Stress creeps up on us. We often know we are approaching overwhelm, but we are highly competent professionals and we tell ourselves we can work through it. “As soon as I complete this project things will get better”. “I have holidays coming up in 2 months time. I can get through to then.” “I wanted this job so much I can’t let them know that I’m almost at breaking point.” We don’t believe we have any other choice but to keeping working at this level of stress.
But……if we don’t take control of our stress it will take control of us. The least damaging result is that we break down in tears one day at work, or collapse momentarily from exhaustion and have to go home. The worst outcome is we have a heart attack or stroke. That’s the ultimate act of stress taking control of us.Read More
It’s a new year, a new beginning. You hopefully have had at least a short break. You should be refreshed, but are you recharged – recharged physically with loads of energy and recharged emotionally with a positive and pro-active mindset. If you aren’t then I’m writing for you because the most detrimental…Read More
While reading the Melbourne Age online this morning, I see a Liberal National Party Staffer has been put on “indefinite leave” for texting an expletive-laden tirade to a female journalist who recently criticised a federal MP Senator Barry O’Sullivan. In responding the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack stated it was sent “accidentally and inadvertently” to the reporter when it was actually intended for a friend. While the staffer has apologised, what has been said cannot be erased.
How often do we see this today? Angry, overwrought, stressed and highly emotional people resorting on the spur of the moment to vent their feelings, generally apologising sometime later. But what has been said in haste cannot be taken back.
We constantly hear stories like the one above. People in organisations brawling back and forth by email. Again too often in their highly emotional, non-rational state, accidentally sending it to the wrong person, then it circulating around the building, becoming the latest reality show in the building.
We can change this. We can learn to respond in professional ways. The recent research into the brain and how it manages our emotions tells us how.
It is only when you get out of your comfort zone that you discover talents you never knew you had.
I have lost count of the number of people I have coached or mentored who knew it was time for a change in their career or professional life but just haven’t been able to make the move.
They are comfortable where they are. They are well-regarded, respected and have been told they are a valuable member of the team. As well, they have a supportive family, a beautiful house and a great circle of friends.
They ask themselves every time these restless feelings have emerged in the last few years why they would want to risk all that. Why would they do anything else or go anywhere else?
Joseph Campbell said: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us”.
Today is the last day of 2017 – another year is drawing to a close. While you will have no time to think today, I’m going to suggest that you find some time to reflect on some important questions before you go back to work and launch into the new year. They are all questions that cause you to reflect on what changes you have made in your life this year. Or did you set goals and then not follow through and end up a photocopy of your 2016 self?
If you had a successful year know what made it so and make sure you repeat that this new year. If you had a disappointing year, discover why and make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes in 2018.
Overwhelm rolls in over the top of so many people in the workforce – professionals, small business owners, construction workers and other tradies, CEOs and executives and all those workers in all those organisations called on to do more with less.
To those who feel overwhelmed, there seems to be no way out, other than to resign and for most leaving their job without another to go to is not an option. Any way, are there any jobs today where overwhelm is not a pervading presence? Probably not, but it is possible to learn ways to manage, even beat, overwhelm and feel productive and in charge of your life at work.
Here is a short 12 minute audio I did of how to beat overwhelm. Listen to it here or download it to your MP3 player.
This quote from anthropologist, Margaret Mead has inspired me in many areas and times of my life. In the things I do, the situations I face, now and in the past, it keeps coming back to me, a kind of inspiration that I find so empowering, that idea that “You can change the world. You can really make a difference”.
It’s come back to inspire me again this past week-end as I have begun to watch the Netflix documentary, The Keepers, on sexual abuse in a Catholic girl’s school in Baltimore, USA, in the late 1960s. It was its excellent reviews that drew me to it. As a Catholic myself and having actually worked with the victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in my counselling and psychotherapy practice, I thought there was nothing I didn’t know about this enormous blight on this religious institution. I’ve only watched two of the seven episodes, but it has made me aware, yet again, in a way I didn’t understand in my school days, of the enormous, unbridled power of the Church and the Catholic male clergy in those days.
It was Steve Jobs who famously said: “We are here to put a dent in the Universe”. To make sure, that when we have, our dent will be there with our unique name on it is some what of a challenge. It’s an even bigger challenge to do what we need to do to put the dent there in the first place. This is what being a Difference Maker is about.
I came up with 6 attributes that characterise a Difference Maker in this 21st Century.
If you want to be a high performer today you need to fearlessly, courageously and pro-actively embrace exponential growth. This is growth that just keeps on coming. It never stops to give you breathing space. It can overwhelm if you don’t know how to move with it. It is, however, the kind of growth that enhances your ability to manage the uncertainty, unpredictability and complexity of today’s world.
To embrace its empowering excitement and ride its challenging relentlessness, you need to move out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself where you will discover potential you never knew you had. More significantly, on the way, you will gain insights into the intrigues of how this new economy operates. This empowers you to work more effectively within it, provoking even further growth and ultimate success.Read More
In June 2015, Roy Morgan Research revealed that Australia’s full-time workforce had a total of 123,510 days of annual accrued leave. That’s a lot of people who have deferred taking holidays presumably for a whole range of reasons. In this age of exponential change that happens faster than we can keep up, one of those reasons would be that they don’t have time! Work-life integration is one of the unsolvables.
So a better title for this blog may have been – How To Take Leave When You Are Too Busy To Take It! That’s the dilemma so many people share with me when I am mentoring or coaching them. You know you need a break. You want to take a break, but you also know that the amount of work involved to get you out of the office and what will be there when you get back means there is little value in going. If you do go it takes you at least a week to unwind and then the second week you begin to build up to your return. You begin to worry about what will be there when you get back. So the leave is not really serving any purpose.
David Rock’s “Half-time August” is one solution to this dilemma.