Small and medium sized businesses rely on good team work to ensure success. Everyone in a small business, whatever their skills, must work more generally performing tasks outside their area of specialty. Everyone in the business needs to engage appropriately with everyone else. Robin Hills explains.

The resilience of the business is down to the resilience of everyone working as a large team. Developing resilient teams involves managing the hearts and minds of the people in the business. This requires a realistic focus on the business goals and the creativity and adaptability to work together with issues as they arise.

A team is considered to be resilient when the sources of pressure are well managed and there are high levels of individual well-being so that overall performance benefits.

Distinct predictors of team outcomes are seen in the levels of cohesion, cooperation, coordination, conflict and team satisfaction. There is team optimism. The individuals in the team look out for each other to ensure that there are high levels of psychological well-being across the team – avoiding burnout and ensuring sustainable levels of performance under pressure.

A resilient team:

  • shows greater flexibility and originality
  • sees change as less threatening
  • responds better to unfavourable feedback
  • makes more positive judgements about others
  • contains individuals who fall sick less often.
The style of leadership, along with their emotional intelligence, links to the well-being and performance of a resilient team.

However, the leader’s emotional intelligence isn't enough to develop the resilience for the entire team - especially when teams are comprised of people with different interests, strengths, needs, and workstyles. It's the team's collective emotional intelligence that promotes success.

There are ways to increase the resilience and emotional intelligence of the team, by creating conditions that establish trust between teammates, a sense of group identity, and a sense of group efficiency.

Strengthening Resilience in Others

  • Increase communication about the coming changes/challenges
  • Understand the reasons for the change/challenge
  • Engage people in developing a shared vision of a realistic, optimistic future
  • Increase opportunities for social connections
  • Encourage a healthy balance around work commitments
  • Break down problems/challenges into bite-size pieces
  • Shift negativity towards problem solving
  • Listen to anxieties/fears
  • Acknowledge losses
  • Remind people what isn’t changing
  • Celebrate the little victories
  • Keep the team together
To build loyalty and commitment within the team to ensure that it functions at optimal levels of performance, everyone must be committed to ensuring that their minds and hearts are compatible and aligned. This needs to occur at all levels – at the level of the individual, at the level of the team and at the level of the organisation.

Mapping the minds and hearts of everyone to ensure consistency must be the utmost priority within a team focused on its resilience for the present and for the future.

Mapping Minds

  • Build effective leadership
  • Establish common goals, identify targets and timetables and have a sense of urgency
  • Pay attention to building teams
  • Ensure the team is made up of the right people with the right mix of skills
  • Assign specific responsibilities to team members
  • Identify resources available to teams
  • Run meetings effectively
  • Improve communication
  • Identify key information for sharing
  • Establish rewards and incentives for all team members
  • Identify win–win solutions
  • Be competent; have clarity
  • Trust team members
  • Deliver results
  • Celebrate success and have fun

Mapping Hearts

  • Promote friendship and camaraderie
  • Place importance on appreciation and understanding
  • Help each other through individual coaching
  • Promote a sense of togetherness
  • Learn and evolve together
  • Promote harmony
  • Reward openness
  • Pay attention to team chemistry
  • Celebrate often and put value on a positive atmosphere
  • Identify and work from the team’s spirit and soul

Robin Hills is author of ‘The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience in Business: Strategies to manage stress and weather storms in the workplace’. Published by SRA Books as part of the Authority Guides series of pocket-sized business books. @SRA_TAG