Well, could it really be happening? More and more, clients are telling me that employees are returning to the workplace in the coming weeks. And people are expressing a variety of emotions and responses to those plans. Many employees feel like everything has been fine working from home. Some are excited to finally be around the people they work with. While others who were hired during the pandemic haven’t met their team members in person at all.
Whether planning to be (or already) fully back in the office or adopting a hybrid model, here ‘change’ goes again. There’s still uncertainty, and often, fear about personal safety and how the workplace environment will be.
We’re now in a state of what almost seems like constant change. And all that change can bring on fear and anxiety. But, fear can keep you stuck in ‘what used to be’ rather than moving forward to ‘what can be’.
Sometimes you just have to tell fear to step aside. Tell the negative voices inside your head that they are not welcome. At times, those negative voices come from other people. Sometimes people mean well and don’t realize the damper they are putting on your dreams.
Let go of the white noise; in one ear and out the other. Never doubt what you are capable of. You can find the courage you need to move forward. Embrace change. Focus on what you can control.
4 Steps to Inspire Personal Resilience
Follow these four steps to help you build greater resilience as you return and adapt to the workplace of the future.
1. Commit to Work on Your Resilience
The road to building your personal resilience muscle requires your awareness, intention, and commitment to some ongoing work. You’ll also need to give yourself some grace for the imperfection you’ll experience as you learn, practice, and adapt the Resilience Ready Principles when you face change.
2. Embrace the Resilience Ready Principles
Identify opportunities to integrate the Resilience Ready Principles into your life and leadership practice. Align your practice of these principles to your personality, values, leadership style, and needs. Be intentional about putting the principles and strategies into practice. But, don’t put the pressure on yourself to expect that everything will go perfectly. Reflect, learn, and adjust.
Perspective – Put on your ‘glass half-full’ spectacles, so that you see the change you’re facing with more opportunity than lack of opportunity. You’ll remain stuck as a victim or continue to settle for your current state if your head is not in a positive, hopeful space. A better, yet different, future is ahead for you!
Purpose – Know your value, and don’t be shy about it! What are you passionate about? What are you good at? Where do you have experience? How you use your value may look different as customer needs and your work may change. Remember that you can still be highly relevant and purposeful.
Perseverance – The workload and pressure can be almost unbearable when everything seems to be changing. Stress is a real problem right now. Both physical and mental health are real concerns. To be able to persevere means you have to focus on your own self-care and wellbeing. Sometimes just taking 60 seconds to breathe deeply can help you feel refreshed.
Partnership – You’re not in this alone. “We’ll get through this together” couldn’t be more important than when you’re going through challenging times. Stay in touch with your personal and professional network on an ongoing basis with a genuine interest in their wellbeing. Ask for help if you’re personally struggling. Staying in touch and offering your support also helps you build social capital for times when you may need a favor.
Praise – While you tend to point out problems and struggles when so much is changing, there’s also so much to be grateful for. What can you be grateful for in others and in the environment around you? Keep your eyes open and share your gratitude with others. Don’t forget to show yourself some love for both the effort you’re putting in to get through this and even the smallest progress along the way. Praise raises possibilities.
3. Identify and Address the Obstacles
You have to know where you currently stand in order to map out a path to personal growth. Identify and prioritize the specific obstacles that need to be addressed to begin deepening your personal resilience skill. Complete the Resilience Ready self-assessment (click on Resources to access) to identify where you currently stand in your resilience readiness and what may be contributing factors. You can also get feedback from others on what they observe in you.
4. Take action toward becoming Resilience Ready
Everyone is different, and your experience and needs when you’re going through change will vary. Discover areas across the five Resilience Ready Principles, listed above, that will help strengthen your resilience right now. Pick a starting point and commit to taking that first step today.