During a recent workshop that I conducted, many of the managers present wanted to discuss ways to control stress caused by the present situation in Bangkok (political demonstrations and resulting traffic jams etc.) which is now taking its toll on their job performance. These managers wanted advice on how to create an environment that reduces stress and promotes productivity. In a workplace environment like this, managers will be more apt to reach their full potential and drive results. Here are eight tips that were discussed during the workshop to help them control stress and worry in tough situations:
1. Live in a compartment of the present.
Managers need to seal off each stress situation so that negative experiences don’t poison future interactions. Don’t allow past successes or failures or future anticipated success or difficulties influence your current performance. When it comes being better, live in the moment.
2. Don’t fuss about trifles.
A “trifle” is something that is insignificant in comparison to other things in a manager’s life. When they focus on trifles, they lose perspective. Keep the big picture in mind. Doing so will help them objectively sort out the small stuff from the important issues.
3. Cooperate with the inevitable.
Realize when a situation is inevitable. If managers can learn to recognize situations where they have no control, they can gain some control over the emotional aspects of the situation. By cooperating with the outcome, they are making a conscious choice about how to respond to an inevitable situation.
4. Decide just how much anxiety a situation is worth and refuse to give it any more of your energy.
Once managers make this decision, it is easier to find ways they can improve on the situation or let it go and move on.
5. Create happiness for others.
It is difficult to sustain a negative attitude when managers are doing something good or helpful for someone else. Simply put: Doing good for others makes manager feel better.
6. Expect ingratitude.
In a manager’s job, they are expected to provide many diverse services. When they do so, they probably expect in return some signal of gratitude for their assistance. This expectation is rarely met. If they do receive heartfelt thanks from someone, they should count themselves lucky; they are dealing with a grateful person. Most people are simply not accustomed to being grateful, even when the managers provide them with excellent service. They shouldn’t let ingratitude deter them from providing top-quality service.
7. Put enthusiasm into their work.
Enthusiasm is the positive energy and sustained effort that keeps managers driving towards their goals. Making a decision to have a positive outlook can be critical in enjoying their job and working with their internal and external customers.
8. Managers should do the very best they can.
It can be difficult to deal with criticism, especially if managers feel it is undeserved or if it hurts their self-esteem. One way to put criticism in perspective is to ask themselves if they are doing the very best they can with what they know and are able to do. If they are, then they can avoid taking the criticism personally. If there is room for improvement in their performance, they can look at the criticism objectively and take responsibility for improving their performance.
Today to put stress into its proper perspective needs our individual effort.Take action and results will follow.