“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’“ – Eckhart Tolle
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” – Sydney J. Harris
Start with Yourself
Often at work, we overstretch to fulfill our own or others’ expectations of us, and this can cause real stress. But when we know ourselves and are at peace with ourselves, we can accept both our strengths and our limitations. When we are not constantly telling ourselves that we should be achieving more, we are far more likely to enjoy our work – and then in turn we will be not only be more positive, but we will actually maximize our performance too. If we can risk being authentic, we will naturally be more confident. Staying centered enables us to achieve our potential.
Maintain a good work life balance, and others will follow. Arrive and leave work on time. Take your well-earned holidays. Remember that we want to work to live, not live to work. Make it a priority to stay healthy – physically, mentally and emotionally. Don’t just survive, but thrive! After all, this is your life. Leading by example, will give ‘permission’ for team members to do the same. Relax, and focus. Don’t forget to breathe!
Get precise team goals agreed, so that you can create realistic timeframes around desired outcomes. Remember your 6 P’s – proper prior planning prevents poor performance. Communicate clearly with team members about their roles, removing any ambiguity. Take the time to listen, as well as making sure to pass on the right information to the right people, at the right time. Be prepared to be flexible, and to make changes as necessary. Work smarter, not harder – and encourage team members to so the same. Step back in order to keep a wide perspective on the progression of projects. Be willing to learn from mistakes – and delegate, but don’t delegate your stress!
Notice what is happening in your team. Expect conflict at times – don’t ignore issues by ‘doing an ostrich’ and hoping they will go away. Generate possible options – be courageous in addressing difficult situations and innovative in finding simple solutions. Be assertive when necessary, but always be a human being first. Be fair at all times. Don’t micro-manage, however tempting it may be – trusting your staff will bring out the best in them. Invest in them – this will win their loyalty. Give regular feedback – and ask for it too! Have genuine respect for all individuals and voice your appreciation at every opportunity. When people are feeling good, stress evaporates.
‘Discovering how to overcome “inner obstacles” such as fear of failure or self-doubt will change your entire outlook on work, transforming it into a new and positive experience.’ Quote from W. Timothy Gallwey (in ‘The Inner Game of Work’).