Leadership in Action – Building Grit Within Your Team

This is the first of five posts regarding the PERMA model for Well-Being and its intersection with leadership. Today, we cover the P – Positive Emotion. The presence of Positive Emotion in your team brings energy and resilience to the accomplishment of tasks and working with others. Of the ten commonly referenced positive emotions, the following four are what good leadership helps develop in your teams: hope, interest, pride and gratitude.

As a leader, your job is to connect your team to the future, creating certainty with a vision as well as strategy. The more your team has a clear sense of direction, and buys into that strategy, the more they buy into the long-term viability of the organization. They feel secure in their role. In other words, they have hope in their economic security.

Creating a “Want To” culture is critical for staff engagement. As a leader, you do that by connecting the individual interests of your team members with the goals of the department and organization as a whole. It is vital that you do know the interests of your team members, so you can make those connections. When they can see how their work aligns with their interests, they put in more energy and effort, and are far more resilient when it comes to setbacks.

What are you proud of? During your one-on-ones with your team members, asking them what they are proud of during the past two weeks allows team members to focus on what is working and to take pride in a job well done. So, while the pride lifts their well-being in the moment, you also use those examples later as a reminder of how they have been effective in the past. When things might not be going as well in the moment, this helps them recover from any setback.

A well-functioning organization has an intense sense of interdependence. Knowing how other team members and departments work, and how their efforts align with your own, creating a greater output, builds the foundation of gratitude. Making these connections for your team, and actively supporting gratitude toward other people and departments in your interactions, reinforces an expectation of gratitude. As your team members start to express gratitude, it has a direct lift in their well-being.

As you Connect the Dots, you give your team members clarity of where we are going, and how they impact the outcome. This builds the positive emotions of Hope, Interest, Pride and Gratitude, laying the groundwork for their own resilience and grit to accomplish their tasks.