Friday 1 December 2023
A study by Cy Wakeman, drama researcher and leadership consultant, says: “Unfortunately, traditional leadership tools and approaches that are taught and used in many workplaces are fueling rather than defusing this drama. But the role of a leader should be to eliminate emotional waste by teaching good mental processes.”
Prioritising mental wellbeing in the workplace involves creating a culture that avoids drama and fosters positive relationships. Building a supportive work environment is a collective responsibility that requires effective communication, conflict resolution, empathy, emotional intelligence and mindfulness. By implementing these strategies, and all pulling in the same direction, employees can enjoy a drama-free work environment.
1. Create a positive work culture - One of the most effective ways to avoid drama at work is by fostering a positive work culture. Employers and managers should lead by example, promoting open and transparent communication, respect and empathy among colleagues. Encouraging a collaborative and supportive work environment cultivates a sense of camaraderie, reducing any conflict and drama.
2. Effective communication - Miscommunication or lack of communication can often lead to misunderstandings and tensions among employees, resulting in workplace drama. It’s vital to focus on improving communication skills within the workplace. This can be achieved by encouraging active listening, providing constructive feedback and promoting transparent and honest communication. The more open and clear the communication, the lesser the chances of drama arising from misinterpretations or unresolved conflicts.
3. Conflict resolution - Conflicts are bound to arise in any workplace, but how they are handled determines whether they escalate into drama or are resolved amicably. Implementing effective conflict resolution strategies can help avoid unnecessary drama. Encouraging employees to address conflicts directly, openly and respectfully promotes healthy dialogue and understanding. Mediation or seeking assistance from managers can also be helpful in resolving conflicts before they escalate.
4. Encourage empathy and emotional intelligence - Empathy and emotional intelligence are essential qualities that can help prevent drama at work. Encouraging employees to understand and empathise with their colleagues' perspectives fosters an environment of mutual respect and compassion. Promoting emotional intelligence, including self-awareness and self-regulation, helps individuals manage their emotions effectively, reducing the likelihood of dramatic reactions to challenging situations.
5. Set boundaries - Preventing drama requires setting and respecting clear boundaries in the workplace. Guiding employees on appropriate behaviour, ensuring confidentiality and discouraging gossip can create a safe and drama-free environment. Establishing policies and protocols regarding acceptable conduct at work helps set expectations and prevents potential drama triggers.
6. Encourage team building activities - Team building activities are an effective way to strengthen relationships among colleagues and reduce potential workplace drama. Engaging in activities that promote collaboration, trust and respect can help create a cohesive and supportive team. When individuals feel a sense of belonging and connection within their team, they are less likely to engage in gossip and backbiting.
7. Practise mindfulness - Another powerful strategy for avoiding workplace drama is practising mindfulness. Encouraging employees to engage in mindfulness exercises, such as meditation, deep breathing or simply taking short breaks, can help manage stress and improve focus. By cultivating a state of present-moment awareness, individuals can better navigate challenging situations and respond rationally rather than impulsively.
Tuesday 21 November 2023
In a poll undertaken by Monster, it was found that some workers…
- feared they would lose their new job due to being underqualified
- had moments of regretting starting their new job
- felt imposter syndrome
Acknowledge your feelings
First and foremost, it’s important to recognise and acknowledge your feelings and emotions when you begin a new role. As well as adjusting to new routines and tasks, you’ll also find yourself among new work colleagues, and this alone can be daunting for some. Understand that it is normal to feel unsure or overwhelmed while navigating new challenges. Acknowledging these emotions allows you to address them head-on and seek methods of alleviating them.
Set realistic expectations
Often, the feeling of being lost stems from unrealistic expectations that we place upon ourselves. It is essential to set realistic expectations and give yourself time to adapt and learn. Remember, adjustment periods are necessary, and it is okay to make mistakes and seek guidance.
Ask for support
One of the most valuable resources for starting a new job is seeking support from colleagues and supervisors. Don't hesitate to reach out and ask questions. Establishing connections and networking within your workplace will not only help you understand your job better but also make you feel more comfortable. Remember, everyone was once in a similar position, and people are generally willing to lend a helping hand.
