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How Resilient is Your Team?



Potential clients call us when they are struggling with team dynamics, or a team’s poor performance.

What we hear is their frustration that their team is:

  • Unable to make significant collective progress

  • Circling back to decisions already made

  • Having “the meeting after the meeting”

  • Undermining each other

  • Unwilling to engage in discussions

  • Getting stuck in unproductive conflict

We believe this is the result of a team’s lack of Resilience.

Let’s first define what we mean by “Resilience:”

One definition for resilience is:

“Returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched.”

Our definition is altered just a bit:

“Returning to original form – influenced and having learned new information– after being bent, compressed, or stretched.”

Teams that can master team resilience make better and faster decisions, are more productive, and have more fun.

The key to a team’s resilience is leaning into conflict (better know as: the natural tension and ambiguity that is apart of any significant relationship).

Let’s Take a Look at The Seahawks

Most anyone reading this blog knows that I (Susan) am a big Seahawks fan. Here I sit, writing this two days after a heartbreaking end for the Seahawks at the Superbowl. In reflecting on the game, I see so many lessons in teamwork, and more importantly team resilience.

My favorite example is the response Marshawn Lynch, (the key Running Back on the Seahawks and a man of very few words!) had after the game, when a reporter asked, “Were you surprised not getting the ball?” (on the last make-or-break play)

His answer, “Not really. Football is a team sport.”

Had that last pass by the Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson won the game, everyone would be saying how ingenious that call was. Instead, the pass was intercepted, and the play is called into question.

On a less resilient team, this would quickly result in blame and finger-pointing.Instead Pete Carroll quickly took responsibility for the play saying, “It was my call period, and it lost us the Super Bowl.”

No doubt that is a very disappointing outcome for him, the team, and yes, the fans. However, a resilient team leader knows they will not win all the time. The ultimate outcome after a loss or failure is what a team does next.

One thing that seems obvious from looking at the overall arc of the Seahawks is that they learn from their mistakes and don’t waste time and energy blaming or in-fighting.That is resilience at it’s best.

Bottom-line: Resilient teams make better, faster decisions, are more productive, and have more fun. This is not because all their decisions are great, but because they learn from those decisions, good or bad, together. One bad call doesn’t destroy the team. Instead, it makes it stronger!

So How Resilient is Your Team?


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.



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