By Christine Marsh CPT, Prime Objectives
In these challenging times, the obvious focus for any business is on obtaining a return on investment (ROI).
Whilst you continue to strive to become more efficient in the systems and processes you have invested in, let’s not overlook the wellbeing of people who need to feel effective in producing the desired business results (ROE). It is claimed that one of the greatest causes of stress is uncompleted tasks.
‘Fundamental to human contentment is feeling effective.’
Laura Galbraith, Clinical Psychologist
Unblocking the Pipework
You can’t influence a system; you can only resolve the issues by winning a hearing with the person whose decisions and actions are having negative impact. You will have your own perspective but the other person is not a mind reader. Clear, constructive communication is key.
So what is preventing the smooth flow of productive work?
I think it is appropriate to make my claim to be Dyno Marsh.
The metaphor of unblocking drains matches with the services provided by DynoRod!
It is necessary to take a comprehensive, objective and impartial view to facilitate the reduction or removal of obstacles. Both involve exploring the innermost workings of both the systems and the people involved.
It is hard to believe that the term ‘stress’ has only become ‘fashionable’ in the last 50 years. Whatever has happened to being concerned, worried and anxious when describing our emotive state?
‘The goal is not to avoid stress. Stress is part of life. It is a natural by-product. There is no more justification for avoiding stress than for shunning food, exercise or love’. Dr Hans Selye
It is worthwhile remembering that, although you like to think of yourself as intelligent and forward thinking, you are still programmed for survival!
Fight, Flight or Play Dead?
You are your own stressor!
As soon as you feel at risk, the emotion triggers a reaction. Unfortunately, the body does not know the difference between a real threat and a perceived threat. You get the same injection of high octane fuel. How you use this boost of energy is up to you. Focus on how you can take positive action rather than sinking under the weight of negative reactions.
The ‘fight’ response is often converted into verbal attack. The ‘flight’ response can be dealt with by withdrawing internal and bottling up your emotions which can eventually impact on your health and wellbeing.
‘Feelings unexpressed will express themselves at another time in another way’. Anon
It is really important to draw a distinction between being ‘at risk,’ when the stress response is a manageable reaction, to that of feeling completely out of control and ‘in danger’ of losing it!
When your senses are on high alert; everything becomes exaggerated. If you feel trapped and can’t see a way out, you can become dysfunctional. By freezing, you hope to protect yourself, but this does not resolve the situation.
‘Resignation is a subtle form of stress that over time drains vitality, resilience and personal power. Feeling resigned can limit perspective and obliterate any chance of seeing things any other way. Company policy might never change! What you can do is transform any underlying attitude of resignation.’ HeartMath
Becoming more aware of how you are reacting can help you to pull back from crossing that fine line from Amber into the Red Zone, where you feel under threat and in danger. If you remove the letter D, you are left with Anger. Anger can cloud your judgement. Often someone, who is perceived as behaving in an aggressive manner, is in fact masking their own insecurities. They may have found that their best form of defence is to attack.
The feeling of being out of control is a very scary one.
Positive Use of Energy
You do not have to eliminate stress; you need to manage it.
“The perfect no-stress environment is the grave. When we change our perception we gain control. Stress becomes a challenge, not a threat. When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our lives becomes manageable.” Anderson, Author & Founder of the American Wellness Project., b.1964
The best tip I can give you to help ‘defuse’ a difficult stressful situation is to be absolutely clear and objective by focusing on what you can do. Beware of self imposed pressures and being your own harshest critic.
‘A problem well stated is a problem half solved.’ John Dewey
1. Define the situation in a single sentence.
It you can’t be clear about the core problem, what chance does the other person have of understanding your perspective?
2. List the facts as you perceive them, whilst being careful not to make assumptions
3. Express you emotions in writing.
Just writing them down often helps as this can ‘defuse’ your reaction. Be careful not to confuse your facts with your emotions.
4. Consider what is it you are aiming to achieve and what options you have?
Otherwise, you are just moaning and that doesn’t resolve anything!
Final thought for the day from Dyno Marsh
‘Never take life too seriously.
Nobody gets out alive anyway.’
Christine Marsh is an experienced facilitator, performance improvement coach and international speaker. She is able to balance being creative with a pragmatic and practical approach to the development of people within any organisation.
She researches, designs and delivers a range of personal development programs whilst being aware of the impact of stress on motivation and performance issues. She has proven skills in producing positive results. firstname.lastname@example.org - www.primeobjectives.com
© Prime Objectives 2010
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