Seek a mentor
Having a mentor can help you navigate the intricacies of your new job by offering advice and sharing their own experiences. Finding someone experienced in your field who can guide you through challenges and provide valuable insights can be immensely beneficial.
Embrace continuous learning
Learning doesn't stop once you've landed a new job. Embrace a growth mindset and actively seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills. Attend workshops, seminars or enrol in training sessions offered by your company. By continuously learning and improving, you will gain confidence and feel more equipped to handle job-related challenges.
Develop a routine
Creating a routine for yourself in a new job can bring a sense of stability and familiarity. Establish a structured approach by organising your tasks, setting goals and prioritising your workload. A consistent routine will help you feel more in control and relieve any feelings of anxiety or fear.
Take breaks and practice self-care
Amidst the challenges of a new job, it’s important not to neglect selfcare. Taking regular breaks and engaging in activities that promote relaxation and self-rejuvenation can positively impact your mental wellbeing. Engage in hobbies, exercise regularly, practise mindfulness or simply spend time with loved ones. A rejuvenated mind will enable you to tackle professional challenges with more clarity and resilience.
Celebrate small achievements
It’s important to recognise and celebrate even the smallest accomplishments in your new job. Acknowledging your progress and achievements boosts confidence and provides validation for your efforts. Embrace small victories, whether it be successfully completing a task, receiving positive feedback or even overcoming a minor challenge. These achievements will fuel your motivation and help you to remain positive and focused.
Thursday 2 November 2023
In a recent study, Science Direct refers to Curry et al who states that “The idea that, for example, ‘random acts of kindness' can boost the wellbeing not only of the recipient, but also the actor, and could thereby provide a simple, effective, inexpensive and widely-available means of addressing social problems ranging from social isolation to more serious mental and physical health conditions, has been taken up and promoted by a large number of research groups, charities and government organizations”.
Positive effects of acts of kindness
1. Enhanced employee engagementActs of kindness in the workplace encourage employee engagement. When employees feel valued and cared for, they are more likely to be motivated, committed and productive. Simple acts such as expressing gratitude, providing support or offering a helping hand can create a positive atmosphere where employees feel valued and acknowledged. This engagement leads to improved job satisfaction and a sense of purpose within the workplace.
2. Reduced workplace stressWorkplace stress is a significant concern that can negatively impact employee wellbeing and productivity. Incorporating acts of kindness can help alleviate this stress by providing a supportive and empathetic environment. Small gestures such as listening attentively to coworkers, offering encouragement during challenging times, or recognising achievements can make a significant difference in reducing workplace stress levels. By promoting a compassionate workplace, organisations can strive towards reducing burnout and supporting the mental wellbeing of their employees.
3. Positive workplace relationshipsKindness cultivates positive relationships among colleagues, leading to improved teamwork and collaboration. Acts of kindness can foster a sense of camaraderie, empathy and trust within the workplace. When individuals feel respected and appreciated, it creates an environment where ideas can freely flow, conflicts can be resolved amicably, and goals can be achieved effectively. This positive workplace culture strengthens relationships and enhances job satisfaction for employees.
4. Mental and emotional wellbeingActs of kindness have well-documented effects on mental and emotional wellbeing. In the workplace, these acts can have a similar positive impact. Small gestures of kindness, such as checking in on colleagues’ wellbeing or celebrating personal milestones, create a supportive environment. This can lead to improved mental health and reduced feelings of loneliness.
5. Improved employee retention and recruitmentCompanies that prioritise kindness are more likely to attract and retain staff. Prospective employees are increasingly looking for workplaces that foster positive work cultures. A reputation for a kind and supportive work environment can give businesses a competitive edge and increase their attractiveness to potential employees. Also, existing employees who feel supported and appreciated are more likely to stay loyal to the organisation, reducing turnover rates and associated costs.
Wednesday 20 September 2023
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Those who enjoy themselves inhale more oxygen, generate more endorphins, enhance blood circulation in the brain, and think more creatively. Moreover, individuals with clear and open minds can challenge conventions and gain new experiences…fun in the workplace promotes pleasant emotions and increases intrinsic motivation, which boosts the workplace’s creative climate and employees’ creative behaviors”.
