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When life gives you lemons, what do you do?
I'm writing to you from a kitchen corner in East London amid the August heatwave. To say it's been broiling over here would be an understatement—the walls in my apartment are sweating in agreement.
As we persevere through the sweltering heat and the ongoing pandemic while trying to stay productive at work, one topic stood out in particular: resilience.
How do we keep going when things get rough? How do we face hardship and stressful situations in a healthy way instead of crumbling down? In other words, when life gives us lemons, what do we do?
This month's newsletter centers on how we can become more resilient and agile at work (backed by research and neuroscience), how we can deal with our emotions and burnout (time to be vulnerable!), as well as fun ways to spice up your Zoom meetings.
Ready to add a little zest to your work life? (It's great for your immune system!)
“If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools…”
— Rudyard Kipling, If: A Father's Advice to His Son
Your first stop: an insightful podcast episode by Bruce Daisley, featuring Misha Byrne and Peter Burow at NeuroPower on how neuroscience can help people and teams better understand themselves and others, and learn to perform together under pressure. They discuss how resilience isn't a function of individuals but the capability of a team, how we think people want to be liked, but truly they need to be needed, how high performing teams are comfortable with conflict, and the RELISH model.
Navigating your way through a global crisis is exhausting. Most of the time, it can feel like you're spreading yourself too thin. But as Jodi Picoult once said, the human capacity for burden is like bamboo—far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance. And that astounding ability to walk through the fire, to bounce back after life knocks you down—you can cultivate it. This article dives into four research-backed practices you can use to strengthen your emotional resilience, both at work and in life.
If you've spent your whole career keeping your emotions in check before entering the office, now is the time to free them at work. It's healthy to be vulnerable, because like you, everyone else is experiencing the same anxiety, stress, and isolation. This in-depth guide goes over some useful tips on how individual contributors and managers can embrace/express emotions at work without letting them run wild.
The global crisis requires leaders to become more resilient and creative, to seek out the unimaginable, and to solve the impossible. Poetry is a handy tool for this mindset shift. It demands readers to engage with different levels of meanings simultaneously, to accept ambiguity and understand nuances, to enjoy complexity and uncertainty. Rather than a luxury pastime, reading poems is a powerful way to increase mental flexibility and augment decision-making processes.
Are you exhausted? Feeling unmotivated and emotionally drained? Going through a productivity slump? My friend, you're burned out. As the pandemic marches on and the nature of work changes, employee burnout takes on a whole new meaning. It's even harder to detect burnout on your team now that everyone is working from home. Luckily, this psychologist offers some specific tips to help you better support your team members who are experiencing the new burnout.
According to a recent Twingate survey, 40% of employees have experienced mental exhaustion from video calls while working from home. Zoom fatigue is real, and it’s easy to understand why. Virtual meetings are usually task-oriented (aka getting sh*t done) and leave very little room for humor, creativity, and spontaneous encounters with others. But we can turn things around using six tools from the world of improv comedy.
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Thanks to Karim Manjra on Unsplash for the great cover photo 🙌