The Energizer

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Guest Post: Three Ways Leaders Develop Resiliency – In Your Team or Your Children

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, August 27, 2018
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Resiliency is not a one-time skill to be pulled out in times of crisis. Many of you know I coined the word presilience ™ for preemptive resilience. In short, resilience is a life skill that can and must be developed and nurtured beginning with our children. I asked colleagues Karin Hurt and David Dye, owners of Let’s Grow Leaders, to write how lessons with children can be applied to adults. They have also created a wonderful resiliency book for children. Consider getting it if you have youngsters in your life.

Enjoy, Eileen

Three Ways Leaders Develop Resiliency – In Your Team or Your Children

A teacher of developmentally challenged students took them to a fast-food restaurant to order lunch. One student was struggling with this new experience so her teacher walked beside her. As the student approached the counter, her teacher asked, “Now what do you do?”

She ordered her food and he asked her, “Now what do you do?”

She paid for her food, received her change, and he asked, “Now what do you do?”

She walked to the end of the counter, picked up her tray of food and drink and turned to find a table.

As she turned, the tray slipped out of her hand and her food and drink spilled across the floor.

The teacher calmly said, “And now what do you do?”

He understood that problems will happen and that we have the ability to respond and take the next step. There are three behaviors that will help you to develop resiliency in others.

1) Show them what resiliency looks like. As parents, teachers, and team leaders we cultivate resiliency when we respond to problems matter-of-factly. A problem isn’t the end of the world. It’s something to be acknowledged and worked through.

2) Manage your response to their setbacks. The teacher didn’t freak out when the student spilled her food. When your team or children face problems, communicate your confidence in their ability to respond to and overcome the problem.

3) Ask empowering questions. Help them find a path forward by asking questions that reduce the problem to smaller steps. Eg: “And now what do you do?”

In our new children’s book Glowstone Peak the characters are confronted with a series of problems that don’t turn out the way they hope they will. They discover ways to take the next step – sometimes alone, sometimes together. We hope this story of courage, influence, and hope will help inspire resiliency and leadership for the children you love.

Karin Hurt and David Dye are keynote speakers, leadership experts, and the award-winning authors of Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results Without Losing Your Soul. and Glowstone Peak. Karin is a top leadership consultant and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of most innovative leadership speakers. David Dye is a former executive, elected official, and President of Let’s Grow Leaders, their leadership training and consulting firm located outside Washington DC.


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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