By using several strategies and activities that can inject excitement and enjoyment into our work life, we can enjoy a more balanced, healthy and fulfilling career.
Discover your passionsOne of the keys to infusing fun into your work life is identifying your passions and aligning them with your professional path. Reflect on what interests you, what excites you and what energises you. By incorporating your passions into your work, you'll find greater purpose and a sense of fulfilment, making it easier to experience joy on a daily basis.
Cultivate positive relationshipsPositive relationships play a crucial role in creating a fun and enjoyable work environment. Foster connections with your colleagues, seeking opportunities to collaborate and celebrate achievements together. Engage in open communication, support each other and promote a friendly atmosphere. Remember, laughter and camaraderie have a significant impact on reducing stress levels and increasing overall wellbeing.
Break the monotonyMonotonous routines can drain the joy out of work and leave you feeling unfulfilled. Injecting variety and creativity into your daily tasks can reinvigorate your motivation and bring about a much-needed sense of fun. Look for opportunities to take on diverse projects, explore new skills or suggest innovative ideas. Additionally, try incorporating short breaks throughout the day to engage in enjoyable activities or stretch your legs. These small changes can make a big difference by breaking the monotony and infusing a sense of play into your work.
Make tasks funTurn your work into a game by incorporating elements of competition and reward. Set personal goals, keep track of your progress and celebrate achievements. Also, create challenges or friendly competitions with colleagues to boost engagement and enthusiasm. By making tasks more interactive and enjoyable, you’ll be motivated to approach your work with renewed energy and vigour.
Embrace humourLaughter is an excellent way to bring fun to any environment, including the workplace. Don't be afraid to share a funny story or engage in light-hearted conversations with your colleagues. Embracing humour helps alleviate stress, fosters a positive atmosphere and creates lasting memories. Just remember to maintain professionalism and be mindful of your audience.
Engage in mindfulnessIncorporating mindfulness practices into your work routine can enhance your overall wellbeing. Take short breaks to practise deep breathing or engage in quick meditation exercises. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, increase focus and improve overall job satisfaction. By pausing and being present, you can maintain a positive mindset and infuse your work with a sense of calm and enjoyment.
Tuesday 12 September 2023
What you must remember is that although the decisions can be painful and you might be experiencing feelings of guilt, they can shape your future and your mental wellbeing. If we are hesitant for too long and it begins to affect our mental health, it can make it even more difficult to make a decision.
Types of difficult choicesYou’ve probably experienced at least one of the following:
- Accepting extra work when you’re already under a lot of pressure
- Asking your manager or colleagues for help
- How to best manage the company’s budget
- Applying for a promotion
It’s often easier to avoid making these types of choices but this can prolong the negative effects on our mental health, causing even more anxiety, stress and sometimes depression.
Ways to make difficult choices easier
- First, before you make any choices, you need to take time to consider your situation and the possible outcomes. This will help you to gain clarity and be prepared for any changes that will occur. Don’t rush into anything but also don’t take too long or you might never make the choice.
- Gather as much information as you can so that you can make an informed decision. If you don’t have all the information you need, ask the relevant person the questions you’d like answering.
- Consider all the options. Not all choices are black and white and there might be different routes you can take that you hadn’t thought about. You could even ask a close friend or family member for their thoughts as it can be good to get a different perspective.
- Don’t put it off for too long because the longer you leave it, the greater the fear becomes and that can leave you feeling emotionally and mentally paralysed.
- If you have got to a point where you really are struggling to make an informed decision, simply trust your instinct. More often than not, if something feels wrong, then it usually is.
- Don’t make your decision based on fear as this can turn out worse in the long run. When you make choices out of fear, you have lost control of the situation, and this can later result in feelings of regret, resentment or anger.
- Be kind to yourself. When faced with difficult decisions that are affecting your mental wellbeing, take time out to take care of yourself. This could be going for a long walk in the countryside to clear your mind, spending time with friends or playing a sport that you love. A study by Walden University found that “when anxiety is not managed, the body shifts to a negative stress—or toxic stress—state, which has the opposite effect. There is a decrease in blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which promotes lower cognitive functioning and sends the brain into a chaotic state. In this state, the brain is unable to access the information it needs to make logical decisions.”
