Posts Tagged ‘resilience’

13 Actions for Creating Greater Balance at Work

woman in office with childA well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your step as you walk the tightrope of life.”
-William Arthur Ward

Creating a fulfilling life quality, wellness and resiliency are things we strive for in our hectic lives.

The following are some tips and reminders about creating a positive work  experience.  What do you resonate with the most?  And what else works for you which you might like to share?

Work balance tips

  1. Differentiate between what you can control and what you cannot. Do something about that you can control – let go of the other
  2. Delegate – team members are often keen to progress to “meatier” projects. As a leader, encourage development and create these opportunities for team members
  3. Do a reality check on your expectations. Do your projects have adequate resources, are deadlines realistic and your priorities correct?
  4. Do you need to manage upwards better?
  5. Negotiate to work in ways that suit you e.g. having a day away when you work from home
  6. Get feedback from your colleagues and boss.  This could give you the needed missing perspective
  7. Review and critique your current commitments in line with your priorities. Do you have to be involved with those special projects at work, while serving on the school board of trustees and coaching junior soccer?
  8. Learn or do something which develops you which you enjoy beyond the known, operational tasks
  9. Have regular breaks including time out for lunch. “Little and often” is a good formula to remember. Take a longer weekend from time to time
  10. Build in mental bonuses – things that you can look forward to as rewards to keep going now
  11. Schedule some fun time with your team e.g. a slightly longish Friday lunch every so often. This is not only good for team morale but a forced time to just hang together
  12. Watch your internal chatter and work on keeping an upbeat frame of mind. Your outlook determines your experience of any circumstances, “good or bad”
  13. Make a commitment to your well-being. You are only as strong as the weakest link in your chain in your system. Though it requires conscious awareness and effort initially, it is a lot easier to implement balancing strategies than to deal with the aftermath of burnout.


How to Manage Your Stress in the Workplace and Home

stress man 1“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” 
– Robert Jordan

Tension, stress and relationship challenges are all part and parcel of our crazy, busy lives – work and home.

Can you recall the last time you felt stressed and challenged at work or home?  Perhaps this was in the recent past or perhaps it is right now that you are facing some big challenges?

The key to our resilience is not so much that these stressors are there but how we deal with it. 

The two extreme strategies that don’t work are avoidance – wishing that the issues would magically disappear, using escape methods such as food, alcohol and drugs or “blowing up” as we vent and take out our frustrations and anger on someone else.  This is even worse when the ‘someone else’ is an unsuspecting spouse or someone close to us.

It has been a while but I still recall how shocked I was when I first discovered that a seemingly  “very together” senior team member actually resorted to using anger to control people and to dominate. Needless to say, they did not last very long in that role.

What works is that instead of reacting and being at the mercy of our emotions, we develop our emotional intelligence and adopt a more constructive, problem-solving approach to whatever we are facing. This is not always easy but necessary.

So how do you respond when you get stressed?  What strategies work best for you when your resilience gets tested?

There are many things we can do to build our resilience and capacity to deal with stressful situations.

Here are a few pointers for your reflection: (more…)

Leadership Courage – What does it mean to you?

dare to dreamWhat does the word courage mean to you?  The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines courage as – “the ability to disregard fear; bravery.   Having the courage of one’s convictions and acting on one’s beliefs.”  Over the centuries, courage has been regarded as a core virtue which then enables other virtues such as truthfulness, responsibility, integrity, authenticity, accountability and persistence. I rather love Ernest Hemingway’s famous definition of courage as “grace under pressure.”

Being in a leadership role, one is constantly in a fish bowl. A leader is being constantly watched for everything she does, how well she does this along with what she does not say or do.  The current business and economic VUCA context calls for even greater leadership courage, resilience, agility, nimbleness and innovation.    Managers and leaders courage gets tested every day.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
–  Ambrose Redmoon.

For the purpose of this blog, I have broken down courage into three levels where a leader’s courage is called upon.  As you read these, note where you show more courage along with what is more challenging for you and why?  (more…)

Leaders: Why gratitude matters

It was a birthday week last week.  And yes – I am happy to admit –despite the passing years; I stretch it out and lap it up like I was still in my teens!  A day is far too short to do birthdays any justice, don’t you think?

More seriously, this time it hit me that birthdays are only made special because of our loving family and friends. Their warm wishes are like a wrapping of love. It made me feel like the perfect gift.  As my heart expanded, I was able to extend these feelings of appreciation and gratitude back to them. I was also left questioning how most of our days we madly rush around, rarely savouring or letting in the gift that our loved ones are to us.

According to Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Psychology Professor and author of Positivity, true gratitude is heartfelt and unscripted, not mindless manners or tit for tat reciprocity.  The film and social movement Pay it forward is a great example of gratitude in action.

Gratitude is one of the essential pillars of positive psychology.   It has a direct hit on our feelings of positivity and well-being. Research shows that people, who are more grateful have higher levels of subjective well-being are less stressed, less depressed and are more satisfied with their lives and relationships.  Our resourcefulness and capacity also expands when we are in a more positive frame of mind and we are better able to deal with life transitions. (more…)

Managing disappointment in business

The natural inclination for humans including leaders is to aspire, to want, to achieve.  Whether this is in one’s job, career, business, relationship and or sporting and community life, we are motivated by the pull of what is appealing and rewarding to us.  These hopes and desires keep us motivated and energized.

But we don’t always get what we want.  Even for those in leadership positions, the promotion or job slips away, the relationship one had banked everything on turns sour and even our health, which we had taken for granted suddenly reveals to us our vulnerability. (more…)

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