The benefits of developing resilience in the workplace

Studies have found that more resilient people are higher performers and respond better to change. They are more motivated, build better working relationships and are less likely to take time off sick or suffer from low morale.

Crucially, people with high levels of resilience have ways to protect themselves from stress. The hormones released into our bodies when we are stressed impact not just on our immune systems, making us more susceptible to illness, but on our thinking and emotions, potentially affecting the decisions we make.

For some people resilience means being ‘hard’ and impervious to difficulties, carrying on without being affected by anything that’s thrown at you. For others it is being able to ‘bounce back’ after a difficult experience. Resilience is our ability to learn from our experiences and put that learning into practice until it becomes second nature. If we understand what affects our resilience negatively, for example, not getting enough sleep or regularly arguing with someone at work, we are in a position to do something about it.

Research into leadership resilience indicates that there are some key capabilities that underpin resilience. It follows that we can influence how resilient we are by developing behaviours that strengthen these capabilities. The ability to stand back from events that cause us difficulty and reframe them more positively is an important capability. To ask ourselves questions such as, “What do others think about this situation? How will it look in a year’s time? What is really important here?”

When faced with a problem we often only see our own immediate perspective and react accordingly. This limits our options for problem solving.

Something else we can do is effectively manage our workload. Frequently people take on more than they can manage and this depletes their energy. The research also shows that resilient people effectively manage their workload and are better at avoiding becoming overwhelmed. As a result, they have sufficient time both to think and act. They are good at planning and structuring their work and are able to say no when they need to. They prioritise based on an understanding of what is important and essential to deliver well. A lack of these basic work skills is often at the heart of poor resilience.

Everyone’s resilience varies over time. The greater the number and toughness of the challenges we face, the more we use up energy and risk becoming less resilient. To deal with this we need to ensure our energy is continually renewed.

Futureproof Training provide a range of resilience support options for employees at all levels across an organisation, please get in touch if you want to discuss things in more detail. or 01623 409 824

Effective workplace communication

Modern advances in technology over recent years has improved the ease at which employees communicate at work. However, with this ease can come with a disregard to observe some key principles.

The ten tips below (Re: Fremont College) provide excellent advice on how effective communication can increase productivity & performance.

  1. Communicate face-to-face whenever possible
    Companies have been relying on email as a primary method of communication for the past several years. Electronic communication can have a detrimental effect on any type of relationship, especially relationships with co-workers.
  2. Provide clear information
    Workplace communication involves passing information from one person to the other. If you do not communicate clearly and accurately, it can cause confusion instead of clarity.
  3. Combine verbal and nonverbal communication
    If you want to become a more effective communicator, you need to understand the importance of nonverbal communication.
  4. Don’t just hear – listen
    Listening is an important communication skill that many people do not possess. Most conflict is a result of poor listening. In order to share information with another person, you have to hear what is being communicated.
  5. Ask questions
    Asking questions not only shows you were listening, but also confirms that you understood the other person. You can also use questions to gather additional information and help you understand the conversation.
  6. Handle conflicts with diplomacy
    If you feel someone misunderstood something you communicated, talk to him or her about it as soon as possible. Doing so can prevent unnecessary resentment and loss of productivity.
  7. Refrain from gossip
    If your co-workers have a habit of gossiping about others in the office, simply listen and smile, and get back to work. Gossiping gives people a negative impression of you.
  8. Avoid being personal with your co-workers
    Be aware of disclosing too much personal information to the people you work with. Aim to be friendly, yet professional.
  9. Avoid discussing controversial topics
    Try to keep the topic of conversation in the workplace neutral. Refrain from discussing politics or other controversial topics in the office to prevent offending anyone.
  10. Offer positive feedback
    If your co-worker performs a task well, tell him or her. Providing positive feedback is a great way to improve workplace communication. It also helps people view you more favourably and encourages open communication.

Please see below links to some of the communication skills courses that are regularly requested by our clients.  Get in touch for more information or to discuss your requirements in more detail – or 01623 409 824.

