How to increase the psychological capital in your team by working with resilience


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Psychological capital affects your performance and wellbeing

In our blog post: Psychological capital makes your team feel and perform betterwe defined the concept psychological capital and its components

  • Hope
  • Efficacy
  • Resilience
  • Optimism

We also wrote blog posts about how you as an individual and a team can work with the first two parts: hope and efficacy. In this blog post, we will describe how to work with increasing resilience in yourself and your team.

How you as a leader develop resilience in your team

Resilience means our ability to get through difficult challenges and get out the other side just as strong, or even stronger by the experience. This is sometimes called the dandelion property. Dandelions clearly have a remarkable ability to return over again, despite hard efforts to exterminate them from the garden.

We all want to create more resilience in ourselves, as well as in the team we lead. With high resilience we have teams who never give up, and who over and over again try to find new ways to solve different problems and get over different obstacles.

There are a number of strategies that you can use to develop resilience, and we describe some of them below.

Improve the resources available when you need to manage difficulties. This can be done by encouraging the individual to build their human capital (knowledge, skills etc.), social capital (relations and network), and to work with the other dimensions of the psychological capital (hope, efficacy and optimism).

To develop human capital you can for instance use formal education, learning between colleagues, and coaching. Social capital can be developed through creating different forums for strengthening different relations, and to help each other to get through difficult periods.

Diane Coutu describes three ways to increase resilience in a team:

1. Realize facts

In situations of despair and hopelessness, the best way to get through is to face reality and facts rather than trying to think positively. If we expect things to get better soon, we can lose energy and feel hopelessness when the situation is not improved quickly enough. In difficult situations, it can therefore be better to meet and accept reality, to subsequently create a better foundation to endure the time the difficulties will last.

2. Search for a meaning

Being able to find a purpose and a meaning is central to creating resilience. When there are heavy periods of adversities, through a clear purpose, a clear ‘why’, you can increase your resilience and keep on fighting. Ensure that your team has a clear purpose with what you do, that everyone feel that they can contribute to.

3. Improvise

The ability to improvise and finding new ways to reach a target has great influence on our resilience. Leaders are role models for their employees, and their ability to improvise is imperative when it comes to building resilience in a team. Let your team participate, and brain storm different ways to get around problems and obstacles that arise. Improvise and find new ways. A high ability to improvise builds resilience in your team.

Do you want to learn more about psychological capital and how you can develop this?

Come along to our webinar about psychological capital with Stefan Söderfjäll (in Swedish)

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