The following is a summary of the most recent episode of the Awareness Advantage podcast. Each week bestselling Blind Spots authors, Kevin McCarthy and Likky Lavji and a studio audience of managers and senior leaders throughout North America discuss overcoming blind spots to develop and lead high-functioning, high-trust teams and organizational cultures.
Truth is, it can be different for different people, but there are some common threads. Stress is unmanaged emotions or thoughts, external pressure points that either cannot or are not being controlled. When there are more stimuli going on than one can process, a person will feel stress.
In the workplace, the biggest causes of stress are perceived differences in priorities, and lack of communication or understanding. This will cause people not feeling able to cope with the demands of their jobs. Employees feel the most stress when they are unable to control the way they do their work, or don’t fully understand their role and responsibilities. Stress can also occur when employees are having trouble with relationships at work, or when they are not involved when a business is undergoing change.
Yes. Some stress can be good stress. Too little stress can lead to boredom and even depression. The right amount of acute stress can energize the brain and improve performance. Think about your favorite procrastinator who does their best work under pressure.
Sometimes, stress is simmering, but you may not recognize it yet. Being aware of these early warning signs can help us initiate self care before we burn out.
Once you recognize the signs of stress, you can make an effort to take control of the bad stress and use the good stress to your advantage. Doing things like creating separate spaces for work and spaces for rest, choosing your own priorities, and removing triggers that cause stress can make a huge difference. You have the choice of being deliberate and seeking the outcomes that you are looking for. You can also recognize and accept the consequences. Taking control allows you to have the energy and wherewithal to deal with stress. You have more energy to deal with it if it is your choice and it is under your control.
What is one thing you are not doing that you could do? Try adding in one more layer of self-care. Some examples include:
Raising your self-awareness and emotional intelligence will make you a better leader. High self-awareness equips you to identify and conquer the blind spots that lead to poor decisions, strained relationships and high levels of stress. Awareness is the leader’s superpower that drives engagement, inspires retention and shifts culture. Awareness gives you the advantage you need to influence and inspire the people you lead.
Want to learn more? Listen to the Awareness Advantage Podcast with Kevin McCarthy, and Likky Lavji