No one enjoys feeling stressed and frustrated at work, but unfortunately, it’s all too common. We’ve come up with three steps that you can use to understand the stress that you are experiencing at work. By following these steps, hopefully, you can start to feel more in control at work.
Step 1: Understand Your Role in the Cycle
When you’re feeling frustrated or stressed, it’s important to take a step back and understand your role in the cycle. If your stress is due to a co-worker relationship, remember, just as there are two people in every relationship, there are two points of view. And while it might be tempting to place all the blame on the other person, it’s important to take a look at your own role in the situation.
If your stress is not related to a co-worker relationship, reflect on other possibilities. Consider why you feel stress and frustration. Is it due to feeling strapped for time, not understanding your role in the project or within the company, are there unclear expectations, or are you doing new things that are less familiar? There could be many reasons you may feel stress and not always center it around co-workers.
After reflecting on what may be causing the stress, make deliberate plans to correct it. If there are communication missteps, make sure you make yourself clear when communicating and ask clarifying questions of others to avoid making assumptions. If you are feeling overwhelmed by new or big projects, break them down into small manageable tasks that you can track your progress and celebrate small victories on the path to a big victory. Whatever the case may be, understanding your role in the cycle or the cause of the feeling is an important first step in fixing it.
Step 2: Communicate Your Needs
Once you’ve taken a look at your own role in the cycle of frustration or stress, it’s time to communicate your needs. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s an important one. Remember, you’re not trying to place blame, you’re trying to communicate your needs and hear the needs of others.
Start by explaining how you’re feeling and why you think the cycle exists. Then, explain what you need from the other person in order to break it. For example, maybe you need more help with your workload or more clear communication about expectations. Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re specific about what you need.
On the other hand, be just as open to hearing the needs of others. They may feel they gave clear instructions, and if they are unclear to you, they may rather you ask them questions instead of leaving feeling you were on the same page and later find out you weren’t. When openly communicating and coming into the conversation with the goal to make things better, more times than not, there is a solution that you both will come to and it will make future communication stronger.
Step 3: Make a Plan
The final step in breaking the cycle of frustration, stress, and fighting at work is to make a plan. This is where you’ll decide how you’re going to communicate your needs, what you’re going to do if the other person doesn’t meet your needs, and how you’re going to follow through on your plan.
Making a plan can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by brainstorming some possible solutions to the problem. Then, choose the one that you think will work best and make a commitment to follow through with it. Remember, breaking the cycle is going to take some effort, but it’s possible.
All in All
If you’re stuck in a less then ideal cycle try following these three steps. Understanding your role in the cycle is an important first step. Then, communicate your needs to the other person. Finally, make a plan to follow through on your commitments. Breaking the cycle is possible, but it takes some effort.
Coaches are often key in working through these situations. Coaches see things from a different perspective, challenge you to take a reflective look at the situation, and will work with you on communication strategies and setting goals in place to move you forward. If you’re finding yourself in these situations, why not work with a coach to overcome these challenges in your business?