Swim or Sink: A Team Built Around Resilience

Swim or Sink: A Team Built Around Resilience

"Resilience is not a luxury. It is a 21st Century imperative!" - World Economic Forum












Over time, the cumulative impact of positive life experiences and coping skills can shift the fulcrum’s position, making it easier to achieve positive outcomes. Life experiences unfortunately cannot be manufactured, BUT coping skills are learnt and developed. This workshop is aimed at doing just that. But why?

Most of us experience great discomfort when we are put in situations of unpredictability and change, but these situations are inevitable – we do live in a VUCA world. The impact of these stressors also affects leaders and organizations.  Leading a successful team means having to tackle a wide array of challenges in an ever-changing and fluid work and business environment.  Challenges include managing stake-holders and internal politics, competition for resources, changes in regulations, technology and data security, new competitions in the market place, recruiting and retaining skilled and dedicated employees, among others. Leaders and teams often face challenges and crises that put to test their ability, their processes and resources and most of all their resilience.

Workshop Description

This 2-day session is for participants to learn together what is required to build their resilience, both as individuals and as a collective. In a relaxed, fun and informal environment participant will hear the latest findings on this subject. They will be exposed to the various approaches that others have used to build resilience and how each and every member can play a role in creating a team which is supportive, cohesive and high performing.

Participants will not only be helped to identify specific practical actions they can take, but will also have the opportunity to consider how these actions can best be implemented.

The session includes practical fun activities, videos, stories, guided visualization, case studies, games, discussion and action planning.


  • To increase managers awareness of how a lack of a mental resilience in a team can affects the business
  • To raise awareness of the importance of mental resilience to outcomes
  • To equip managers with the skills to identify and respond effectively to challenges to mental resilience in their teams and within themselves
  • To assist managers to be aware of the importance of their role in creating an environment in which the team can acquire increased mental resilience Identifying personality types and how each work when under pressure


Workshop Outline

Part 1: Getting YOURSELF there

Module 1: Introduction & Team Formation

The workshop kicks-off with a short introduction, explaining of the objectives and a short session on teamwork, Participants will then form teams and present themselves (Team-name, leader, haka and learning objectives)

Module 2: The MINDSET

  • Mapping of current to ascertain gaps
  • Measuring gaps and analyzing the reality
  • Measuring what is said against the definition of change (personal belief and emotions)​           

Module 3: Achieving Goals through Resource Management

  • Planning, organizing and utilizing resources
  • Monitoring and controlling resources
  • Effective delegation when under time and priority pressure(s)

Module 4: Being in Control of Challenges (FISHBONE the Traffic)

  • Defining the Problem and its Origin
  • Defining the Present State and the Desired State
  • Stating and Restating the Problem for the right Analysis
  • Writing the Problem Statement
  • Brainstorming (the how, but also the why)

Part 2: Getting YOUR TEAM there

Module 5:             Improve Positive Reinforcement Among Team Members

Sad to say, but appreciative recognition is often the first casualty in the rush and stress of deadlines, new initiatives, making the numbers, hiring, firing, and reorganizing. Many people simply aren’t very good at giving positive feedback. Some even find it harder to recognize a colleague’s contribution than to offer negative or corrective feedback.

Positive reinforcement is the process of recognizing and rewarding a desired behavior in an effort to encourage its continuance. Positive reinforcement can consist of praise, offering incentives to continue the behavior or showing appreciation for effort. In the workplace, one can use positive reinforcement for purposes such as increasing productivity and improving the morale of an individual or department and building resilience. The benefits of positive reinforcement for the organization are:

  1. Providing sense of worth
  2. Encouraging good behavior
  3. Improving workplace morale
  4. Fitting in for new employees

Module 6:            Four Things Resilient Team Do (using MBTI)

Regardless whether you are an entrepreneur who eventually attains success in the marketplace after having endured numerous failure or bankruptcies, or a scientist who has found a breakthrough life-saving medication after a lifetime of failed drug trials or a professional athlete returning to his/her personal best after going through career threatening injuries, resilience is often identified as one of the factors that helps individuals get ahead. 

In a recent survey finding by Bradley Kirkman and his colleagues, resilient teams – different from resilient people – share four common things:

  1. They believe they can effectively complete tasks together (e.g. 2017 New England Patriots, trailed the Atlanta Falcons by 18 points at halftime of Super Bowl LI, dug deep and clawed back to win their fifth title. Confidence)
  2. They share a common mental model of teamwork (e.g. “Miracle on the Hudson” emergency landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 by pilot Sully Sullenberger and his crew in 2009. Once adversity struck, Sullenberger’s team immediately leapt into action. They knew what to do and didn’t stop to talk about it — there was no time for that)
  3. They are able to improvise (e.g. Think about the rapid, creative response of the Apollo 13 mission operations team when one of the spacecraft’s oxygen tanks exploded 205,000 miles above the Earth and threatening the lives of the astronauts on board -  “Fit a square peg into a round hole”)
  4. They trust one another and feel safe (e.g. The rescue efforts of the team charged with saving the members of the Thai football team trapped in a deep, flooded cave in 2018. The multinational rescue team overcame extreme conditions, and drew upon their collective expertise to generate as many solutions as possible to rescue all 12 victims and their coach)