or developing coping mechanisms to better handle and navigate stressful situations.
The most common triggers in the workplace are linked to interpersonal conflicts.
By recognizing what triggers negative reactions or conflicts, executives can take proactive steps to address and resolve these issues. This may involve improving communication skills, seeking mediation, or implementing conflict resolution strategies to maintain positive working relationships and environment.
It is highly recommended to adapt a problem-solving approach after identifying the triggers. By anticipating when they can occur, potential challenges that may arise, and thus developing contingency plans, and finding alternative solutions to navigate difficult situations and avoid conflicts.
Now that we have navigated through the core of resilience, let’s take a quick look at the other 5 enriching steps of resilience that a leader can implement on a day-to-day basis:
Cultivate growth as a mindset
Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Adopting a growth mindset allows you to view setbacks as temporary and believe in your ability to overcome obstacles.
Build an effective support network
Surround yourself with a supportive network of colleagues, mentors, and friends who can provide guidance and encouragement during difficult times. Seek out mentors who have faced similar challenges and can offer valuable insights.
Practice emotional intelligence
Develop your emotional intelligence by recognizing and managing your own emotions, as well as understanding and empathizing with others. This skill will help you navigate difficult conversations, build strong relationships, and effectively manage conflicts.
Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Make time for exercise, sleep, and relaxation activities to recharge and reduce stress. Practice mindfulness or meditation techniques to help manage stress and stay focused.
Learn from setbacks
When faced with setbacks or failures, take the time to reflect and learn from them. Analyze what went wrong, identify lessons learned, and use that knowledge to improve your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
In a nutshell
Building resilience is an ongoing process that requires practice and commitment. By implementing these steps, you can strengthen your ability to bounce back from challenges, adapt to change, and thrive as an executive leader.