August 6, 2008
Hi MBBP Subscribers,
Imagine yourself in these two situations.
Number 1: It's the middle of the month; the end of the financial
quarter and you should be 85% shipped to plan. You're only 50%
shipped to plan and the factory is in total chaos trying to ship
everything that's not nailed down. You're the manufacturing manager.
The question is: "Can you handle the stress?"
Number 2: Your company is outsourcing and downsizing. Your job
classification is going to be impacted. The question is: "Can you
handle the stress?"
At one time or another, we are all subjected to a situation that
generates stress. If you want some tips on how to reduce workplace
stress, be sure to read this week’s article, "Workplace Stress"...
it appears below.
Have a nice day, and stay connected.
Business Basics, LLCbg@bbasicsllc.com
6003 Dassia Way
Oceanside, CA 92056
The leading source of stress for adults is their jobs.
The workplace holds an excess of anxiety-producers. Many are from
unpredictable sources such as unrealisticgoals, sudden job losses,
relocations, losing co-workers to downsizing or having bad and/or
multiple bosses in quick succession.
To reduce stress brought by such changes, employees need to assess
their skills periodically, learn new ones, participate in
professional or trade associations and stay current on industry
trends. "By maintaining employability and support systems, you can
be better prepared the next time your company downsizes, merges or
changes focus," says Sue Aiken, chair of the graduate program in
career development in the School of Management of John F. Kennedy
University in Walnut Creek, Calif.
10 Tips to Help You Reduce Your
We can't eliminate stress, but there are ways to manage it. The
following 10 tips can help you reduce your overall stress and ease
specific sources of anxiety.
Maintain a sense of personal power. A study of high-pressure
work environments by ESSI, a San Fran research firm, shows one
factor that predicts which employees would become ill and which
stayed healthy: people's perception of their personal power or
lack of it. Personal power is defined as how much control you
feel you have over your life, your ability to function and
Ideally, your work environment will be an organization where
colleagues and superiors listen to your problems and solutions
and you're consulted when your role is redesigned, given the
resources and information needed to perform the job and can
contribute your ideas.
Practice effective communication. Communication is essential for
preventing and easing tensions. Whether you head a team or are a
team of one, how effective you are at communication depends on
how well you understand others' verbal and nonverbal messages.
Pay attention to co-workers' gestures, tone of voice and
Develop good working relationships. Trust, respect,
understanding and compassion are necessary in any relationship.
Co-workers have to function as a team and reach a common goal.
But they often focus all their attention on their tasks and very
little on how they treat each other.
Good work relationships will relieve stress and can buffer you
from other stresses. Spend five minutes of each hour considering
how to get along with your co-workers.
Choose the right job. During interviews, ask the questions that
help you make sure the job's right for you. Get a realistic
picture of the company or department's culture, working
relationships, problems and hidden agendas.
Be flexible. Recognize and accept that things change. If you
need to hold on tightly to the status quo, you need to loosen
up. Think of your organization as a space ship. It's constantly
correcting its course "to go where no man has gone before" in
the marketplace. You have to change with it. Be proactive.
You're in a better position to maneuver if you are primed and
Manage your anger. When you feel a surge of anger rising, back
off and leave the scene as soon as you can. Repeat in your mind:
"let go" or "relax." Breathe deeply until you feel your tension
Ask what's the real reason for my anger? Gain perspective and
plan your next step. Practice what you'll say and how you'll say
it. Make sure you're calm and in control of your emotions.
Approach the person with a win-win attitude and desire to
resolve the problem and have a good working relationship.
Have realistic expectations. Don't set yourself up for
disappointment or put yourself on an emotional roller coaster.
Try to be optimistic and realistic at the same time. This
outlook doesn't mean you shouldn't have desires or expectations.
Just make sure you're not always longing for the impossible.
Adjust your attitude. Your attitude--how you make others feel
about you and how you make them feel about themselves--can make
or break your future.
How's your attitude? Do you complain the moment something
doesn't suit you, or do you take things in stride? Try to see
yourself through the eyes of others. Do you make others happy or
miserable? If you need to, make an attitude adjustment.
Tie up loose ends. Not being able to finish a task can be
unsettling to those who like to shut doors and end sentences
with a period. Most people need some kind of closure on
projects, even the little ones.
If you're on a treadmill where you're always beginning new tasks
before finishing old ones, make a list of what's left hanging.
This exercise can make projects seem more manageable. How can
you structure your time to tie up those loose ends?
Take time to revive. People aren't built like machines. They
can't run with their engines revved up continuously. Eventually
they wear out. That's why there are coffee and lunch breaks.
It's long been recognized that people need to take a little time
off every few hours to revive. They return to their tasks with
If you can, try not to take work home. Every now and then a
project may take some extra time, but work shouldn't be
devouring your life.
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