Work related stress and how to manage it

Work related stress and how to manage it

It was reported that 73% of British workers took time out of work because of stress in the work place… and 19% quit on the spot!

From Lack of support and excessive workload. To poor company culture and incompetent colleagues. There are many factors that lead to stress. I explore how work related stress impacts your and how we can implement some remedies to alleviate the excessive pressures.

HSE’s formal definition of work-related stress is: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.”

Stress V Stretch

Although stress is a state more than an illness, however, it is worth noting that if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged – mental and physical illness may develop.

Work related stress develops because a person is unable to cope with the demands being placed on them. Stress can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as mistakes and errors.

Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business. From looking into this topic further as well as discussing this at my networking group, it was found that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries.

Pressures at work compared to stress caused because of work has a clear difference: Pressure can be positive, motivating factor in someone’s career, and is often essential. It can help us achieve our goals as well as perform better.

Stress occurs when this pressure becomes excessive.

Stress affects people in different ways and what one person finds stressful can be normal to another. With each new situation a person will decide what the challenge is and whether they have the resources to cope. If they decide they don’t have the resources, they will begin to feel stressed. How they appraise the situation will depend on various factors, including:

  • Background and culture
  • Skills and experience
  • Personality
  • Personal circumstances
  • Health status
  • Ethnicity, gender, age or disability

Just like how people are affected by stress, the ways of managing can be different for each individual. It is all well and good to talk about a work life balance, however what people really need are tools and techniques to help them.

How to alleviate work related stress can be managed by:

At Work:

  • Talking to your manager, colleague or HR. There is no shame in saying that the current pressures that are on you are causes you to feel stressed. It is always best to take some examples with you that include situation when you have felt stressed or document you current work load to show your manager. By talking, you are highlighting the problem. You never know, you might be able to recruit a junior to support you.
  • Get a priority list together. Have you ever used a Kanban board? Such a great way to visually see what you need to do and what you have achieved. (also GREAT for reporting) You can use Trello which is a free online tool.
  • Be part of a culture change. Do you have an idea to help improve team performance? an Idea on how to feel calmer at work? Maybe introduce a well-being Wednesday? Be the change you want to see.

For Yourself:

  • Change your job or career direction. This one will take more time and planning. However, if you really are struggling this might be the option.
  • Have a break. Stop, put down your work phone and be present with your family and friends.
  • Exercise! Make time to go for a walk/run. Go to that gym class. Getting out helps clear the mind, looking after yourself will help with all aspects of your life and your mental health.

Do you have a story of stressed caused by work? Or do you have any suggestions of remedies? Comment below to share.

What is coaching?

What is coaching?

Have you ever wondered what coaching is all about?

The demand for coaching has grown in recent years and continues to do so. To start with, I want to ask you a question – What is your understanding of coaching?

The ICF defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’

Thus, coaching is a conversation, or a series of conversations, that one person has with another. What makes the conversation different is the impact the conversation has on the person being coached. An effective coaching conversation challenges, guides and encourages someone’s understanding, learning, behaviour and progression.

Coaching is:⠀

  • Working collaboratively at the same pace.
  • Conversations with purpose.⠀
  • Breaking new ground which can be challenging yet encourages a deeper conversation (& outcome). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Coaching can:⠀

  • Go deep.
  • Identify possibilities.
  • Change the way you think (e.g. remove limiting beliefs that could be holding you back). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Coaching is not: Mentoring, Counselling, Training, Management and Consulting. These are very different things.

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”

Albert Einstein

These words can hold some importance, especially for those of us who currently feel a bit stuck, need a new approach, a change in direction, find a purpose, or are not getting the results they want. When faced with such situations, working with a coach can help clients make significant changes in their life, and start to achieve the results they desire.

Coaches are great in identifying when a client can be shying away from the wider picture and pointing out (with the client’s permission) any limiting beliefs that may be keeping them back from achieving what they want. A good coach will push individuals to the limits and will help them grow and get what they really want out of their life as a whole.

As an individual, you may work really hard in your life, however at some point we all hit certain walls and have blind spots. A good coach can help you recognise and address them.

