Recharge your Leadership!

February 16, 2021 7:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Kristin Derwinski, Executive Consultant and Coach, Stewart Leadership

Earlier this year, we facilitated a webinar on Building a Resilient Workforce. We introduced the three skills needed to Recharge Your Leadership, which include: Resilience, Connection, and Empathy, 

In a series of articles to follow, we will share highlights from our webinar and provide helpful hints and tools for building your leadership skills.

Let’s focus on Resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back after facing adversity or experiencing a setback. It is about seeking advice or guidance from others when navigating a challenging time. It is the ability to grow after facing adversity or learning something new and applying it right away, even when it is uncomfortable.

We have all faced many challenges in the last year between COVID -19, social and political unrest, and the need to work and communicate in new ways. In the face of all of these challenges, we have seen tremendous growth, learning, and innovation as we navigate in a world that is continuing to evolve. We have also seen what happens when people are not able to grow or change. Or how,  when there is low resilience, people can become stuck, walk away, or isolate themselves.

The good news is that Resilience is not something you have or don’t have - it is something you can learn.  Anyone can develop the capacity to become more resilient.  

We designed a Resilience Continuum that provides a framework for conversations around Resiliency. It enables a leader to identify where they are on the continuum and then determine where they want to be. It is also an excellent tool for leaders to use when they want to help team members increase their resilience capacity. Leaders we have worked with share that the Resilience Continuum allows them to approach these challenging situations with empathy.

Here’s the Continuum.  If someone is acting or behaving in a way that is preventing them from working through a challenge or adverse situation, that behavior is reflective of low resilience. If a person meets the challenge head-on, working on learning to seek advice, or simply moving forward, their behavior is closer to high resilience.

The table below details the behaviors, thoughts, and actions that describe each phase. Please note: this is not about labeling a person; it identifies where someone is on a given challenge or situation based on their behaviors and actions.

Low Resilience


High Resilience

  • Enjoys being comfortable

  • Little to no interest in learning something new

  • May be experiencing physical, mental, or emotional challenges

  • Workload is extremely demanding

  • Fearful of the future if there is not a roadmap

  • Isolated

  • Appreciates comfort but willing to be uncomfortable

  • Willing to learn something new

  • Takes actions to manage well-being

  • Ability to manage workload

  • Looks forward to future and appreciates if there a roadmap

  • Connects with others for advice and guidance

  • Thrives in an environment where they can be uncomfortable

  • Seeks to learn something new and apply it right away

  • Is proactive in managing their well-being

  • Ability to manage workload

  • Strives to lead self and others towards a future, even if there is no roadmap

  • Connects with others for advice and guidance frequently


As you look at the table above, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which behaviors most closely match the way I take action when faced with a challenge?

  • Which behaviors would I like to demonstrate more often?

  • What skills do I need to develop to get there?

  • What is getting in my way?

  • What actions can I take to get there? And by when?

We encourage you to have a conversation with your direct reports to learn more about their Resilience capacity and what you can do together to work towards high resilience.

Interested in learning more?  Feel free to view our webinar on Building a Resilient Workforce or contact Kristin Derwinski to schedule a conversation.

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