Following on from my recent article about resilience, I would like to offer some thinking, distilled from a range of experiences over recent years, that might provide some notions as to how you can ‘manage’ your resilience. These are things, from my own personal experience, have helped me to survive and then thrive in times of turbulent change.
Good managers will probably identify with many of these comments and are already likely to be doing them! However, in the exceptional circumstances that former colleagues currently face in the public sector for example, I would say that now there is an even stronger pressure to raise your game, even if you already think of yourself as a competent and/or effective practitioner/manager!
So … try:
- Re-affirming your organisational vision – how do you align with the current vision and how does it relate to your sense of the ‘bigger picture’? How do you relay or replay this to your staff?
- Translating the theory to practice – ‘live’ the vision in as authentic a way that you can muster! Developing and displaying trust is critical to your continued best practice, so ‘walking the talk’ is ever more needed.
- Remaining flexible, adaptable and disciplined. The notions of ‘agile’ working and ‘remote working’ seem to become more prominent as different ways of working are pursued to respond to the pressures inherent in organisations.
- Seeking better clarity about your role[s] and responsibilities, if this is required.
- Being more reflective and learning from your own and others’ experiences.
- Ensuring you are undertaking tasks and activities for which you have the right tools and resources, skills and knowledge … and, if not, seeking and acquiring them.
- Keeping a focus on your own quality – in output, outcome and impact terms – focused on responding, within the constraints you inevitably experience, to the needs of those using the service[s] you provide.
- Staying focused too on your contribution to the organisation as a whole, by being clear about the value that you add to the offer that is made to those service users.
- Retaining the evidence that underpins both quality and contribution – it strengthens your own sense of worth and, when hard, often personal, choices are to be made, provides strength to your position. You also need to remember that you are still accountable for the things you do.
- Continuing to be collaborative – with key partners [who may be feeling the same or similar pressures to you] by being inclusive and responsive, wherever possible. This is more than not likely to improve the outcomes and impact for your stakeholders.
- Being solution focused, rather than problem-fixated; and being prepared to seek help from those who are willing and able to do so. In my experience help often arrives from unexpected quarters.
- Listening actively; and being welcoming, transparent, and open.
- Using humour to defuse overly tense situations and relationships.
- Learning to say NO assertively and maybe even being prepared to delegate responsibly where possible.
Of course, if your morale is already low, motivation to do these things may clearly be difficult to build or sustain; especially if you are not being inspired by a clear and compelling vision; lack stretching but achievable goals; and perhaps feel a little ‘invisible’ or ‘less valued’! Difficult though that may be, my suggestion would be not to wait to see if someone else does this for you but to take the little steps you do have control over … and make a difference for you! You will be surprised, I believe, at how soon a critical mass is formed of like-minded individuals that provides you with greater support and motivation than you might have imagined possible!