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It's NOT Been A Tough Year

2020 has been a lot of things here in Aotearoa New Zealand, challenging, uplifting, scary, hopeful, anxiety ridden, friend-full, lonely, laughter driven, tear soaked - you can add many more I'm sure.

What I've found though is that it's not been that tough.

Maybe life had prepared me for the COVID driven, Trump madness, Brexit riddled, election prone, wage challenged time I have had.

Back in 2016 life took a turn for the ... well, life took a turn, and a lot changed. I've had to rebuild a lot of what I'm about, who I truly am, and face a lot of demons and soothe the anger through hard bloody work. With the past help of the GP, counselling, and ongoing exercise, and friends, + family love over the years I've gained a lot of insight for things that work for me, tips and techniques to cope with the travails of the universe, and experience in how to reach out, how to care for others. I know when it's good to hunker down to work and when it's best to let the inner diva fly free.

These skills are all about resilience and boy-o-boy this year has been a year for resilience eh.

So, I feel lucky that I had a (sort of) trial run at 2020 way back when and that over the years I have honed myself. 

"Nice Mike, happy for you ... why isn't this on you personal blog?"

Wave crashing over a rock (black and white)

Two reasons, firstly resilience is a subject we all need to be talking about with the economy, business, staff, and day-to-day work. Secondly, I see that resilience isn't something that comes after a 2 day workshop but over time as people actively use their innate / new found skills in difficult circumstances. It takes practice, gets better when actively called upon, and key that it moves from weird and feeling false (consciously incompetent) to inbuilt and habit (unconsciously competent)

Part of how I've managed this year is to be grateful for my years of learning, to actively think of the times I have used a specific technique. I have given myself feedback, I have asked others how they thought it went, and I have most definitely reviewed myself. All things leaders in organisations should do when they see their staff practising resilience. Behaviour needs praising.

And what better time that now, the end of 2020. Look, I know the 'end of the year' is merely a human time construct but it's ritual, especially here in AoNZ with the long summer holidays coming up.

If you are known as a leader of a team, work within a team, then take some time to call out the great personal work that people have done this year to keep going. Take time to notice the specifics, the actual behaviour you saw, and pass on how it helped you or the the team. Don't be afraid to note how people have found it hard (again be specific), how they kept going, and what that means to you.

Being resilient is about how people cope, and how they use techniques to cope, but it's also a practice that happens over time and getting praise for becoming better is key to progression. 

Well done everyone for being resilient in 2020, you're even more prepared for whatever 2021+ brings.