Unfortunately, the coaching industry is not as regulated as other “helping” professions such as, therapy and NHS Mental Health related support. Many people call themselves coaches but they have no idea what coaching is and some have never been trained by a credentialed coach and course. This can be problematic, as due to the lack of such regulation, the quality of coaches will vary as well as give the coaching profession a bad name and reputation.

 So, when looking for a coach, be prepared to interview a number of professionals, review their background and experience, and check out their qualifications. A good starting point is to identify whether the coach has been accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Don’t be shy in asking for testimonials, reviewing their LinkedIn pages and checking out other social media profiles like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also ask to see proof of insurance and even look them up on Companies House.

While the coach is not your colleague, friend or mentor, they will support and help you to succeed and reach your desired goal. The right coach will hold you accountable and challenge you in ways that may feel uncomfortable at times. However, with their support you can grow, learn and succeed. An experience coach will never tell you what to do or even offer advice. Instead, the role of the coach will help you identify your options and come up with the best choices based on the goals you want to achieve.

Coaching is about using the right type of questions. Questions hold the power to cause us to think, create answers from ourselves, that we believe in and act on our ideas. Asking questions moves us beyond passive acceptance of what others say and do. Questions honour you as a person and communicate your values as an equal.

It is important to note, that coaching is confidential, safe and is proven to work.

I will end this piece, with how I started. By asking you a question – (and now you know about coaching…) What would you do, if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you try to achieve?

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Would you like to find our more about coaching? Maybe a little bit about me? Or perhaps you are just intrigued. You can schedule a virtual coffee with me or visit my website www.lucygrimwade.com

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Enhancing your career in unprecedented times

Enhancing your career in unprecedented times

At the start of 2020, you probably stepped into the year bright eyed and bushy tailed. You had planned to upskill and take time off to do a face-to-face course. You had strategically thought about your career and prepared to apply for a promotion, that next level in your job and career. Or maybe, you had decided to switch careers, as scary as it might have been.

But your course was cancelled. The next level job role was made redundant and it was just safer to stay put than to jump ship.

Your 2020 plans to work on your career was stifled, locked down, then tiered… then locked down again.

Frustrated, you gave up and continued to the ride the wave of the disaster movie of 2020. But where did that get you?

Does the above resonate with you? If you are nodding your head in agreement, then read on to find out how you can work on your career during zombie apocalyptic times.

Continue reading this piece on LinkedIn – Every month I write a new article covering a number of topics, so don’t miss it!

How to overcome the career slump

How to overcome the career slump

Do you get that MONDAY MORNING FEELING?

I am talking about the ‘urgh ‘😖 as you roll over to turn off your alarm. The lack of motivation, something I like to call the ‘can’t evens’ 😞 and, perhaps worst of all, the ‘I hate my job’ is turning into ‘FMLs’ and ‘I hate my life’

… and, did I mention, it is Wednesday?

In fact, you have the MONDAY MORNING DREAD daily, Monday to Friday and then the Sunday BLUES!

The truth is, you spend most of your life working. So, don’t you deserve to be in a career that fulfils your values, abilities and aspirations? Have a mindset that propels you, instead of hinders you?

Now for some harsh truths – being unhappy, unfulfilled and underpaid in your career will over time manifest itself into something pretty ugly.  It will start to impact other aspects of your life, from your relationships to your mental wellbeing to the ability to step up in other areas, such as travel and buying a house.

I get it. You bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. But where does that get you?

In this article I take you through the areas that you can explore to pull yourself out of the CAREER SLUMP, so you can propel yourself forward – turning the CAREER SLUMP into a CAREER SLAY! (Well it is December after all…)

Overcome the career slump

We’ve identified what a career slump is – it’s that lack of motivation, struggling to get up in the morning and having that constant nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right. You feel down in the dumps and stuck in the mud.

So how can you overcome the slump?

Time to do some self-reflection

Start by thinking about your current situation – but first take yourself away to a neutral place with no distractions. I’m thinking a Coffee Shop, your bedroom or even your garden. Grab yourself a pen & paper and answer the following questions:

  • What aspects of my job do I enjoy?
  • What aspects of my role, do I just HATE? (Be honest)
  • What needs to change?
  • Who can help me?
  • How could I approach this with my manager?
  • Is there a specific individual that is causing me issues?
  • How do I actually feel about the job?
  • Am I happy with my benefit package?
  • Do I feel fulfilled?
  • How did you feel in other job roles?

