The positivity to overpower the ‘S’ word
Workplace pressures affect people in different ways. But having a defined toolbox of coping strategies allows businesses to recognise the problem and work towards a solution.
Workplace pressures affect different people in different ways. To manage stress, you need resilience. Having a defined toolbox of coping strategies allows businesses to recognise the problem and work towards a solution.
Learning positive work habits that will last a lifetime in business are important when dealing with the day-to-day challenges of a busy working environment or being in business in a competitive industry.
“Rather than focus on ‘stress’, being able to recognise where resilience is required allows us to find clearer solutions and move forward faster,” says Crombie Lockwood Learning and Development Manager, Susan Wilson.
“The great thing is, most people actually have the ability to solve these problems on their own.”
Susan says that successfully scheduling attention between our work lives and personal lives in a constructive way can sometimes prove overwhelming.
This can be especially true for SMEs with limited resources and hands-on involvement in multiple parts of the business.
“Psychological safety is just as important as physical safety. As business owners and employees, we exert a lot of energy ensuring we are physically safe at work. But optimising positivity and learning how to reduce stress is vital for the longevity of a healthy business,” she says.
Coping with difficult scenarios and being more resilient can be as simple as committing to switching off a mobile phone for certain blocks in the day or learning how to prioritise and ‘single-task’ in order to reduce that feeling of having too much on one’s plate.
“The work habits we have are not always easy to break,” says Susan.
“But getting the right toolbox of coping strategies together will help anyone get through challenging times in business.”
5 tips to improve your workplace resilience
1. Be clear about what you want to achieve
You don’t have to have a five-year plan, but it is always good to know exactly why you want to be in business. Whenever faced with a challenging request or task, always ask yourself “Is this task taking me towards my goal?”
Framing your response in such a way will help answer questions around taking on extra projects or diverging from your chosen path. Learning to say ‘no’ is difficult, but vital. Saying ‘yes’ to everything is in effect saying ‘no’ to a lot of other things.
2. Learn how to focus attention
Every human operates to what is known as the circadian rhythm; a natural internal process which regulates the sleep/wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours.
Traditionally business has operated a 9.00am-5.00pm schedule, but increasingly the hours of business, and when we are at our best in business, has become much more subjective and flexible. Learning when your body and brain works best is different for everyone.
Evaluate what your most common distractions are and find ways to minimise them. Schedule ‘thinking’ work in blocks, so you’re able to switch off your email or notifications on your mobile phone; spending time working on the business – rather than in the business – is important.
Also, be kind to yourself. Schedule in defined rest periods. Approach a new task thinking “I’m going to work on this for 40 minutes and then grab a coffee or go for a walk.” Taking a five-minute break during a task – as opposed to once you have finished one job and before you start the next – actually helps mitigate procrastination..
3. Keep a healthy body
Value sleep, diet and exercise. There is conclusive evidence to suggest that physical strength relates to mental fortitude.
Time is precious and as a result sleep is often the first thing to be sacrificed. Setting a goal to be in bed at a certain time is just as important as setting goals around project delivery or task completion during the business day.
4. Think healthy
Positive thinking can be tricky at times, especially when something goes awry, either in our professional or personal lives.
In business – and especially for SMEs running lean operations – it is easy to lose perspective, get bogged down by setbacks and end up suffering through sleepless nights.
Asking the question, “What’s the best/worst that can happen?” as a result of a situation helps with rationalising outcomes and next steps. If a client is difficult, for example, questioning what it would mean to the business to lose or retain them can potentially reveal a clearer way forward.
And in the age of the computer keyboard and the smartphone, physically writing down concerns and potential solutions on paper can also help clarify the situation.
5. Build positive relationships
Oxytocin is a chemical release experienced when humans bond with one another. It underlines the idea that, above all else, human connection in some form or other is important to our continued wellbeing.
Forming positive networks and connections with people is important for business health too, and especially for SMEs. Rather than simply a ‘feel good’ idea, there has been a lot of academic research completed around the notion of reciprocal positivity.
In business, fostering compassion and minimising judgement leads to more positive outcomes. Being kind and surrounding ourselves with kind people – whether they be employees, colleagues or clients – helps build confidence and resilience in the workplace and beyond.
Article supplied by Crombie Lockwood.