It is undeniable that the last few months of changes in the world have presented business owners with unprecedented challenges, and it is often the reactions of leaders that shape resilience across an organisation.

  • They can be fragile, precious and break under pressure,
  • They can be robust and resist change, or
  • They can be ‘Antifragile’, absorb change and become stronger because of the challenge.

Psychologist and CEO of Pragmatic Thinking – Alison Hill, recently joined Women in Focus, offering tools to help business leaders adopt an Antifragile Approach and emerge from COVID-19 with renewed confidence in the strength of their leadership and business.

Tool 1: Use a framework

It’s easy to allow emotions to impact decisions. Having a framework around decision making can help leaders get curious about their obligations and needs without becoming overwhelmed.

Not all frameworks will work for you, so find one that is relevant to your needs. For example, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and other values based frameworks allow leaders to discern the most critical needs in their business right now and make decisions in line with these values.

These frameworks can also assist during team conversations to ensure your teams understand the  process and the factors that have contributed to difficult decisions.

Tool 2: Prioritise your state

When interviewing high performance coach, Nam Baldwin, on her podcast, ‘Stand Out Life’, Alison recalled him saying, “the quality of your decisions is determined by the quality of your state.”

Win the morning – It’s important to identify your intention for the day. Ask yourself: who do I need to be for my business, my team, or my customers?  This is a concept of Nam’s that Alison incorporates into her own day and her team’s.

This may be a simple walk in nature or an ‘hour of power’, charged with productivity, but ensure it provides you the opportunity to set clear intentions for your day and draw your attention to all the things that may be possible for your business as you move ahead.

Seize the midday – Make time for an energy reset:  90 seconds or a few deep breaths, five minutes of active movement or thirty minutes calling that person who helps you get into a clearer mindset.

In close to 100 interviews for her podcast, it has become clear to Alison that when people prioritise their own state and their own energy, even when faced with adversity, they actually become stronger.

Tool 3: Gain perspective

Humans have always faced challenges and according to Alison, this gives you perspective. Whilst the current COVID-19 environment is having a critical impact on businesses, Alison advises that ‘crisis’ is not the word we should be using, but rather remind ourselves of the possibilities arising that we can acknowledge. We can celebrate (the high moments or lessons) or liberate (those low moments that we don’t want moving forward with us).

It is important as we navigate these times to acknowledge the collective sense of grief that is being reverberated. All businesses are experiencing loss: be that growth plans being postponed, or clients we would have offered support to. “I can’t wait for things to return to normal” is perhaps one of the most common phrases used throughout this time, however Alison challenges us all to question if we can improve upon ‘normal’ to create a new standard where our businesses and individuals are stronger because of this experience.

So, what’s next? How can I start? Here are six questions you can ask yourself to guide your thinking:

  • What frameworks are you using?
  • What values are your current priority?
  • What’s your intention today?
  • What discipline will you commit to?
  • Where/who gives you perspective?
  • What stories could you celebrate or liberate?

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Things you should know

  • This article represents opinions and views of the interviewees personal experiences only.  It does not have regard to the situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as advice. It is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. Before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.