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Building resilience during the coronavirus crisis

Health and wellbeing is top of mind for many businesses right now as the coronavirus pandemic touches all of our lives. Working from home has led to a blurring of the lines between work and home, with many of us juggling home schooling with work demands, piling on extra anxiety.  

So how can managers best help their team and themselves to cope in these challenging times? Building resilience – the ability to bounce back from a setback and create the capacity to cope with change – is key.

We asked Alex Morgan, Executive Coach and Senior Lecturer at Leicester Castle Business School at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) for her advice on developing resilience, both personally and in your team.


For some people, a morning full of meetings makes their heart sink, while others relish the chance have a highly sociable agenda for the day.

“Limit the things that you know dig into your resilience and drain it,” advises Alex. “If you are not the personality type that loves speaking to 10 people on Zoom all day, don’t. Don’t feel that social pressure to do that.

“If you want to have down time, or work in spurts, do it. If you think about it, people don’t work solidly at their desk for eight or nine hours a day. You have lots of breaks, from turning around to talk to a colleague, to making coffee or walking around the office to check in with colleagues.

“Plan your day to include breaks and give yourself the permission to do this.”

You can control how you are with the people you live with and also how you interact with remote members of your team. How you behave in this situation will inevitably impact on the moods and reactions of others.

Photocredit: Dose Media

Alex suggests using a tactic she successfully brought in while working at a global multinational – that of peer-to-peer supportive coaching and mentoring.

“Colleague coaching builds trust and relationships and we know that teams work better if they really, really know and respect each other,” explains Alex. “Teams could set up peer-to-peer coaching andmentoring and ask each other supportive coaching style questions.

“The key thing for peer coaching and mentoring is to remember that you are not trying to fix their issues, you are listening. Ask intuitive questions. Give each other 20 minutes each. Teams that know each other and know what people are dealing with have much higher levels of respect and resilience.”

WANT TO READ MORE?: Alex suggests: Time to Think by Nancy Kline; Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore; The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.

Posted on Tuesday 5th May 2020

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