Keeping your cool in the moment17 Nov 2014
Most stress-release tips are great for reducing overall stress but are utterly worthless when conflict actually strikes.
Eating right, getting more sleep and taking up yoga are all well and good, but you can’t expect an upset client to wait patiently while you transition from downward dog to warrior pose.
Trying to squeeze a few yoga moves into your conflict management is more likely to earn you a few funny looks rather than any stress-related benefits. This is why it’s important to have a few options in your arsenal that are more subtle and provide instantaneous results.
Consider these four tips next time you are stressed to ensure your conflict management skills are effective and able to be put to good use.
Recognise the stress
The most important step in addressing stress in the workplace is being able to identify when it becomes an issue.
Pay attention to how certain triggers make you feel and learn to anticipate when stress may be around the corner. For instance, if checking your emails generally makes your blood boil, try to schedule a specific time to tackle this task so you can adequately prepare.
Change your tune
A lot of stress is purely a mental reaction to your external world. By changing your own attitude towards certain things, you can reduce the chance of stress getting you down.
Rather than dreading a stressful task, consider the positives – like how much you can learn from the challenge or how good it will feel when resolved.
Accept what you cannot control
Much of what makes us stressed is completely out of our control. There is no point getting caught up worrying about the things you have no influence over. Try to accept the things that aren’t your fault and do your best to move on and improve the things you can change.
Fake it ’til you make it
When stress gets you down, smile. Consciously changing your state of mind takes effort but can soon lead to you naturally feeling happier.
Smiling and tackling tasks with a positive attitude can help you to minimise the negativity in the workplace, improving your own day and perhaps the days of your colleagues, too.