Five Practices for Building Resilience: For You and Your Team

Leadership Development, Human Capital Solutions, Workforce Transformation, Performance Optimization

In the article “What Resilience Means, and Why It Matters,” Andrea Ovans describes resiliency as “the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.” Resiliency is an essential component of dynamic leadership and critical for promoting a team’s well-being and performance and preventing burnout. The more challenging the environment, the more crucial it is — and our current work/life environment is more challenging than ever before.


In addition to continuous organizational change, increased demands with fewer resources, and the impact of current societal issues, all the previous constructs separating work and home collapsed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Time, space and relationship boundaries became blurred. Now, managing a remote team is expected, even for those who never signed up for it. Challenge has replaced normalcy as the status quo. You’re not alone if you feel your resiliency could use some bolstering.

Resiliency is a continuous journey, not a destination.

No formula can be universally applied to produce resilience within every individual, but here are five practices that will help. These practices function best when used in tandem because as they are all interconnected, but putting even one or two of these into practice will put you on the road toward resiliency. You may already be employing some of them to some degree, but it’s time to double-down.

  • Communicate with Purpose: Investing in building strong, positive relationships with others can provide the support and acceptance you need to build the resilience to navigate challenging times. Especially in a virtual work environment, practicing active listening and open, honest communication is critical because you have to take time to do it and deliberately work at it. If you nurture relationships purposefully through effective communication, your support network will be there when you need to draw upon it.
  • "Good listening comes down to doing three things: Not talking when others are speaking; letting others know you’re listening through facial expressions and verbal sounds (“Mmm-hmm”); and being able to repeat what others have said, practically word-for-word."

    - Harvard Business Review, What Great Listeners Actually Do
  • Commit to Learning: Research shows that people who embrace learning from their actions make better leaders. Learning promotes perspective-taking, or understanding a situation or concept from an alternate point of view. These benefits are crucial to developing leaders’ resiliency, specifically the adaptability and agility in facing adversity. A leader, growing in resilience, learns to consistently review previous successes to see what skills and strategies can be applied to new problems. You may find that it helps to talk through past successes and challenges with a supportive but unbiased person to help you identify both positive and negative behavioral patterns. Ask yourself, what behaviors do you most want others to experience in their interactions with you?
  • Pursue Simplicity: Great leaders constantly strive to strip away complexity and noise to provide simple, clear ideas, solutions, and direction. Simplifying can help build resilience because it allows you to focus on what’s most important, isolate problems at their root, and recover more quickly from challenges. Ask yourself what can be stripped away and removed to leave only what is essential. Each person may have their own process for pursuing simplicity—meditation, doodling, sitting still, going for a walk—anything that allows your conscious mind to rest so your subconscious can go to work on a solution.
  • Get Moving: Physical activity keeps the body and mind healthy and promotes mental and emotional resilience. Mental and emotional stress make daily exercise even more important. Working from home reduces the natural movement that comes with commuting and in-office work. Movement can relieve anxiety, depression and stress, and make you better equipped to deal with challenges as they arise. Including a family member or friend in your activity can keep you motivated and add the benefits of social connectedness.
  • "Managers and supervisors who feel grateful and remember to convey the same have a stronger group cohesiveness and better productivity."

  • Express Gratitude: Promoting a positive future outlook is a core attribute of developing our ability to move forward in the face of adversity. How we construct our future outlook is directly tied to our gratitude in the present. Expressing gratitude connects us with what we believe is important and, when shown to others, contributes to building their positive future outlooks. Gratitude recognizes the value, dignity, and goodness in ourselves and others. Opportunities to build resilience through expressions of gratitude present themselves throughout each day. Be authentic and willing to thank a colleague for help on a project, applaud team collaborations, celebrate major accomplishments, or recognize individuals on your team when speaking with your supervisor or other organizational leaders.


Support and solutions need to be custom tailored.

Emphasizing these five practices personally and in relation to others on a daily basis is essential for both individual and team resilience. LMI understands the challenges faced in virtually managing others and maintaining resiliency in the midst of unknown and constant change. We offer one-on-one coaching to help build on these five principle cornerstones every leader needs to observe, reflect on, and address within themselves to thrive within these challenging times. We can also help support the same cornerstones teams need to achieve their best. We tailor training to advance learning and enhance the most critical skills necessary to deepen understanding of one another, create agreements, develop precise goals, and propel performance. For more information on how we can help you and your team with the five practices, contact us today.