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Leadership Tips: Squash the Stress

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You are starting a week that is historically full of high expectations. With Thanksgiving looming in the United States, many businesses are pushing hard for deliverables. This often creates overtime and extra hours. So if you look at your employees, I ask: Do you say you want them to take time off and then email them with expectations? Or do you withhold and create white space for them to produce and exceed expectations? Are you doing it for them, or do you do it for yourself as a leader?

These are serious questions.

We commonly hear from clients that there are never enough hours, never enough resources, and that there is definitely not enough recognition for what they do. This is a reality for many. So what do we do?

I encourage everyone to keep this in mind. Just stay aware.

This week’s tip is to squash the stress. Find ways to turn deliverables and expectations into a positive force. It means you are doing important work. It means you influence and matter.

And for coping on an individual level, can you go to the gym or yoga? Have lunch with an old friend or colleague? This is the time to really schedule space to breathe, to reflect, and to visualize the finish line.

And as a leader, how can you help to dissipate tension that is building? One no-brainer way is to take your team to lunch. Or perhaps have one-on-one conversations that focus on appreciation.

You don’t have to have all the answers. You just have to ask. And then, yes, truly listen.


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