Handling workplace stress without jeopardizing your job or reputation

Tension, stress and relationship challenges are all part and parcel of life – work and home included. The key is not so much that these exist but how one deals with it.

The thing to not do is  “blow up” or wish that the issue will just go away because problems rarely  “just disappear.”  They typically fester and get bigger with time.

Here are a few tips that could help:

• Get to know yourself better. How do you typically react to relationship challenges? We all have our default way of being and reacting.  People can also be either too passive or aggressive neither of which helps.  Learn to be assertive and appropriate. 

• Who do you need to have a courageous conversation with?  Think through and plan your approach. Choosing your words and timing is important.  For example, if you boss is already under pressure with an upcoming Board meeting, you may want to leave you chat with him till after.  As a very good manager used to say, “Come to me with solutions, not problems.”

• You may ask for some coaching support – internally if you company has a coaching culture or get an external coach. If the company isn’t able to offer this, you may look into your own network and find out who could me an informal mentor to you.

• Having an objective “other” to sound out can ease the stress of the burden of “carrying it all on your shoulders” as well as provide perspective, some new  insight and clarity.

• Do you know the reputation you have in your company?  Every day you are reinforcing your brand and reputation through how you conduct yourself.   Build a positive reputation based on your strengths and resourcefulness.

• Emotional intelligence (EQ or EI) skills also help navigate the soft side of business relationships. Skills such as self awareness and self-management, awareness of others and managing these relationships well. Research shows that this is even more important that IQ in one’s effectiveness in life. What is an EQ competency that could benefit you?

• Be gentle with yourself and cut yourself some slack – things may already be challenging enough without you beating yourself up further.  Save that energy and channel towards looking for solutions and or best outcomes.

Jasbindar Singh is a business psychologist, leadership coach, author and speaker who loves creating shifts in awareness for her clients.  www.sqconsulting.co.nz

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