Courtesy of the Harvard Business Review
Keep Your Cool Under Pressure
When faced with a high-stress situation, our bodies instinctively go into “fight-or-flight” mode. But recent research has shown that if you can effectively regulate your emotions in these moments, you can actually move into a higher state of openness that invites collaboration, creativity, and thriving. Start by reminding yourself that a biological reaction to stress is totally normal, and direct your attention to any physical or emotional responses you’re feeling. Is your heart racing? Do you feel a knot in your stomach? Next, recall previous times when you’ve made it through stress and uncertainty — this will provide some relief by reminding you that, regardless of what you’re feeling right now, you will get through it. To ground yourself back in the present, set a mindful intention. Let go of your need to serve your ego, and remember your purpose in this moment. Finally, commit to the task at hand and trust the process. Understanding our biological reactions in high-stress situations gives us a path to follow; it is then our choice to walk this path or fight
This tip is adapted from “How to Keep Your Cool in High-Stress Situations,”by Robert E. Quinn et al.
What to Do After a Star Employee Quits
One of your best employees has quit. What can you do to ensure that they’re not the first of many dominoes to fall? The most important thing is to listen — carefully. Conduct an exit interview to find out what factors led to their decision, and encourage full transparency in that conversation. Then, take the pulse of your team. Meet with employees individually and talk to them about how they’re doing. Ask how they think the departure of their colleague will affect morale. If these conversations uncover a significant problem, acknowledge your team’s concerns and be transparent about your attempts to address the issues they’ve raised. And in the team meetings that follow, stay focused on future opportunities and your collective goals. This will reinforce the sense that the team’s most important work lies ahead and that everyone is valued. The bottom line is if you respond to the departure of a valuable employee by being attentive and looking toward the future, you’ll be more likely to keep your team intact and move ahead together.
This tip is adapted from “Your Star Employee Just Quit. Will Others Follow?,” by Art Markman
Talk to Your Boss About Burnout
If you’re feeling symptoms of burnout, such as anxiety, exhaustion, or hopelessness, it’s important that you take them seriously. You must accept that you need some help — and that that’s okay. Admitting this may be a struggle, especially if you’re a high achiever who prides yourself on pushing through adversity. You may worry that your boss will think less of you if you acknowledge your limitations, but they’re in the best position to help and will likely respect your honesty. When you talk to them, be specific about the symptoms you’re experiencing. You might say, “I’m feeling overwhelmed by the volume of projects on my plate,” or “I’m feeling really anxious about meeting all of these deadlines.” In all likelihood, your stress has probably been visible to your colleagues, so be sure to acknowledge that. A simple statement like, “Look, I know I haven’t been myself lately, and I’m sorry if that’s had a negative impact on you or the team,” can go a long way. Finally, make it clear that you’re asking for help and want to be part of the solution. It may be hard to approach your boss about feeling burned out, but you need to take care of your mental and physical well-being — and give others a chance to offer some help.
This tip is adapted from ““How to Tell Your Boss You’re Burned Out”
by Ron Carucci