It may take you a few days to answer the above, so don’t be put off. Similar to when you journal – let the first words that come to you, flow onto the page. And if you can, once you have gone through the questions, ask a friend or a relative to hear what you have to say – talking about your thoughts and feelings will help clarify the current situation.

Tip: Do you see any themes? Is there something missing? Is there something you can do?

What do you value?

Your values are the things that you believe are important. Both with your personal and professional life. They ideally should determine your priorities and they also act as a good measure to help understand where your life is going. As an insight, when the things that you do and the way you behave matches your values, life is usually great, meaning you’re satisfied and happy. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things just don’t feel right and you may feel dissatisfied and unhappy.

To find your values start by answering the below questions:

Think about a time when something bothered you. What was it exactly? And Why?

Think about a time when you have been fulfilled and happy. What was the situation? How did you feel?

Think about a time when you have been proud. When was it? What feedback did you receive?

Now start to pull out value words or find value words from answers. (Theses could be: compassion, community, family and independence, see the table below) You ideally should find around 8 to hit the sweet spot.

Values | Personal Mastery
This image was taken from Google.

A little something extra to consider: How do your values match up with your managers? Or even organisation? Do they align?

What’s your personality type?

Something else I like to explore with clients, is looking at personality types. Now it is important to not get too hung up on the results however it can be interesting to explore and establish…

I like to use 16 PERSONALITIES The Myers Briggs test consists of 16 possible personality types, and even lists the career you’re suited for based on your type. It is free. It is informative. And results will give you options to do a little deep dive further, if you so wish to.

Fun fact: The 16 personality types were created by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, developers of the MBTI® assessment. Myers and Briggs created their personality typology to help people discover their own strengths and gain a better understanding of how people are different.

Dribbble - 16-personalities-meyers-brigg-characters.jpg by Quinn Zeda ✈ |  Personality psychology, Personality types, Mbti

If you are manager of a team or even just work as part of a close collaborative workforce – this will be a great team exercise – as you will be able to understand all your different personality types, how you all like to work and what strengths are in the team.

So how will all this, help you to overcome the career slump?

Doing the exercises above, is a great place to establish who are, how you feel and what you value.

Perhaps you have uncovered that you actually really love your job, the company culture and actually you just need something more challenging. So the action here, well is simple – schedule a 1:1 with your manager and let them know. If this is the case, make sure you go to your boss with an idea of what you could do and how you would approach it.

Maybe you figured out, you are feeling undervalued. You work so hard but there is no recognition. My question to you is, WHAT DOES RECOGNITION MEAN TO YOU? It isn’t always money or time off – it could be a simple ‘well done.’ Once you have figured out the meaning to you, speak with your manager … Now, if you don’t get it from them – it is worth thinking where else you can get it from.

After completing the exercises, you have a ‘OMG’ moment. You realise, oh goodness, you are not in the right job/career/company…

If it is career/job – before you jump ship make sure you explore your options. Is there an opportunity for you to do a different role in your current organisation? Is there someone who can reach out to? How about someone in HR? A different team? A different manager?

If it is everything and the company… and you are not too sure on which direction to go or you might have an idea but not sure how to take it forward – then career coaching is a great option.

And you’re in luck! Because I am a Career & Mindset Coach.

The aim of Career Coaching is to help you understand what you want, the skills you need and how you can develop. As your career coach, I will support you in making these initial step as well as:

  • I will look and focus on the current situation and create action goals to help you move forward.
  • I will assess where you are and encourage and challenge you.
  • Together, we will define outcomes, results and accomplishments.
  • I will never tell you what to do, but will support you through decision making, and give you the time and space to talk about how you’re feelings and establishing your goals.

If you would like to find out more, you can visits the CAREER COACHING page and/or send me an email: coaching@lucygrimwade.com

From SLUMP to SLAY. I hope you have gained some inspiration from this post and found your own way forward.