As I have been known to state, management isn’t easy. The reason being that as a manager you have to lead and organise people. It is made increasingly complex as we move into the information age – away from the command and control model of the industrial age, to the collective wisdom model of the engaged workforce age.
Sometimes it seems every person in your organisation or team has an opinion, and expects to be enabled to express that opinion – while considering you, the manager as fair game. Often you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
In this age we need people in leadership roles with resilience. In the the bad old days we might have said that when the going gets tough the tough get going!
What is resilience? I define it as having the capacity to go with flow, to know when to speak and when to remain quiet, when to enter a room and when to remain in the doorway, observing. It is also about understanding yourself and the things the impact you, having in place your own strategies for avoiding the trigger points the elicit a negative response, being mindful and in the moment. It is about knowing how to look after yourself first, and when your own self management lets you down, feeling comfortable enough with asking for help. Research into building resilience within the Australian healthcare sector illustrated the importance of tapping into a support network.
Resilience is about understanding you cannot know all the answers to every question. Sometimes you have to step back, let go, wait for the dust to settle and stand up again. Its about knowing you are never fully in control, and accepting that from time to time you will get it wrong. Then the question becomes, what did you learn? What will you do differently next time?
Being resilient means not giving into negative talk or self doubt. Instead take a positive stance. Joshua Margolis, from Harvard University, quoted in Forbes suggests some positive strategies – breath, take time to write out notes and recognise the emotions you have invested in the issue.
Resilient managers are those that accept change and crisis is inevitable and they are prepared to face issues in a positive manner. These managers are the ones that keep a cool head, remain flexible while moving towards a speedy resolution, teaming up with others and not trying to go it alone and they pay attention to people at all times.
The time to develop your own resilience toolkit is now – before the next crisis occurs. Create you own set of key bullet points that you can access at anytime, that act as a guide to help you remain focused. Consider who you might turn to for advice and assistance. Have regard for the organisational structure. Will it support or hinder you during the tough times? Do the policies and procedures support and encourage resilience? If not, now is the time to review and bring up to date. Take time to learn from those that face adversity on a continuous basis, our armed forces, first responders, street level social advocates. Look at how they work, respond, act and recover. Let them be your teacher.
The frequency with which you will face adversity in the workplace is increasing. In some environments adversity is almost a daily occurance. If you are in a management role or planning to move into management you will inevitably face many crisis. Some may be of your own making, others you will have little or no control, yet you will be expected to work towards a resolution, grab a few hours sleep and be back on the job the next morning. Cool, calm and collected.
Since 2002 John Coxon has been helping managers in health, aged care and the community sector to be the best they want to be. When you are ready to be your best email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free, no-obligation intro chat.
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