What is your definition of resilience? As a leader, if you think that a resilient employee can be positive in any situation, then you may have a big misunderstanding of the term resilience...

What is your definition of resilience?

When talking about the practice of pluralistic and inclusive DEI in enterprise organizations, leaders' cognition of the psychological resilience of organizational members often affects the effectiveness of actual implementation, mainly because leaders may have established stereotypes about the resilience cultivated by organizational members due to their own life experiences, thus missing out on many better experiences that effectively enable members to face difficulties and complete challenges.

In order for leaders to be less unconscious and biased about the resilience traits of their members, here are three guidelines that allow us to take a closer look at our perceptions and how they influence our decisions:

First, really understand what mental resilience is

Resilience is not gritting our teeth and suffering in silence, but our ability to find hope and strength in difficulties.

In addition to clearly defining resilience, leaders must be aware of cultural biases against resilience that can negatively impact the organization.

For example, while studies have shown that minority individuals are more resilient, leaders cannot assume underrepresented employees because they are exposed to a lot of discrimination from an early age and are therefore bound to be extremely resilient.

Because if so, leaders create an environment where employees feel like they don't have enough to ask for help, and employees are reluctant to speak out about what they're enduring, missing out on opportunities for leaders to assist employees in real time.

(Guess what you want: How to deal with stress and keep growing?) Mental resilience exercise)

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels

Second, consider the different impacts of common challenges

Covid-19 has disproportionately affected women in the workplace. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 3.5 million working women quit their jobs to care for their children when the pandemic hit.

At this time, if leaders ignore the differences in employees' experiences, even if they are well-intentioned to offer resources such as mental health counseling, it is still a little narrow, because it will ignore the affected women in the workplace, so that in the end, only some employees can enjoy the company's good intentions.

Third, the organizational environment and personal resilience have a role

When there are changes within the organization, such as layoffs, mergers and acquisitions, or internal conflicts, as a manager, you cannot assume that the members of the organization are resilient enough to face everything alone, or that time will solve everything.

It's human nature to blame those around us for deficiencies, which can lead leaders to avoid responsibility and instead demand that employees be resilient, a lack of structural accountability described by clinical psychologist Amy Adler as the "dark side of resilience."

But imagine a situation where a female employee is discriminated against in the workplace, and if the supervisor just acts cheaply and blames the problem on it—you'll be fine, and you need to develop more resilience, then the source of the problem will probably never be solved.

As a good leader, it's important to realize that sometimes the problem is not whether individuals are resilient, but the breakdown of the work environment, and that when employees are expected to be resilient, organizations should also proactively provide resources, such as creating a culture where employees can speak up, and providing appropriate system support so that employees are no longer isolated in the face of challenges.

Photo by Denniz Futalan on Pexels

No matter how much the development of employees' personal resilience is, it cannot replace the support network provided from the top down of the organization.

When problems occur, leaders have a sense of responsibility and use this opportunity to rethink how the organization can reform and correct them while demanding employees.

We are biased in how we think and act resiliently, and our best bet is to continue to learn and grow so that our organization and the people we care about can not only survive, but thrive.