One of my clients sensed his team members were facing change fatigue. He asked me, “How do you know when to ease up on the gas pedal and stop pushing your people to accomplish the changes you need to make?”
How resilient are your team members, I wondered?
In the change leadership programs and coaching I do, my goal is to help my clients discover that resonance, resilience and recalculating expectations are better than time management, willpower or sticks for helping people adapt to significant change.
Managing Change Easier with Resilience Practices
Lately, I’m inundated with doing change fatigue programs in places where people are gutting it out to the point of exhaustion. Why is that?
People are stuck in the mistaken belief that making large scale change creates a time management issue which is at the root of the exhaustion they are experiencing.
Time isn’t the culprit…managing focus and energy drains are.
This brings me to the simple point I want to share today: personal resilience is an energy reservoir we can refill with a particular kind of acknowledgement.
During the change fatigue programs I conduct we do exercises that connect program participants to their individual strengths and public acknowledgement…their renewed energy is palpable.
What does that acknowledgement exercise look like?
I ask participants to share a story with another program participant about a time in their life that they faced adversity or a difficult situation yet had a positive outcome. It doesn’t have to be work related…but it can be.
I give them 4 or 5 minutes to share their story then I ask their partners to share one word with the group that best describes the strength they heard in the participant’s story.
I hear words like: resourceful, perceptive, tenacious, adaptable, persistent, self-reliant…wonderful testaments to that individual’s core strength. Just saying the word out loud validates the strength and gives participants hope.
After we debrief the words, we switch partners. When both have had a turn, we put the words into a resilience context.
Acknowledgement fuels renewal
I explain that their signature strength is their go to strategy for tackling challenging situations. Knowing that you have a gift and that it’s worked for you before is a source of renewal that helps you bounce back in tough situations. It’s your secret sauce for the long haul.
The hope and inspiration participants receive from the personal, public acknowledgement fuels their energy in the short term.
I see smiles, heads held high, eyes alert and I hear more buzz in the room…they are engaged.
Their word is also a touch stone for you to acknowledge future contributions to reinforce their resilience.
“Acknowledgement of our strengths is a gift that keeps on giving.”