Dealing with Staff when you are Stressed

There is nothing more devastating than a manager who barks at their staff.

Even if you have excellent communications skills 90% of the time, it is the 10% of the time when communications go awry that your staff will remember. Usually that 10% happens when you are under stress.

How can you ensure that, no matter what your stress level, your interactions remain motivating, clear and outcome focussed?

Know yourself

Understand what your flip behaviours are when you are stressed. Flip behaviours are those which appear only  when you are under pressure.  One way of identifying them is through a formal assessment. For example, Harrison Assessments clearly identify stressed behaviours in a way that you can easily work on improvement and change.

Also study your own behaviours and know what emerges as your stress levels increase.  For me, I lose things – watches, keys, glasses – and become more prescriptive in my requirements of others. These are some of my stressed behaviours.

Have standard techniques

Having methods and processes for personal communications, for example ‘scripts’ of how you hold important or difficult conversations, will provide you with fail-safe ways of having successful conversations, no matter what the pressures.

Three well known, excellent tools and techniques that provide the basis for scripts are

  • Powerful questions
  • Positive Inquiry
  • Closing any interaction carefully by summarising the key points, decisions made, outcomes, expectations and actions.

Manage stress

Have non-negotiable stress-relieving activities and habits to manage your stress levels.

  • Physical exercise – 3 times per week
  • 8 hours sleep per night
  • Water – 8 glasses per day
  • A healthy diet
  • A massage, or better still, regular massages
  • Regular holidays

You do yourself and your staff a favour by remaining cool, calm and non-reactive at all times.

What do you need?

After reading this article, what is it that you need to put in place, or learn more about? What are your action plans? How will you improve your ability to handle stress?

Can we help?

Does your team need help with stress or communications? Do you want to learn more about Powerful Questions or Positive Inquiry? Would coaching help you to manage your stress more appropriately, or to put your action plans into place?

Give us a call to discuss your needs.

Indra Process and Performance Consulting

All articles that appear on Indra Consulting’s blog are copyright Indra Process and Performance Consulting.

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