Stress at work is inevitable, regardless of how much you love your job. According to studies, workplace pressure is the leading cause of stress in Americans. How you handle yourself while under pressure or in bad situations speaks highly about your potential as a leader and your capability of being promoted. Whether it’s a last-minute deadline or a serious department issue, here are four situations and how to handle them.
It’s Friday evening, and you have plans for the weekend with your friends and family. Before you leave, you notice that you’ve received an email from your boss regarding an assignment that’s due first thing Monday morning.
What to Do
Instead of focusing on the negative and getting angry at your boss, spend that time thinking about what you can do to get to your weekend plans quickly. You can devise an action plan by outlining to your boss the benefits of giving them a completed assignment that isn’t rushed. If there isn’t any wiggle room, plan to block out specific times over the weekend where you can work on the task and utilize every spare moment.
Conflict with a Co-Worker
Consider the scenario where a co-worker is publically berating you for an offense, and you’re not just caught off guard, but you’re embarrassed and looking to defend yourself.
What to Do
Pay attention to all signs that you might be losing control during a heated conversation. If you notice they are happening, let your colleague know that you need to remove yourself from the situation, and keep it professional. Take the time you need to decompress and settle your emotions. Think about ways that you can approach the situation with them once they have calmed down and can discuss the issue in a civilized way.
In Charge of the Event from Hell
You’ve been selected to be in charge of your company’s annual public event that has a history of breakdowns with the organizers, not to mention diva personalities.
What to Do
Prepare for all situations in advance. Consider why the event causes people to break down, and then make changes to the aspects that you can control. It’s also a good idea to create action plans for the elements that you can’t control. Practice being calm and professional on the off chance that your plan starts to crumble at the event, and make sure that you remind yourself it isn’t life or death. Have backup plans, allow colleagues to assist you, and even introduce distractions that take the attention away from a forming issue.
Department Budget Cuts
You’ve been working hard on a project, but department budget cuts threaten the future of it. If you find yourself getting freaked out and even concerned about the consequences, it’s natural. However, there are ways to handle it.
What to Do
The first thing to do is to stop worrying, because you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen in the situation. You can image the worst-case scenario, which is your project getting canceled, and make an action plan. How can you turn the negative into a positive? You can think about ideas for a new initiative that contributes to your company’s bottom line. Until you know for sure that you’ve hit the worst-case scenario, don’t run around like a chicken with its head cut off; just relax.
It’s important to remember that you are the most significant influence on your attitude. The more you teach yourself how to spin negative scenarios into positive ones, the better off you are going to be. You can train yourself to be capable of handling anything that your work throws at you, as long as you approach it with the right mindset. Your ability to adjust quickly and calmly in otherwise bad situations is going to make you appear extremely valuable to your boss, and your organization.