This year, I’ve slowly been learning to juggle which happens to be a good analogy for resilience training for leaders and teams. I would not call myself a juggling expert, it has been a slow learning process. It is a reminder to me how uncomfortable and good learning can be. In order to continue to progress with this challenging skill, the mindset shift required by me to keep learning teaches me about resilience…which is a much-needed lesson for all of us this year.

Growth Mindset

This year brings immense change, and all the rapid change that continues to happen requires us to be flexible and open to a new way of thinking and doing. Things we used to take for granted have changed and continue to change. 

In her seminal book MindsetCarol Dweck states that “individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning.” Growth mindset embraces a love of learning with resiliency. When we embrace a learning or growth mindset, we’re open to change, taking risks and embracing that failure is part of learning. We can exercise our minds just like we exercise our bodies. 

Changing the way we think about change 

Studies have shown that the brain is ripe for change and we can re-condition our brains to be ready for learning and change instead of resisting it by practicing and ‘working out’ our brain. This can be in learning a physical skill such as juggling, as well as in our minds. Brené Brown’s research asserts we need to ‘become aware of the story we tell ourselves’. Maybe it’s our need to protect ourselves from failure or our need to feel comfortable. Maybe it’s our felt need for certainty. Resilience training, formal and informal, are conditioning workouts for our brains grow our awareness of the messages we tell ourselves. As an example, we might want to ‘workout’ or challenge how we think of failure as part of the learning and change process. We might want to workout and challenge the desire to be immediately good at something new. All of these mind and physical learning and re-wiring increases our resilience by changing the way we think, and it grows our adaptability. 

New Resilience Training Program. You can learn to juggle with us!

The reason the Summit team has been learning to juggle is because The Juggling Act is one of Summit Team Building’s newer team building programs, run both virtually and in person (when appropriate by public health regulations). In this fun and interactive team building experience, participants will demonstrate to each other 8 lessons that will not only promote a growth mindset, but also break down the skill of juggling into small steps so that they too can practice, fail, laugh, coach each other and keep going. In this, we are reminded of why having a growth mindset is so important. 

Resilience Training Uses Adversity as an Opportunity to Grow

We have all (possibly unconsciously) been building our resilience this year by all the new guidelines and rules, ways of working, ways of doing business, and so many more changes that we’ve all been forced to adapt to. This does not come without stress! Resilience does not mean the absence of stress or adversity. This article on resilience training defines resilience as how we recover from, adapt, bounce back or grow from the stress or adversity we face. Our choice in the matter is embracing the process of learning, which is at times uncomfortable!

But resilience is not something you have or don’t have; it is a muscle that can be trained and increased in each of us if we’re willing to exercise it. So you’ll have to excuse me as I suddenly feel the need to go find my juggling balls and keep practicing.

We’re Here to Help

At Summit, even though we haven’t been able to be with teams in person for a while due to public health restrictions, we are able to support teams virtually with various team and leadership development modules and a few of our team building programs. If you just want to plan to have a fun break with your team and contribute to the care of your team’s well-being or grow the self and team awareness and capacity, we’re here to support you! Contact us to learn more. We’ll hop on a Zoom session with you and try out a couple of these icebreakers!