Effective Communication Skills

Personal Impact & Influence

Emotional Intelligence in Practice


Self-awareness a key attribute of a modern leader

In many articles describing a modern leader the traits that spring to mind amongst others could include; confidence, dedication, influence, discipline, strength and decisiveness. But surely to become a successful leader, all these traits must be underpinned with a large dose of self-awareness.

The definition of self-awareness is “the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” It is an attribute that allows you to recognise how your presence affects others around you.

Are you aware of what the body language and behaviour of others could be saying? Do you sense when friction is arising during a conversation? Can you recognise the underlying messages given by certain facial expressions or gestures? Do you know what the atmosphere is like in the office?

Self-awareness is an important attribute that will help move a good leader to an exceptional leader. Use the checklist below to help determine the strength of your leadership brand.

  • Do you show empathy toward your team? People need to know you care before they care what you know.
  • Does your presence display leadership without having to pull rank? A leader is an influencer, who is willing to work with people and help them achieve their goals.
  • Do you take time to reflect on how you can develop? What areas can you improve? Leaders are learners.
  • Do you ask for feedback? It is important to value other perspectives.
  • Are you an authentic leader? It helps to show your team that you are human and let them know the real you.

If you need support developing your leadership team, please get in touch or browse some of the example leadership workshops available on our website.

Leadership & Motivation Skills

Inclusive Leadership

The art of giving feedback

To be an effective people manager / leader you need to be skilled at giving both praise and constructive criticism. Although praise is probably the easier of the two to give in many cases a simple thank you or well done can be forgotten during a busy working week.

However, when looking at negative feedback, studies show that employees will react at least 5 times stronger than when receiving praise. Therefore, knowing the potential impact that giving feedback can have on motivation and performance should drive us to become more skilled and prepared in the way in which we manage others.

The key steps below provide an excellent approach that ensures feedback remains objective, constructive and meaningful.

  • Don’t stockpile feedback – it is best given in a timely fashion. Not always immediate but whilst the details are fresh and clear.
  • Ensure comments and statements are linked to observable behaviour.
  • Make listening a priority
  • Keep feedback objective and not personal – focus on productivity not personality
  • Be clear & precise about the feedback offered
  • Allocate enough time – allowing time for employees to have their say
  • Be prepared to offer solutions and supportive action
  • Set clear expectations & timescales improvement objectives

Done correctly constructive feedback can be motivational and help improve employee performance without knocking their confidence. Our Teams & Team Performance  programme explores how managers can get the best of others by offering constructive communication on day to day, individual and team performance.

What is Mental Toughness and why does it matter?

What is Mental Toughness and why does it matter?

Mental Toughness means many things to many different people. A simple description is that it is the mind-set that a person adopts in everything that they do – from our performance in work to our lives at home.

Those who have higher levels of mental resilience are able to perform consistently at or near the top of their capabilities, regardless of the challenges, pressure and stress they face.

Research carried out has identified the four key components of Mental Toughness. These are called the 4 Cs.

Challenge / Confidence / Control / Commitment

The importance of mental toughness at work The current working environment is more challenging than at any time in recent memory. Almost a decade of austerity, coupled with a looming Brexit has meant that budgets and resources across the board have been slashed. Everyone is being asked to do more with less and against a backdrop of rapidly changing technology, markets, customer expectations and dwindling job security.

Stress has overtaken muscular skeletal injuries as the number one reason for workplace absence and cost UK companies over £6.5bn a year in lost productivity from 10.4million days lost. Part of the answer lies in developing mental toughness – a measure of a person’s mindset.

By developing our mental toughness, we can improve ourselves in many ways including:

✓ Improved productivity

✓ Improved attitudes and behaviours

✓ Increased well-being and ability to manage stress

✓ Improved ability to handle change

✓ Greater engagement and job satisfaction

✓ Higher retention rates and reduced absenteeism

✓ Better customer service

✓ Enhanced assessment of candidates

✓ World-class performance under pressure

Futureproof offer support in a number of mental wellbeing topics, get in touch for more information or 01623 409 824.

Mental Health at Work

Developing Resilience