Business Operations

How can high-performing teams build their resilience?

Workplace wellbeing consultant César Gamio is no stranger to the need for resilience. As a fresh-faced IT worker in his 20s he would often use his naturally high energy levels to put in 70+ hour weeks at work. However, this energy and passion were at odds with his lack of truly restful sleep, and his lack of focus on his nutritional choices. 

Diagnosed with a case of acute stress, he realised that this way of working wasn’t sustainable. “I knew there must be a way I could perform at a high level and achieve what I wanted to achieve without sacrificing my health in the process”, he says. 

He decided to learn more about wellbeing: not with the view of becoming a coach or consultant, but to understand performance science and how he could apply it to his own career. That’s when he discovered the science of resilience. 

“I started applying the principles I’d been taught, and guess what happened? I started feeling better, and doing my job better.”

In his Vistage session on 10th April, César will be sharing his insights on how high-performing teams can build their resilience. We sat down with him to learn more about what we can expect on the day. 

What exactly is resilience in business?

“Resilience is often defined as the ability to bounce back from challenges”, says César. “I’m not really supportive of that definition. 

For him, resilience is about having the ability to bounce forward from challenges. “Why would you want to go back to the old version of yourself?”, he explains. “Why not instead focus on growing, evolving and changing to become a better version of yourself?”

It sounds simple. However, there are certain principles that need to be observed for this to happen. Once in place, though, building resilience can help high-performing teams on three different levels. 

How can you build resilience?

There are five key areas, says César, that individuals should focus on when looking to develop their resilience. 

The first is restful sleep. “Every fibre and cell of our being is impacted by the quality of our sleep”, he says. “If we’re sleep-deprived that will significantly reduce our ability to be resilient. If we don’t get this key thing right, nothing else will help.”

The second is incorporating movement – which César points out is completely different from exercise. “With exercise there is a goal in mind, like increasing muscle mass, losing weight or improving vascular health”, he clarifies. “Movement is simply about standing up, about walking, about stretching – and we need to ensure we do that at various points during the day.”

According to technology that analyses brain activity, even the seemingly smallest of movements can have a big impact, says César. “Even when you get up to get a glass of water or a cup of tea”, he explains, “the areas of our brain associated with creative thinking, insight and intuition light up. Resilient people need to find solutions and alternatives to problems: and for that, they need to get their creative juices flowing.”

The third is nutrition. “I’ve seen reports that say that the wrong nutrition can decrease your productivity by up to 66%”, he says. “Even a 1% decrease in your hydration level can lower your productivity by up to 12%.” While there is a great deal of conflicting information about there about what constitutes good nutrition and bad nutrition, César’s webinar will cover some of the non-controversial elements to adopt to improve your resilience. 

The fourth is stress management. While a stress response is completely natural in some circumstances – like preventing us from crossing the street when there is oncoming traffic – it is important to avoid triggering our stress response for unnecessary reasons. “For some people, even the sight of 50 unread emails in their inbox can trigger the fight-or-flight response”, he explains. “It’s important to find ways to prevent those stress responses from being triggered in situations like these.”

Finally, César’s webinar will cover the element of connection. “A lot of people underestimate the importance of connecting socially with others”, he says. “By socialising, I mean having a conversation without a defined purpose – with no plans or agendas.” When this happens, he says, the brain automatically triggers all of its healing mechanisms. “We upregulate our immune systems, our body goes into a state of homeostasis, we lower our blood pressure”, he explains. “It’s amazing to understand everything that happens inside the body when we’re just having a chat.”

The impact of building resilience

Building resilience, says César, can positively impact in three ways. 

The first is at a physical level. Resilience can improve your stamina, your clarity and your mental strength, allowing you to both perform your regular duties and tackle any challenges head-on. 

At a mental level, a focus on building resilience can develop your fortitude and clarity. “It will prevent you from succumbing to distress, anxiety and other response states that aren’t conducive to making the right choices, the right decisions”, he explains. 

Resilience can also help from an emotional standpoint. “It will give you the ability to reach a state of emotional equanimity”, says César. “It will give you that calmness, that centredness you need to make the right choices at the right time without making rash, unconsidered decisions.”

Building resilience may sound challenging. However, César is quick to point out that the seemingly smallest of changes can make a big difference. 

“A big bang approach rarely works”, he says. “It’s no good being used to getting five hours of sleep each night, and suddenly deciding you’ll have eight instead. Start by identifying small steps you can take towards improving your lifestyle and working style choices in each of these areas, and that will lead to sustained growth and evolution of resilience.”

To learn more about building resilience in high-performing teams, register for César’s webinar here.

Category : Business Operations Employee Development Uncategorized

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About the Author: Vistage UK Staff

Vistage is the world’s largest executive coaching organisation for small and medium sized businesses.
For more than 60 years we’ve been helping MDs, CEOs, business owners and key executives solve their toughest challenges

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