Ten people are in a canoe, trying to reach a destination by a strict deadline. Three are rowing, five are just along for the ride, and two are attempting to dump the canoe over. Stop me, if you are relating too closely with this scenario. Does this perfectly describe at least one personal experience with a team project?
Unfortunately, some of us have been in that exact canoe one too many times and can closely relate to this analogy portrayed by psychologist Tim Crowley, Ph.D., to individuals attending the SHE Summit, hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim. Although one would hope everyone would grab on to the oar and row with vigor, it rarely happens that way.
On the job or off the job successful team dynamics boil down to the attitude of the people. In this hyper-busy 24/7/365, it is tough as individuals to be upbeat and driven toward the goal at all times. “In these challenging times, rising to the demand of our professional and personal lives requires great resilience,” says Crowley.
It is incredibly easy to just coast as a member of the team or even be the one who rocks the boat when the stresses of life get you down. Bad attitudes can send waves through an organization and capsize the boat rapidly. Crowley states, “finding healthy ways to restore and refuel your inner tank is a lifestyle choice.”
He recommends seven evidence-based principles for building personal resilience.
- Connect to your purpose – When we know our “why” and our values, it becomes much easier to be the best we can at both work and home.
- Be unwaveringly optimistic – Leaders with resilience see a brighter futures. Attitudes are contagious.
- Build supportive relationships – The quality of your relationships with other people influences how emotionally resilient you are during stressful times.
- Develop mental agility – Learn the value of a good pause by stepping back and reflecting.
- Boost emotional intelligence – Emotionally intelligent people intentionally use their thinking and behavior to guide their emotions rather than emotions control their behavior.
- Maximize strengths – Focusing on what is good about yourself only leads to reducing stress, improves moods and increases performance.
- Use solution-focused coping – It is best to face tough times or difficult situations head-on. Inaction is a set-up to failure.
Stronger team members build a team that can surpass goals together. This starts with you as an individual. “In my experience, you must get intentional about boosting your resilience if you want you and your team to flourish,” Crowley stresses.