Relieve Stress During Critical Moments

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, June 18, 2020

Relieve Stress During Critical Moments

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Thursday, June 18, 2020

New business ventures are exciting. Drive, energy and movement rise as managers and employees embrace a new project. Along with these wonderful benefits, also comes added stress that can sometimes explode into what becomes a “critical moment”. This is when something, anything, goes array. Patience is distant and tempers escalate. We need to prepare ourselves and our staff members for these instances because they are certain to come, and we must not allow them to push us off course.

Preparation For Critical Times

It is important to plan ahead for the times when stress rises to the pinnacle. Get yourself and your team members ready for the challenging instances with a couple of activities which will help everyone deal better with the most difficult, intense moments.

  • Encourage physical activity every day in the office for everyone. Obviously, you cannot mandate a workout for employees during  breaks but you can provide incentives to get your workers on board. The reason for the extra physicality? Exercise is a known combatant of stress in general that will also help keep anxiety at a lower level during an intense time period. 
  • Engage in weekly brief meetings in which you allow everyone to “vent” as you discover the issues that are beginning to arise which could cause intense flare ups in the future. Use these sit down times to work toward solutions to challenges and reassure the staff and yourself that the business is moving ahead.
  • Keep a running journal in which you document what is happening at work. Take a couple of minutes each day to write about the atmosphere at work. Tune into the current mood. Create a scale to note current conditions: where does the team fall when you consider “relaxed to intense”, “sluggish to motivated”, “amiable to argumentative”, “unimaginative to creative”, etc. These parameters allow you to keep up with emotions and conditions that can prevent some instants and lessen the intensity of inevitable critical times.

Immediate Actions:

When the moments actual occur, you need to tackle them as quickly as possible. Here is what to do when a critical situation arises between workers. 

  • Call for an “intermission” when an argument arises between two are more team members or a team member and a manager. Give each individual as much room away from the other(s) as possible. You will be surprised at how a short interval of even ten minutes can bring emotions down to the level where constructive dialogue is possible.
  • Talk it out. After a cooling break, you need to bring everyone together to communicate. Allow each person involved to talk for exactly one minute. This is similar to the old camp game of giving someone a talking stick so that individuals can speak for a period of time without interruption. Time is, of course, money, so limiting the time is important. After everyone speaks, a dialogue begins in which concerns are addressed, issues clarified, compromises agreed upon and resolutions achieved. 

Stress, heightened emotions, racing thoughts all occur during the times when the workplace becomes overly intense. Managers and workers must strive to come through these periods with minimal impact to the company’s morale and bottom line. Apply the aforementioned techniques to both prepare for the critical times and to manage them appropriately when they come.