Improve team communication, cohesion and problem solving with this relationship-based resilience tool
Amidst all of its challenges, the Covid-19 pandemic is bringing many opportunities to hit reset on systems, policies and practices that are not serving humanity.
One that I am personally invested in getting right?
Shifting workplace wellness initiatives to center on relationship-based resilience practices rather than solely on individual practices.
Why does this matter? When teams frame adversity as a collective problem, it distributes the demands across members, reducing an individual’s experience of isolation and overwhelm. This process improves communication, cohesion and problem solving – and is central to sustainable wellness for all members of an organization.
Resilience Tool – Relational Pause
As explored in a recent Harvard Business Review article, framing adversity as a collective can be facilitated by taking what some call a “relational pause.”
A relational pause is a brief reflective break where group members are invited to consider and share the emotional and relational aspects of their work – the human aspects – within an environment of authenticity, active listening and care.
Relational pauses can be integrated routinely as part of group meetings, called on when emotions are running high to reduce incivility, used to help process loss, or incorporated into established wellness initiatives, such as a yoga class. Of course, proactively and regularly practicing this tool will support you in better implementing it in times of escalated emotions.
Early on in the pandemic, when there was an abundance of mental health tip sheets flowing yet many people’s emotional and cognitive capacity was overwhelmed, the human resilience organization that I direct made a decision to lead a relational pause. We opened a virtual THRIVE Coffee House and intentionally structured an environment for anyone to drop in, connect and process their emotions and experiences in a safe way. Over time, some people became regulars at the Coffee House while others would drop in now and again and each session also welcomed new faces. Once people felt connected, supported and emotionally regulated, they gained clarity on exactly what types of resources would be most helpful at the time.
At this point in the pandemic, as we deal with very real impacts of social distancing and are moving into a norm of high levels of remote work – now is the time for our workplaces to intentionally and routinely nurture connection and collective flourishing.
If we fail to more fully understand and integrate the type of relationship-based practices that are at the heart of growing human resilience, we can expect substantial negative impacts on mental health, productivity and employee well-being.
For more tools to help leverage today’s opportunities to improve performance, resilience and well-being, visit the nonprofit Worldmaker, an organization leading the way with its relationship-based resilience training and supports.