The Pressure We Face

The Pressure We Face

Emails…. calls to make… deadlines… more emails… meetings… last minute projects.

It can be a real challenge to not overwork. Overwork? What does that even mean? What does that look like in this day and age?

If you are worn a little thin, either by expectations by your boss, expectations you have on yourself, or for some unknown reason, we highly encourage you to read about long hours from Sarah Green Charmichael.

Whether the pressure is coming from your boss, yourself, or someone else the effect that working the long, extra, or stressful hours is the same.

What’s the proof behind this? “In a study of consultants by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, managers could not tell the difference between employees who actually worked 80 hours a week and those who just pretended to. While managers did penalize employees who were transparent about working less, Reid was not able to find any evidence that those employees actually accomplished less, or any sign that the overworking employees accomplished more.” (Charmichael, Long Hours).

If you’re feeling the pressure, take a couple of minutes to read through Sarah’s thoughts.

Are you overworked? What are you going to try this week to cut back on your hours or make the most out of the hours you are spending?

Connecting with Your Team

Tired Team Image

Patience is wearing thin in meetings, pod-mates are starting to bicker, and a lot more coffee has been flowing from the office coffeepot than you’d like to acknowledge.

We’ve all had those days/weeks/quarters – you can tell your team is tired.

There have been pressing deadlines and long days and exciting things happening in the business, but you can tell that something more is needed than just thanking your team for all their hard work.

This week we have Coach Bonnie Davis with us to share a tip on how to help motivate a tired team.

Take it away Bonnie!

Bonnie Davis“One tool that I have found works well to motivate a team that has a high degree of trust with each other and their manager is an exercise called “Hard Truths.”   This can be led by the manager or a neutral facilitator.

 

I would open the exercise by first acknowledging the current work environment, share how it’s been impacting me personally, also share what I see as the positive aspects, and then ask them to share their “hard truths” about why they are tired.  

 

Hard truths are facts that are difficult that we deal with. and though we often can’t control them, we can do our best to lessen their negative impacts. 

 

The goal?

 

To give the team the time and space to explore what is difficult at work so they feel someone is listening and cares, and then they can figure out how to move past it and support each other.   

 

Each person should share something that is difficult in the current environment, such as customer demands, organizational change, new leadership, too many projects, and so on. There are no “wrong answers” — everyone’s perspective is valid. 

 

Then, the group should select 2-3 of these “hard truths” as focus areas that they feel could make the greatest impact once solved. 

 

Finally, they should do a brainstorm on 1-2 solutions for each focus area. 

 

The manager should close the meeting by once again acknowledging everyone’s hard work and where it’s paying off, reiterate his or her support, encourage each team member to follow up directly if they’d like to talk about it some more, and then set a follow up meeting for about thirty days later when the group can hold themselves accountable for the actions and see how they’ve progressed.”

 

Thanks, Bonnie!

What a great suggestion on how to encourage you team to talk about what has been tiring and brainstorm solutions on how to move past it together.

Try this with your team and let us know how it goes!