Building your emotional resilience muscle 💪🏽
Raise your hand if you’ve done any of the following in the last month:
- Treated your plants or pets like they were humans
- Organized a community response team in your neighborhood
- Binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy while eating a Costco-sized bag of Pirate’s Booty
- Cried (by yourself or with others)
- Compulsively read the news
- Had your partner wrap you up like a burrito
Whether you’ve been working in a productivity fervor, battling fatigue, or cycling through the stops on the emotion train, you’ve likely been coping with emotional disruption.
As a manager, your job on the feelings front is twofold: 1) Tend your emotional reserves and 2) Support your staff to build their emotional resilience. How you show up is just as important as what you do. During times of crisis, leaders must balance demonstrating vulnerability with embodying calm and determination. After all, your people aren’t just looking to you to make decisions—they’re also observing your emotional cues.
Here are some helpful resources for managers looking to build emotional resilience:
This article includes concrete, actionable tips for showing up as a leader. Here are a few favorites:
- Do a self-check-in and figure out what you need to stay whole.
- Create spaciousness by reprioritizing (more on that here!).
- Communicate in three categories: 1) What you know for sure; 2) What you predict, and; 3) What you’re uncertain about.
This resource has great advice about mental and emotional health. Some highlights:
- Ideas for building resilience at the team level, like setting a cadence for sharing updates, starting a “well-being task force,” and creating opportunities for people leaders to convene.
- Tips for anxiety reduction for individuals, like scheduling “worry time,” drawing your sphere of control, and doing one minute of kindness every day.
- The “Emotion Audit and Coping Plan” chart is great for identifying (and normalizing!) how you’re feeling and what to do about it.
Yes, we found management advice in a magazine for outdoor recreationists. Below are some ideas we found helpful (and some ways we might apply them to management):
- The principles of the “psychological first aid kit,” which are “safety, calm, connection, efficacy, and hope.” Reflect on how you might weave these into your management (such as by doing daily informal check-ins or providing regular updates on—and assurances about—finances).
- Helping others as the antidote to scarcity and fear. Knowing that we can help others helps us build emotional resilience (as long as we’re also taking care of ourselves). Find ways to communicate how your team is making a difference.
Weathering the Emotional Storms of a Crisis — A Tactical Guide for Individual Contributors and Managers
This read (with comics!) about emotional self-care includes advice for individuals to work through emotions and tactical tips for managers. On the management side of things, this article covers:
- How to foster team connection while giving people space to meet their needs.
- Tips for reducing anxiety in communicating with your team.
- Advice for navigating stress associated with re-orienting your work.