Should we always stress the benefits to be more persuasive?
Ask most people and you'll get the same response. (I've being asking for years.)
They'll favour positive arguments, stressing the benefits, over negative every time. Surely it's always best to be positive?
Not so fast.
There's plenty of evidence of what makes us resilient individually. Researchers have been observing resilient people in sport, business, the military and education for decades.
We can use what they’ve found, whether we are leading a group or just an influential member.
Here are my top three picks from the best evidence available...
1. Decide that your success is up to the team - not luck or fate
Sound obvious? Is your team making the most of that idea? Do you always believe that you have a choice, even if it’s to accept your circumstances, but choose your attitude to it? When you’re struggling, or have a major setback, do you ask, ‘What are our choices here?
If your team believe that success is up to them, they can make other choices. You might choose to be courageous, to think independently, or be comfortable with your customers’ demands. You might choose to develop your team’s professionalism.
2. Choose a growth mindset
People with a growth mindset see top performance as a journey with inevitable setbacks. They see setbacks and failures as opportunities to learn. Those with a fixed mindset believe that talent, ability and intelligence are fixed. They believe that we either have those qualities, or we don’t and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Does your team see setbacks and failures as learning opportunities?
Team leaders: Develop your team’s growth mindset by praising effort, strategies and persistence. Never mention talent or intelligence.
3. Take care when talking about your team’s successes and setbacks
Your project went well? Celebrate - and make sure that everyone sees their success as evidence that the team are on the way to greater things.
Setback? It has nothing to do with the team’s potential. It must be something that will be different, or you can change next time. Maybe you didn’t spend enough time on the tender. Maybe the client cancelled the project because there wasn’t enough money in the budget. Is there something the team can learn from the experience?
Any doubts about those three keys to resilience for your team? Listen to the media interviews with elite sports people. The top teams have sports psychologists and it shows. You’ll hear the same themes coming through.