2 min read

As people managers, our job isn’t just to get great results, but to do it equitably and sustainably. The thing about people is: we have feelings. These feelings fluctuate and become heightened during times of crisis or uncertainty, and they impact how we show up and feel about our work. Managing effectively means we have two responsibilities on the feelings front: 1) tend our own emotional reserves, and 2) support the people we manage to do the same.

Here are some helpful resources for managers looking to build emotional resilience for themselves and their team:

Managing Through Uncertainty: How to Scenario Plan

Sometimes, the best thing you can do when you are nervous about something is to actually confront the fear: play out the various scenarios (including worst case!), identify what could actually happen, and get ready for it. You might not welcome the event with open arms, but it might help soften some of that stress.

Using Sphere of Control to Build Resilience

Sphere of control is a concept that functions like a noise-canceling headphones on a crowded train: it helps you cut through chaos and confusion, and focus your attention to where you have power and agency. When everything feels a little out of control, focusing on your sphere of control can help you move forward one step at a time.

How to Build a “Psychological First Aid Kit”

Yes, we found management advice in a magazine for outdoor recreationists! Here are some ideas we found helpful:

  • 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 regular informal check-ins and celebrating wins.
  • 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 underscore your team’s impact.

How to Lead When You’re Afraid

This article includes concrete, actionable tips for showing up as a leader when you’re feeling afraid. 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.

How to Build a More Resilient Team

This article has some core guidance around building resilient teams that can better weather crisis and uncertainty:

  • Acknowledge emotions
  • Focus on your sphere of control (see above)
  • Center your team purpose
  • Foster a “trial-and-error” culture, an indicator of psychological safety

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