Are you in a love / hate relationship with work?
Do you love what you do for a living but hate the emotional exhaustion of stressful social interactions? Unfortunately, this is a common problem, and miscommunication is often to blame. Just as positive self-talk plays an important role in managing stress, constructive workplace communication and standing up for yourself is vital to creating and maintaining positive energy in an environment where all employees can thrive. Read on for 3 communication tips to reduce social stress in the workplace:
1) Agree to disagree.
You can’t make everyone happy, and others can’t always make you happy. It’s not humanly possible. So don’t be shocked when a colleague adamantly disagrees with you or criticizes your work. And don’t be surprised to find yourself disagreeing with others, no matter how hard you try to be open-minded. It’s okay. Just be sure to stand up for yourself and disagree respectfully, making it clear that you’re critiquing the idea, not the person. And respond calmly when others object to your ideas, even if they’re not as professional about it. We can’t control the actions of others, but we can control our own.
2) Give positive feedback.
When called upon to evaluate a team member’s progress, focus on their strengths to encourage improvement. This doesn’t mean excluding weaknesses altogether from the discussion; rather, you would point out a strength (like creativity) and exemplify how they could use it to improve their performance in other areas (a goal of sharing more ideas at meetings, for example). Why give strength-based feedback? When weaknesses are the focus of the conversation, people tend to become defensive, blocking true reflection and goal-setting, the very reasons for performance evaluations. Instead, express a weakness as an opportunity for improvement by using supporting strengths and positive energy to help the weaknesses become an opportunity for improvement.
3) Clean up toxic talk.
Most of us have been drawn in by the allure of office gossip at least once. It often becomes a workplace ritual, an opportunity to bond with coworkers. But whenever we spread rumors or make negative comments about others when they’re not around to set the story straight or defend themselves, the atmosphere is poisoned with mistrust and disrespect. How can you become closer to your colleagues without participating in gossip? Focus your discussions on shared interests, values, and goals. And if others choose to gossip, remember you’re free to take a stand and change the subject or exit the conversation.
For personalized help with handling stressful workplace situations, see what a professional coach can do for you!
Schedule a session now!