When we are faced with difficult choices that are challenging, overwhelming or stressful, after careful consideration, try to make your decisions based on what feels right to you.
Monday 31 July 2023
While the idea of ongoing persistence and dedication might overwhelm some people, remember that the effort you put into something makes the end result even more rewarding as it becomes of greater value.
Why is persistence important?Rarely do our jobs take very little effort, and if they do it’s likely our work life will begin to feel unrewarding and unsatisfying. When we don’t have something to aim for or obstacles to overcome, we can become demotivated and unfulfilled. These kinds of feelings can cause us to lose our self-esteem and self-worth, making our lives feel less meaningful and over time this can impact our mental health. If we give up on a task at the first sign of difficulty, it can make us feel as though we’re not good enough or scared to attempt anything else in the future for fear of failure.
When we understand the importance of persistence, having goals at work can be exciting and motivating, making our role much more rewarding. Overcoming obstacles and challenges also allows us to grow and evolve, which has a positive effect on our mental wellbeing and can reduce anxiety and depression. In a study published by Psychology Today, it found that “People who refuse to give up on achieving specific goals and approach challenges with a positive outlook are at lower risk of clinical depression…generalized anxiety disorder… and panic disorder”.
Ways to be more persistentSet yourself clear goals and understand why you want to achieve them so that you have a reason to be persistent. By knowing what you want to gain, you’ll become more resilient and determined to overcome any obstacles in your way.
Remain humble and accept that you might not always know the best way to achieve your goal. By listening to constructive feedback and learning from mistakes (which you will most likely make many times along the way), you accept that it’s all part of the process in getting to where you want to be.
Don’t be afraid of challenges because throughout history they have been a major part of many successful journeys. Imagine if Einstein had given up at the first hurdle!
Don't be afraid to change your plan. Try to be aware when something isn’t working and rather than continuing on a certain path just because that’s how you envisioned it, look at other options and try something new. Much of being persistent is about being flexible and knowing when to change your approach.
Once you have mastered the art of persistence, you’ll reap not only the material rewards, but you’ll have improved your mental health along the way.
Tuesday 25 July 2023
What is impatience?Before you can master the art of patience, it’s important to understand impatience and the effects it can have on our mental and physical wellbeing. When we feel impatient, we tend to become easily agitated and irritated, and this can stir negative reactions such as:
If you find yourself becoming impatient regularly, these reactions can play havoc with your physical and mental wellbeing and over time they’ll not only affect your mood, but they can increase your levels of adrenaline and cortisol, making you more prone to heart disease, poor sleep and high blood pressure. In a study undertaken by associate professor of psychology at Baylor university, Sarah Schnitker found that people who are often impatient are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, she goes on to say “Research shows that people who are more patient have higher wellbeing — more life satisfaction, hope, self-esteem, positive emotions in general. They seem to be able to pursue their goals with greater effort and have more satisfaction with their goal progress.”
How to become more patient?To become more successful at work and to avoid the effects of the stresses that being impatience causes, you can learn to be more patient with a few simple exercises.
Breathe. When we feel impatient our breathing becomes shallower so by taking slow, deep breaths, we can start to relax a little and be more in control of our emotions, meaning we’re less likely to react irrationally.
Put things into perspective. Impatience can really blow things out of all proportion as we become more agitated and even angry in some instances. When we consider the importance of the situation, we often find that what we’re feeling stressed about is minor in the grand scheme of things. Also, remember that some things are simply out of our control and being impatient has no positive benefits and will only cause unnecessary stress.
Make use of the waiting time. We’ve all experienced the infuriating hold music when we’re trying to get through to a company on the phone but rather than sit there becoming increasingly irate, make use of your time and do something productive while waiting for the call to be answered.
Find a distraction. If you find yourself waiting around for someone else to complete a task or you’re waiting for your computer to update, do something that will take your mind off the situation. Maybe take an early lunch, go for a walk or catch up with a work colleague.
Pay attention to your body. Certain factors such as tiredness, hunger or dehydration can all play a part in making us feel less patient so to maintain an optimum mood, make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night, eat healthily and drink plenty of water throughout the day.