Great news! You have the power to reduce stress for your team. Are you, as a leader, unknowingly or unintentionally, for well-meaning reasons, creating artificial stress? Take a look at the list below of things to avoid doing and ask yourself if you may be contributing to a stressful environment.
5 Things You May Be Doing That Create Stress in the Workplace
1. Giving your team a fake deadline.
It may be tempting to give your team an earlier deadline than the “real one” in the hopes that you will bring the project in on time. (I understand – I’ve done it, lots!) Instead, try sharing the real deadline, talking about when you actually need to see it to feel comfortable, and work together towards doing it in a more relaxed way so there’s not that crunch at the end. This means doing things such as scheduling out review time and interim draft deadlines so you get a better product and avoid creating unnecessary stress.
2. Bringing tension in the room with you.
Think about the way you walk in the room. Because you are a leader, you are in a position of power (whether we like to use that word or not). It means that if you walk in the room smiling and say something uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, or funny, or ask a genuine question about how someone is, you change the entire tone for that next segment of interaction. Try to think about this as a gift rather than a burden and make time to intentionally set the room at ease with your entrance or opening.
3. Unnecessarily pivoting rapidly.
The nimble survive today. We need to be able to pivot rapidly, whether to respond to changes in consumer demand, staff shortages or a myriad of other factors. However, it is also key to minimize unnecessary changes. Ask yourself before launching into a change initiative, is this critical to our future? If not, consider pausing to give your team time to successfully navigate the changes currently underway.
4. Taking away choice.
We are swimming in such a sea of unpredictability and insecurity. As a leader, give choice to your team where you can. The more you empower your team to make decisions—whether small or big—about strategic directions, project scopes, timeframes, etc., the more likely they are to feel a sense of control.
5. Withholding relevant information.
An absence of information can cause stress. When you have to withhold information, do it for the shortest time possible. Unless it’s sensitive information that you need to work out before you share, it’s usually a good idea to plan and share in a concerted, systematic way with enough explanation around it for people to understand what’s happening and what it means for them.
Here’s Something You CAN Do To Reduce Workplace Stress
Let’s end this list of “don’ts” with an important “DO”. Make a commitment that, regardless of circumstances, internally or externally, we’re going to be good to each other and to ourselves. Make time to check in with each other and to support each other. They will know that no matter how tough things are, you will be there for them, which greatly helps to reduce your team’s stress.
At The Human Priority, we believe in high collaboration, high trust, high respect. We believe in creating workplaces where you can have co-conversations and a sense of community. This is what creates the Workplace Fairytale! This is where people come together and do awesome, great, phenomenal things together. We can help you accomplish this! Learn more about our business consulting services.