Developing Mental Stamina in Your People

The most successful entrepreneurs instinctively know how to be fearless. Or do they? In my previous article, ‘Now Is the Time for Bravery’, I discussed how to overcome fear as an entrepreneur. But overcoming your own personal fear is not enough.

Your business has many component parts. Most of these are human. Your employees, for example. If they are fearful, your business is likely to suffer. Therefore, it’s important that your help them to face their fears and overcome them. Your business must develop resilience.

When the going gets tough, resilience will see you through. Gallup cites resilience as ‘a make-or-break trait for organizations during tough times’. So how do you craft a resilient business?

What is resilience?

Simply put, resilience is the ability to bounce back. When life kicks you, you get up, dust yourself off, and get back in the game. You do things better. You become a winner.

Though as an entrepreneur and business owner you are likely to take more knocks than most, you have an advantage over your employees. You know all the ins and outs of your business. You’re in control. Your employees don’t have this ‘luxury’. 

When a supplier stops delivering to you and you run short of stock, you know the reason why. The supplier has problems with their transport, for example. Your employees are often left in the dark wondering what is going on. That’s tough for them.

5 Strategies to develop mental stamina in your employees

As a business leader, it is your job to help your people become more resilient. The starting point in creating a more fearless business is to be more open about your aspirations, goals, and business ambitions. 

Previously, I’ve written about self-fulfilling prophecy management – the magic that builds resilience in a business – but this is only a first step. Getting personal with your people will take the resilience of your business to a whole new level.

Here are five strategies you can employ right now to help your people develop the strength of character that will help your business ride out any setback and emerge fitter and stronger.

  1. Employ the power of positive thinking

Your employees will be affected by what is going on around them. External influences are likely to dominate gossip in the workplace. Like Covid, and the effect it might have on your business. Any small setback may be magnified and attributed to these influences.

Remove your people from this influence by giving them the power of positive thinking. Speak to them regularly. Let them know they are doing a great job and that the business is doing fine. Connect the dots between their contribution and the achievement of your business goals.

When negative events happen or negative gossip rears its head, look for the positives. There are always opportunities that present themselves during crises. Share these opportunities with your people.

  1. Employ visualization

We think in pictures. Visualization is an excellent technique to combat personal stress and anxiety. You close your eyes and imagine yourself in a similar situation and in which you triumphed. 

Help your people to visualize the success of the business by becoming a storyteller. Relate the current crisis to your previous experience. Help them to overcome their fears by trusting your judgment, and by being more confident in their own ability. Encourage them to examine their own successes and use those positive experiences to shape a positive outlook.

  1. Employ reaction planning

Have you ever heard the saying ‘You cannot alter what happens, but you can alter how you react’?

Here’s where you can help your people deal with emergencies and stressful situations before they happen. Make time in team talks to consider what could happen, and plan your reaction to all conceivable scenarios. 

You don’t ever expect to have a blowout on the highway, but you carry a spare tire. Give your people their metaphorical spare tires, and emergencies will become events. The wheel will never fall off.

  1. Employ stress management

Despite all the planning you do, there will be times when the workplace becomes extra stressful. An irate customer. A late delivery. A system crashes. The plans that you have put in place should help to overcome these challenges, but the stress experienced will still be real.

Understand how your employees may react, and initiate some simple tactics that will help them come down from their stress. Allow employees impromptu time out. Encourage people to find their own stress busters – meditation or exercise, for example. 

After a particularly stressful day, make sure that you thank everyone for their time, their effort, and their contribution. You’ll be surprised how powerful a simple thank-you is in combatting stress in your business.

  1. Employ openness and availability

Be a caring boss. Open your door to your employees. Get to know them, and ask them how they are feeling. Make it OK for them not to be OK. Let them know that your door is open. Empathize, understand, and repair. Only if your people feel welcomed to discuss their issues will you be able to help them overcome them.

Here’s what I know

We all get nervous sometimes. We all have moments of self-doubt. Understanding how to be fearless yourself will help you develop a brave culture in your business. 

People are just people. But your people are your business. Connect them to it, help them plan for unexpected events, and share your success stories. Encourage your people to visualize their own successes, and to remember how they have overcome adversity before.

The five strategies I’ve shared in this article will help your people to become more resilient, and that will improve the resilience of your entire business. With this resilience, you’ll have the business bravery to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.

Look at this list of strategies again:

  • Employ the power of positive thinking

  • Employ visualization

  • Employ reaction planning

  • Employ stress management

  • Employ openness and availability

Which are you going to employ from today? Could you introduce a five-minute slot into team meetings to discuss reaction planning? When was the last time you told your team what a fantastic job they’re doing?

If you’d like some one-to-one advice of how to be fearless in business and build a resilient team, feel free to get in touch with me.

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