January 11, 2021
Welcome to 2021. Upon opening my eyes on January 1, I was really hoping that someone had waved a magic wand and life had returned to pre-COVID ways. Of course, that didn’t happen, and life hasn’t changed much for me. I’m still wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and participating in way too many Zoom meetings. This prolonged alternate reality has been exhausting for many people. Our colleagues are looking for resilient leadership, and you can be that leader for them.
Resilience is defined as the ability of a person or organization to respond to and recover from a crisis or disruptive process. A resilient leader is someone who can sustain their energy level, cope with the disruption, and adapt. During a world-wide pandemic or any challenging time, it’s important that we demonstrate resiliency for our colleagues. Here are some ways to develop your resilient leadership:
- The most resilient people are those with a strong support system. They feel supported and encouraged by the connections they form. This is an important element in achieving goals, dealing with hardships, and developing perspective. Be intentional about setting aside time to stay in touch with your connections.
- Attitude is an important factor in resiliency. Resilient people understand that difficult situations don’t last forever. They make a conscious effort to look for the good in these situations. Make sure you enhance and prolong your positive moods and emotions. Make sure to savor the good things in your life. Take time to appreciate the small things throughout your day and practice gratitude.
- Great leaders are great learners. Embrace new perspectives and use them during times of change. Don’t hold on to old behaviors, especially because they feel comfortable and familiar when nothing else is. Those behaviors may not work any longer and we should always be looking for better and more efficient ways to work.
- Emotional acceptance and being aware of our emotional triggers are key in developing resilience. Even though emotions are part of being human, we need to come up with strategies to deal with situations. Learn to control your reactions and be mindful when choosing your response.
- Resilient leaders show up and give their best. In order to do that consistently, you need to manage your physical energy. One way to increase your physical energy is exercise. It can be as simple as getting up to move every 90 minutes, having an outside walking meeting with someone, or taking the stairs. Another important component is a regular sleep schedule. Try to get between 7-8 hours each night.
Now that there are COVID-19 vaccines being distributed, there’s light at the end of this tunnel. Things aren’t going to change overnight, and they may never completely be the same as they were in 2019. Hopefully, we have all learned new and better ways to be successful during this pandemic. Developing your resilient leadership skills makes it easier for you to be adaptable and ready for whatever the future holds.
Article written by SMPS Board Member Barbara Stiles, FSMPS, CPSM.