A disconnect between what we know and what we feel.
The disconnect fuels growth but this comes at a significant cost to individuals and organizations when not supported. We all have coping mechanisms when we look how to reduce stress at work.
This tension is uncomfortable, resulting in reactive behaviour and negative emotions.
We restore equilibrium in the belief – knowledge gap.
As in nature, we naturally look to restore equilibrium. This is where we feel comfortable and where we are able to operate with efficiency. The challenge is presented in the manner we restore equilibrium – both within our own self and within our organizations. This is where power and politics come into play. This is where status quo meets disruption. This is where constructive conflict is crowded out by toxic stress. The following describes four ways to reduce stress at work by restoring equilibrium:
Discount new knowledge:
Have you ever learned exciting new information and been so excited to share with colleagues, only to be met with blank stares and the conversation returns to the same habitual loop? If new knowledge does not fit within our framework of attitudes and beliefs, we do not have the ability to readily process it. We return the conversation to the things that really matter … based on our current beliefs and attitudes. We hear the words that ‘our beliefs blind us’ but we are not able to easily see the issue.
Adjust new knowledge to fit within current beliefs:
Have you ever learned exciting new information and shared it with your team, only to later hear it played back as something totally different but remarkably similar to the existing groupthink? We often reframe information to make sense of it, based on our beliefs and attitudes. In positions of power, we rationalize behaviour that we know to be inappropriate because we believe that we are exempt from the rules that apply to others.
Introduce new experiences to adjust beliefs:
CEO’s spend time in the field for a reason. Hearing the passion in the voice of a frontline worker when expressing solutions or distress is very different than hearing the same words in a meeting room expressed by their boss. Team building exercises often feel a little quirky, especially when workloads are high and time is in short supply. However, experiential learning provides the ‘ah-ha!’ moments that connect us. We can gain knowledge from classrooms and books but intuitive wisdom comes from experiences.
Neutralize the energy in our beliefs and attitudes:
Have you ever had someone make a comment that triggered a reaction, resulting in a rant in the coffee room or a group bitch session? ‘They should know better …’. ‘They should respect us more …’. ‘They should try doing this *$%# work themselves …’ Our beliefs and attitudes are energetic structures, based on sensory perceptions (images, sounds, etc) which we are able to locate in our personal space. The belief may not be wrong but the pent up energy derails the situation. Perhaps they should know better but our reactions do not always create a great environment to find the solution. As we neutralize the energy in our triggers, we are able to reduce tension in order to expand perspectives, to have more productive conversations and to create space for success.
You can learn how to reduce stress at work.
The Logosynthesis® method to guided change is a fast and effective approach to neutralizing the energy bound in our beliefs and attitudes. The result is that we are no longer triggered when new information conflicts with our programming, which lies below our awareness. Coaches, counsellors and therapists can support clients to apply the technique, thereby reducing stress and other reactive behaviours. The method can be taught for self-coaching as an ongoing personal development tool.
Based on a long corporate career, I can say with confidence that I wish I had learned this technique earlier however this contributes to my passion for sharing the work. The results can be subtle as issues fall away. The work is transformational and the possibilities are fascinating, especially during times of intense change. The Logosynthesis® method is without doubt, my preferred method to reduce stress at work.