The situation has gone from one of sudden, unexpected crisis to that of chronic, daily stress. It is emotionally and psychologically exhausting.
In the workplace, the pressure to make good decisions and produce good results has never been more intense. Some of us may be a little out of practice – easy economic times provided us all with a little additional cover. To successfully emerge on the other side of this healthy and intact, we all need to hone our ability to manage our stress at work.
How does chronic stress negatively impact your performance at work?
How do you deal with stress? We all have different ways of reacting to stressful situations. Stress does not show us at our best. If you feel like you are struggling to cope, you are probably not alone. The first step is to know yourself and know how you react – do you struggle to concentrate? Get emotional? Blame others when things go wrong?
What is your stress success strategy?
Once you know how you respond to stress, you will be able to build a strategy to cope with it successfully. People are watching. Make sure how you behave in these times does not become career-limiting.
|Reactions to Stress||Strategies for Success|
|“I struggle to be productive – I lack focus and energy”||Now is the time to deploy every organizing technique you have ever learned:|
Keep lists on paper, not in your head
|“I’m having a hard time making decisions”||There is a difference between a good decision-making process and a bad outcome, and a bad decision|
|“I tend to react emotionally – I can take it out on other people even though I don’t mean to”||When stress builds up it can surface quickly and unexpectedly.|
When it happens, acknowledge it, take ownership for it and apologize
|“I get paranoid – do they want to get rid of me?”||It is time for you to get things out in the open.|
Focus on doing your job to the best of your ability
|“I’m not sure about my future here. Maybe it is time to start looking.”||Economic crises stimulate job search behaviour. If you are pondering a change you are not alone. Be aware of the downside:|
If you are working in a situation that is intolerable, this is not the time to abandon your plans to leave. Take control over situations you can change.
Rebecca Schalm, PhD, is founder and CEO of Strategic Talent Advisors Inc., a consultancy that provides organizations with advice and talent management solutions.
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