Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Take Ownership Of Your Own Stress in Kelowna BC

People everywhere are worrying about their savings, their careers and the future. So this is probably a good time to talk about taking control of your own stress levels. In last month’s LearningLink survey we asked how your employer could help reduce stress in the workplace and I’m pretty confident that most of you aren’t holding your breath on that being the solution. Indeed, most experts on the subject will tell you that the place to start on the road to recovery is to take ownership of your own stress.

But first we need to understand what constitutes stress. The environment or event that causes stress plays a small part but the main stress comes from your reaction to it! If it were the appalling economy that was causing stress, then everyone would be feeling the same amount of stress-but we’re not! Each person’s reaction to a situation is unique. Stress is an inevitable part of everyday life. It can be a positive beneficial force protecting us in times of danger or helping us adapt to change. It can motivate, stimulate us to greater achievement and make for creativity.

Stress only becomes a problem when there’s too much of it, too often, when it lasts too long and when we feel out of control and unable to cope. But mainly becomes problematic when we haven’t developed coping strategies. Stress now becomes debilitating-our physical, emotional and mental health suffers. Relationships with colleagues and loved ones may become casualties too.

We owe it to our friends, workmates, families and mostly to ourselves to firstly accept that it’s our individual emotional reaction to a stressful situation that will determine how we behave. Remember Shakespeare’s famous line “It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.”

So what’s to be done - we can’t eliminate it from our lives, nor run from it. The best solution is to develop your own coping strategies.

Here are some suggestions:
  • Recognize that you do have some personal control. You may not be able to control what happens in your workplace, or in the world at large, but you can control how you react.
  • Take care of your health. Eat well. Get a good night's sleep.
  • Exercise daily. This needn't mean joining a health club, just a commitment to walk around the block before bed.
  • Look for relaxation techniques that personally appeal to you. Meditate, for example, get regular massages. Take up a hobby. Practice Tai Ji or QiGong.
  • Don't allow your frustration to build. Find ways to let off steam. Seek out a counselor. Find a confidant who isn't judgmental. Keep a journal.
  • Take a little time for yourself every day, if only to sit in a warm bath or read a book unrelated to work. A walk in a forest or park or by a river or lake on the weekend can revitalize you.
  • Practice time management. Organize systems at work and home for greater efficiency. Determine the things that waste time during the day and try to eliminate them. Come up with polite yet decisive ways to excuse yourself when the talk becomes particularly gloomy, for example.
  • Ask for help. It's not to your employer's advantage to have workers under chronic stress. Ask about employee assistance programs, stress management or time management training. If some of your co-workers are feeling stressed, as well, form a united front and approach your manager or boss to discuss the issue.
Finally, the next time you observe that your breathing is shallower, you feel nervous or tense, you're a bit twitchy - whatever your stress symptoms are, you can take an immediate step to calmness - take three deep breaths, low and slow and think about nothing but your breathing. You can do this anywhere, anytime. It takes a couple of minutes and it works. Every time.
David Anderson
Okanagan Training Solutions - Priority Management Interior BC
250 762-5096 or 1-877-762-5096

Monday, April 27, 2009

Office Handbook - Blackberry Etiquette

I ran across this great article today on Blackberry Etiquette taht is done with a bit of hunour at the Priority Learning Link

David Anderson

By Ryan Underwood, Fast Company Magazine

Chapter 3(a):

BlackBerry Etiquette
It has come to management's attention that wireless email devices have begun to hinder employees' interpersonal communication skills. In the light of that, the following guidelines update Chapter 3 on email.

Conditions of use: It is generally acceptable for supervisors to send wireless emails while meeting with underlings - but not vice versa. Employees may not email at any engagement where the CEO is speaking; during off-site "trust exercises" that require colleagues to catch each other; and at "nonconfrontational" meetings with clients.

Mealtimes: During meals with colleagues, the use of wireless email devices is encouraged in the awkward lull between ordering and receiving food, and while awaiting the check. Employees generally should not, however, attempt to eat and email simultaneously.

Notification: In an effort to prevent workplace violence, the Company asks employees to silence devices at all times in the office.

Ergonomics: Many employees have taken to emailing, hunched over, with both hands, device nestled between the legs. The legal department has determined that this activity, though not technically harassment, could embarass fellow employees. Hence, the Company now requires devices to be used above the waist or on the knee. Three or more "zone" violations may result in harsh disciplinary action.

Addiction: Though wireless communication is not technically classified as an addiction, the Company has started a support group for employees who derive pleasure from being tethered to their email at all times. (Senior managers: This group is code named "Fast Track.")

If you or your organization relate to any of the above, you should click here to learn more about our new Working Sm@rt with BlackBerry program.