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Actionable approaches to resilience in times of crisis

Actionable approaches to resilience in times of crisis

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.
Mike Tyson

If this was an equation, then what must be added to “A Punch in Your Face” to get to “The Return of Your Missing Teeth” is “Resilience”. But what is resilience and how do we achieve it?


First things First: Resilience can’t happen without a setback. So lose the idea that bad things only happen to bad people. Someday a setback is going to come, to you, to us, to everyone.

In biology, resilience appears as evolution, in physics, as energy absorption to reform, and in humans as a rapid recovery from adversity (and not only recovery, but use of the opportunity to grow). Failure and Resilience are two sides of the same coin.

We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.
Mark Manson
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

How resilient employees work?

Resilient employees support each other, generating strong connections at work. They balance their work and personal life, make work FUN (they share memes) but also develop their emotional intelligence through training their attention and self awareness. Here, some things you can do 🙂

  • Get involved in activities unrelated to your role/responsibilites, offer support where and when you can.
  • Schedule personal activities such as hobbies, beers with friends and walking your dog into your work diary in order to make them as important as your work meetings.
  • Don’t waste time worrying about external factors which out of your control, focus on the things that you can improve such as developing your own skills.

How to foster resilience at work?

Resilience is an ability that can be learnt, built and developed in anyone. There are a few routines and triggers that help to achieve it:

  • Plan B: Establish checklists and guides where everyone can find out how to deal with a problem. Employees workflows or manuals should help anyone out to know what to do in case of a Fuckup.


  • Debrief Sessions: Focused conversations on learnings instead of pointing fingers at projects that didn’t have the best outcome, this way everyone has the opportunity to learn. Hold post-mortem meetings for failed projects.


  • Culture: Incentivize people for trying new things and taking risks even if (and mostly when) it doesn’t work out. Make sure your team report their mistakes as easily as they do their achievements.

2 questions for crisis management

Crises bring chaos, abrupt change and uncertainty. We’re not gonna argue about that. But among the mess emerges a unique opportunity.

In moments of crisis where everything changes so rapidly, mindsets and routines are able to change at the same speed. The social handbrake that says  “if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it” is taken off. In a crisis we need to fix it.

So, there are 2 important questions to ask ourselves when it comes to crisis managements:

  • How am I gonna tackle this? 
  • When the storm passes, which new routines will I have built?

Your personal/organizational values should serve as a compass in hard times. They can also help to establish the kinds of behaviours you’d like to reinforce in the future. Empathy, collaboration, proactivity.

Let’s not allow fear to drive us towards a fixed mindset and instead let’s embrace the challenge with empathy, have the difficult conversations and rise above the crisis with integrity, acting from a place of love.

And last but not least, let’s share! Shared pain & challenges generate strong bonds and a sense of belonging between people, let’s seize the opportunity and create empathy.

Remote work

How do you maintain your team’s productivity and focus on goals without losing their attention or overwhelming them?

To keep your team engaged, over communicate the following:

  • Story telling: Engage everyone with your North Star (that big & crazy target that drives you forward)
  • Shared Purpose: Align everyone as interconnected parts of a whole unit, which grows if everyone grows.
  • Key Result Area: Provide clear tasks and priorities in order to reach your purpose.

These questions may help your team members:

  • What did I accomplish to make the team proud that I work here?
  • Why does everyone matter?
  • Why is your team part of something bigger than themselves?

Finding Focus

To enter into a state of flow or a moment of inspiration during any task or activity, 3 things are necessary. Ensure that you and your team have them:

  • Clarity on the task: Understanding the skills and method needed to complete it.
  • Immediate Feedback: Ability to measure progress and make improvements
  • Challenge: engage their skills and professional growth.

FUN remote Work 🙂

  • Establish your daily priorities and share them with your team
  • Humanize Meetings. It’s ok if your daughter is singing in the background or your dog barks.
  • Don’t spend more than 45 minutes on a task
  • Take a break from Social media while working
  • Open spaces to share when you are not feeling your best, it’s likely that others are feeling the same, and it helps to know that you’re not alone.
  • Ensure a work/life balance by making time for other activities.

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