Do you dread going to work on Mondays? Or your work relationship? Or how about team meetings? Project deadlines? The challenging personalities that bring chaos and eggshell-stepping to those who come into their space? And of course, lets not forget that in your workplace there are NO CLONES OF YOU!
Wouldn’t work (and life!) be grand if that were the case? You wouldn’t have to pick up the slack of others or clean up their oversight messes. Deadlines would be met on time. Quick fixes wouldn’t be necessary. Interruptions, that for some seem to be life and death in the moment begging for your undivided attention, would become a thing of the past. Your work life would be a whole lot less stressful with no relationships to navigate. Yes, a clone of you would be the answer it seems.
And as far as I know that hasn’t happened yet. So in the meantime, while waiting for your life at work to become simpler, there are some other options available to you right now.12
First off, stress does not easily lend itself to experiencing inner nourishment in your life or business. In fact, stress negatively impacts a toxic work culture overall. According to a recent survey from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in collaboration with National Public Radio and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that nearly half (44 percent) of working adults report that their current job affects their overall health, but “only 28 percent of those believe that effect is a good one. The survey identified the following areas of job-sourced negative impact on stress levels (43 percent), eating habits (28 percent), sleeping patterns (27 percent) and weight (22 percent).
Other recent data shows that 36 percent of workers suffer from work-related stress and that costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays. Experts acknowledge that many of these health problems can be corrected if companies adopt a much more significant role creating a “culture of health” in the workplace where workers feel empowered to pursue living a healthier life, not just access to after-work yoga classes or fruit in the break room! (http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2016/07/the-high-price-of-workplace-stress/)
So how does this impact you and all of your work relationships?
Well, you can’t hide from relationships. They are everywhere; including in the workplace. Imagine how your daily work life would positively shift if you actually found a commonality of purpose and other needed ingredients with your co-workers and teams? Any stress would be almost nonexistent for you and them.
You may be wondering how this could be possible and if it’s so easy, how come it hasn’t come to your workplace yet, right? Skepticism is an opening for learning more information.
In our consultations and trainings with executive leaders and owners, there seems to be a widespread angst on how to keep up with the fast-paced global marketplace; which has impacted not only revenue and growth but also employee satisfaction. There’s some confusion on how to shift from the “way they’ve been doing business” to including more of a local and global focus on positive impact. And sadly for many, they place more focus on the bottom line profits than on their business teams. We’ve found that even in “triple bottom line – conscious businesses this continues to be true.
“Alone we can do so little.
Together we can do so much.”
Simply putting together teams with a common focus isn’t the answer. It doesn’t address how to positively shift the team culture to connect, communicate and cooperate within the steps needed for a common outcome.
Each individual has a basic human desire to be acknowledged for their contribution to the business and working with others. There are now trainings such as mindfulness that forward-thinking businesses are providing for their employees. So the basic need of inner comfort and quieting the mind when it gets too active, is a critical portion of working from the “inside out” to develop more resiliency when facing a stressful co-worker or interaction at work.
“Great things in business are never done by one person.
They’re done by a team of people.”
In our experience working with business executives and business owners, there’s a lot more to it than putting together a highly educated, degreed and experienced team of individuals. Each individual has their own modus operendi and personality quirks that can either lend to a cohesive team or take away from the effectiveness and productivity of it. What they’re bringing to the table is much, much more impactful if they include others on the team. So quieting your mind can be a first step but then you must master some level of skillfulness to co-relate to others in a way that’s not only effective but also mutually fulfilling.
Now for many people who have been on a focused success track, they’ve become immersed inside of their own “get it done” style of productive effectiveness. It may appear that they are controlling or rigid in how they “do” things. And that can leave others feeling ignored, judged or insufficient in their own skillsets. Not exactly a safe environment for shining as part of the team, is it?
When you take all the individual team member personalities and put them together it can be a stressful mess! And when you get stressed-out being around all of these quirky personalities, that will negatively impact all the brain power areas you need to be successful in your work role and responsibilities. Yes, stress will do that!
Stress creeps up in surprising ways. Look around at your everyday life and you’ll see it everywhere. From an angry driver on the freeway to someone who cuts you off from a parking spot in the Whole Foods parking lot. And of course, the recent U. S. Presidential elections has provoked an outcry of stress reactions across political parties. Anxiousness, overwhelming fear and “fight or flight” responses impacted by your parasympathetic nervous system firing off cortisol stress reaction hormones.
All of this robs you of your verve and motivation. Not to mention your ability to focus, stay emotionally regulated and ready to work with others at work. When you’re in a state of stress, the last thing you want to do is to interact with all the personalities that surround you! It would be so much easier if you did have your very own “you” clone to deal with it all. But since it’s not happening that way today, there’s another way.
So here are a few beginning tools that may make a difference for you in lessening your workplace relationship stress.
- Sit with your awareness of how you perceive a co-worker. Really get into a specific time and place where they got under your skin. Pay attention how you were feeling and if that emotion comes up fresh each time you hear their voice or know you’ll see them.
- Be willing to consider and then practice another way of viewing them. Think of it as if you’re picking up a different colored lens to see them. Try on for size alternative feelings of empathy, kindness, appreciation, acknowledgement, etc. instead of all of your previous judgments of them!
- Step into truly being a leadership presence. To do this, recall a time when you were unstoppable and feeling really confident. It could be a moment outside of work when everything just jelled seamlessly to create a positive outcome. Pause for a moment and experience the emotional feelings you had. If you’re really engaging with this memory, you may begin to notice a sense of renewal, connection and joyful ease inside of you.
Doing these 3 tools will give you a fresh opportunity to notice different styles of each one of your co-workers. You may see that the way you are with time management, how you express yourself and overall mindsets are uniquely yours. As a bonus, when you use your new lens to observe others, you may notice commonalities you didn’t consider previously.
And as for cloning YOU – continue as you are “under construction!”