The Powerful Tweak to Ensure that Teams Work Efficiently through Stress

3 women with confused expressions in a meeting

We are all working with different people with their own unique personalities.  But to navigate in diversity is a skill that every promising leader should develop. It requires one to communicate and innovate. This can promote an environment with mutual trust and respect. Being able to create that would make your decision making much easier. Especially, when it involves interconnected systems in the company operations.

It is also inevitable in a workplace to feel stressful sometimes (depending on your workplace) and this creates a hindrance in making success in collaborations and impede team growth. 

Exploring how to work in different ways is one of the most recommended approaches during stressful times. This will allow development of the right team dynamics. It is a process and it’s not a one stop solution if this is a problem in the organization or company. There are certain action steps to apply immediately. But making a team work through stress is more of a journey rather than a one time thing.

Create a Culture Together

A team or the company should find or create a culture that will shape future projects and collaborations in times of stress, if there is none yet. As the leader, you’ll need to set the values, behavior and guidelines for everybody to work together along that direction. Especially when things get rough.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while you start a culture in your workplace:

  1. Culture is the manifestation of leadership. You have to understand your role and the need to have a culture in an organization. Encourage your team on what to do and what not to do based on the principles that the company will follow. This means that while you influence your team on these things you also instill to them what matters most. In the long run, as you continue, you will see this imprinted in their work ethics. Read more about organizational culture here.
  2. Be consistent. The key to a successful setting of a culture is practice. You and your team need to constantly observe the guidelines that you’ve set in the workplace. It will ease the shift from being passive to engaging.
  3. Communicate the culture. This is important in starting and developing a culture. Your team needs open exchange of feedback, suggestions and affirmation to make your culture happen. Make it a habit to either verbalize or show that there are subtle changes happening.

Establish your Leadership Style

Every leader has their own unique ways to deal with stress in the workplace. It can also reflect on how they manage their team. The team can also pick up on the way their leader responds to the stress and they will either adapt it or develop their own. It’s a cascade.

Adversity will filter out your qualities as a leader. If you and your team are in great stress, consider this as an opportunity to get to know yourself better as a leader and how you can improve yourself if needed. Once you have determined your weak points and strengths, make sure that you will follow up on it. Improve your weak points and develop your strengths.
If you still need to assess yourself, try these simple assessments.

  1. SWOT Analysis. Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats. Make a list of what are these things for your company and for yourself. From this you can plan on what to do about it and address pressing issues in the company.
  2. Know your MBTI personality. This will give you an overview of your general self.

Foster equality in the workplace

There are cases that some members in the team could gain more favor from most or from the leader. It can be from their charismatic personality or they can deliver results very well. This is when inequality starts in the workplace and it could cause the “cold” stress within.

If this happens, remember one thing – we are all unique but we are also the same in our uniqueness. 

Design an environment that includes everyone in your team. Not only that everyone is represented but also they can be comfortable in airing out their ideas, suggestions and feedback.

Here are some tips to encourage equality in your workplace.

  1. Be on the same side. Assess yourself if there are biases in your leadership or from your other members as well. If there is any, learn how to manage them. Learn more about inclusivity here.
  2. Communicate fairness. It is important to be mindful of how your verbal and non-verbal cues look like in a third person perspective. Some interactions might seem normal to you but to some it is already a given favor. 
  3. Be proactive. Make a conscious choice to follow the rules. As a leader, you should set an example and start the change from yourself. 

When stressful situations arise, always make the most out of it. Your responses towards pressure can dictate on how your team could follow through and create a better workplace.

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