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Tag Archives: working under pressure

Pressure can create both diamonds and dust

pressurepressureI’ve previously blogged about how the situations of adversity can lead to opportunities for growth and development – about how pearls begin life as irritants and frustrations, and about how incredibly high heat can turn a simple clay pot into exquisite porcelain.  But as quick as I am to point out the gains that can arise from difficulties, it is also worth noting that there can also be another, not so positive, outcome.  Pressure has the ability to create both diamonds and dust.

Which leader are you?

Which is also a great metaphor for how you can choose to deal with workplace pressure situations.  The reality of today’s workplace is that pressure is a common occurrence.  How you choose to cope with the pressure will determine whether you end up a diamonds or dust.  You can either look at it face on, as a positive, as an opportunity to prove to the world what you are capable of … ergo create diamonds.  Or you can hide and hope the problem will fade away (or someone else will deal with it) and become a victim of the situation … the metaphoric equivalent of dust.

As a leader, you will encounter a vast array of pressure situations.  Continue reading

When you’re overwhelmed at work, it’s worth considering another approach

“I can’t talk to you for very long, Merge, we’re buried!” said a client when I returned his call earlier this week.  “What’s going on?” I asked.  He went on to describe the turmoil and chaos in his department at the insurance company where he works.  “We’re overwhelmed at work.  Claim volume is up 200%, our phone lines are flooded, and our call agents feel like they’re drowning.  Plus I can’t get enough adjusters out into the field fast enough, and clients are getting frustrated so they’re calling in more than usual, increasing call wait times even more.  I feel like we’re in a dark tunnel with no end in sight.  Help me!”

Now obviously, this manager’s current state of affairs is driven partially by external circumstances (in this situation, recent weather-related catastrophic events are the root cause of the increased call volumes).  But I was reminded of a phrase often used by a mentor of mine many years ago, so I asked this manager to look at the situation with another filter.  My mentor frequently used to say “Just because it is dark doesn’t mean we’re buried.  Often, it means that no one has bothered to turn on any lights”.

It’s the leader’s job to turn on the lights

Fortunately, the phrase caught my client’s attention.  Enough for him Continue reading

Leading overwhelmed employees online event – early bird deadline on October 1

Businesswoman With Stack Of DocumentOur latest online event – Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit – is coming up quickly.  In fact, the early bird deadline to register is almost here – only two more days to take advantage of significant savings – just until Wednesday October 1.

If your employees are overloaded and overwhelmed, then you have a responsibility to find ways to reduce the stress and alleviate the pressure for your team.  If you don’t things are going to deteriorate rapidly.  Left unchecked, your overworked, unhappy and overwhelmed employees will become inefficient and unproductive. And eventually, poor morale is the inevitable result.  If you’re a leader, then your staff are counting on you to help them cope AND keep performance and productivity high.  On October 8, I’ll be leading a live online event “Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit” and I hope you’ll join me.  In one fast-paced content-rich hour, I’ll give you the tools you need to help your overextended employees meet their goals AND reduce their stress. In one jam-packed online learning event, you’ll discover numerous concrete practical actions you can take, both now and in the long-term, to keep your employees satisfied and productive, even when things are stressful. You can support and guide your “stretched to the limit” employees; you just need to know how!

Click here to register now

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading

Leading overworked employees – live online event on October 8

Overworked office employeeAre your employees overloaded and overwhelmed? In talking to clients in just about every industry, it seems that everyone wants greater productivity and improved responsiveness, but as workloads escalate, time and resources don’t seem to increase at the same rate!  Yet everyone seems to expect more … for less!  Having said all that, it really doesn’t matter how or why it happens, as a leader, you have a responsibility to find ways to reduce the stress and alleviate the pressure for your team; otherwise you’re going to find yourself in a world of trouble!  Because if you don’t, your overworked and unhappy employees will become inefficient and unproductive. And left unaddressed, poor morale will inevitably result.  Bottom line: your staff are counting on you to help them cope AND keep performance and productivity high.

On October 8, I’ll be leading a live online event “Leading Employees Who Are Stretched to the Limit” and I hope you’ll join me.  In one fast-paced content-rich hour, I’ll give you the tools you need to help your overextended and overworked employees meet their goals AND reduce their stress. In one jam-packed online learning event, you’ll discover numerous concrete practical actions you can take, both now and in the long-term, to keep your employees satisfied and productive, even when things are stressful. You can support and guide your “stretched to the limit” employees; you just need to know how!

Click here to register now

What are you waiting for? Sign up now, your team will thank you!  And if you act by October 1, you can take advantage of early bird savings.  Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading

What will it take for a rattlesnake to bite itself?

In his landmark book Rattlesnakes: Their Habits, Life Histories, and Influence on Mankind, respected herpetologist Laurence Klauber describes what happens when a rattlesnake is prevented from escaping out of the hot sun. A rattlesnake is exothermic which means that it normally controls its body temperature simply by moving into a cooler area. But if it is unable to do so, its body overheats and within a matter of minutes, death results. As the temperature rises, the rattlesnake gets more and more agitated, trying everything it can to get away, including biting itself in the final minutes of its violent efforts to escape the torment. Essentially, in desperation, the rattlesnake contributes towards its own ultimate demise.

“People perform better under pressure,” is a refrain I often hear when talking to managers and supervisors when they are justifying the fast-paced and stress-filled nature of their organizations and departments . Continue reading