Video Transcript

Hi. It’s David Patmore here from CAL Corporate Solutions with a quick technique from one of our workshops called Going from Stress to Strength, Building Resilience in Times of Change and Uncertainty.

If you’ve ever been in a team or your current team is experiencing some of the following, overwhelmed with their current workload, perhaps you notice a lack of forward planning, ongoing tension and conflict with other members, perhaps there’s been a high staff turnover or even above average sick leave, perhaps low productivity and morale or even incidents of insubordination, then these are all the telltale signs of resilience issues. If you can relate to any or all of these, then here is a practical externalisation planning exercise that you can do in about 30 minutes that will help you identify the causes and map out a practical way forward.

Well, it’s a blueprint really. We call it Clean Up Your MES, and it stands for map, explore, and support. I’m going to take you through each one of these, and it’s a really good little way of externalising or downloading what you might have in your thinking around what might be happening and gaining some fresh perspective, and then really mapping out some strategy that will help you to obviously increase resilience as well as perhaps deal with some of the trigger points that could be happening in the team.

Let’s have a look at each one of these areas. We’re going to look at map first. Map essentially is all about identifying the triggers and the causes. We’re talking about the stress triggers and then the causes or the drivers of those moments of stress. What we would really recommend you do is spend about 30 minutes or however long you need to reflect and document all the things that you feel are triggering the team stress on an average day. It could be many things obviously that are doing this, but I’ll give you an example just to show you what I mean.

Let’s say the upline task expectations, perhaps more senior people or supervisors are expecting of the team. There’s task pressure there, perhaps individuals not meeting deadlines and therefore causing some negative impact to other people’s responsibilities during the day. Once you’ve identified what those main triggers are, then we’d move on to the causes. This is where we’d once again write down and start looking at what we might believe are driving those stress triggers. An example, if we follow on from what we said in the previous trigger example with upline task expectations, perhaps there might be lack of upline understanding of current workloads, which are creating an unrealistic expectation. That could be a driving cause, or perhaps there’s some poor planning practices with certain members of the team or individuals, and so therefore that’s what’s causing the deadline issues.

When you have identified what the driving causes are, then we can look at the next part of this, which is to explore, which is where we’re sort of investigating what can we do about this or as we’ve got here, solve or surrender. What we really mean by this is that many of these issues might have a solution or through a little bit of creative thinking, you could come up with solution or in some cases, there is nothing that could be done for a range of reasons that might obviously be inhibiting a solution in this case. Therefore, we take on a mindset of surrender. I’ll sort of explain what that means in a moment because it might sound a little bit negative at first, but it’s not.

Where possible, think of different solutions that could bring up a change or solve the issue. For example, if we take the upline managers or upline workload expectations, maybe perhaps meeting with those particular people concerned and exploring ways that workflow could be improved and to set new expectations, or perhaps for the individuals that are not meeting deadlines, creating some fresh boundaries and consequences and other methods to help them meet those deadlines would be an example of solving.

When we go to surrender, well, this is where sometimes, when we have open-ended tasks, and I’m sure anybody who’s had a task list for example, and it’s very difficult to cross things off, can leave you a little bit without emotional closure. What surrender means is really finding a way that we can actually gain emotional closure over things that really aren’t able to be solved. So, let’s, for example, say that there might be some issue that can’t be solved, and it is what it is. Therefore, we need to find a way where we can support the team or ourselves with ways of diffusing some of that frustration. In other words, finding somewhere we can rest our mind to find some closure with that. Once you do that, it creates some level of boundary with your emotions, which can help to reduce the emotional pressure, and it helps to offload it rather than allowing ongoing anxiety around things that we can’t possibly control.

The last one is support. Support is about acknowledging hope and encouragement, and this is all about people’s motivation and internal strength and trying to increase that because what we know is when people feel encouraged, even in situations where they may not be able to do anything about something and it’s an ongoing frustration, if we can find ways to get people to feel encouraged, supported, and particularly acknowledged, then human beings will generally start to grow in their resilience and are able to move forward more effectively.

The key real strategy here is to find ways to support the emotional weight of the team, and create practical strategies to achieve this. Using that, perhaps regular debriefs for the team, allowing them to vent or adopting a, what I would call a two to three things a week that we can point out and generally encourage individuals on the team can go a really long way in helping to build resilience levels. All of us, when we feel acknowledged, respected, and we feel valued, it is one of the most powerful things that can help us to pick ourselves up, gain some light at the end of the tunnel, and give us the strength to keep moving forward in a positive way.

Well, there’s a couple of things that you can do, and using the MES strategy is an easy way to gain some mental clarity and to perhaps put some practical strategy around how you can build resilience in the team.

I hope this has been of high value to you and certainly will be useful in perhaps approaching some of the stress triggers as well as finding some positive techniques to move forward. Thank you for your time, and bye for now.