How to be relaxed even in a high stress job! Why self-help books are not the answer.

Emma (not her real name) spent Wednesday in responsive mode. Well, to tell the truth, she’d probably spent most of the week, if not the month in responsive mode. She’d plan out her work and priorities but then things would come up. New priorities would be given to her. Her direct reports would have some new crisis or other and before she knew it, she was back at the beck and call of the email and the people in the office, rushing from one meeting to the next, getting more and more things to do and having less and less time to do it.

It’s not that she was in denial. She knew that she was cutting things fine, taking work home to finish and not giving the right amount of attention to the strategic side of her role. She’d been on a time management course and she had a mentor. But, she couldn’t find the time to do the time management and the things her mentor suggested didn’t seem to work for her.

On Thursday Emma came into the office and people noticed the difference. She was walking more slowly, and she was taking things in. Although she wasn’t wasting time, she

seemed to have time to connect with people. She sat down at her desk and spent some time on one task that needed attention before going to her first meeting.

Soon it became apparent to her team that they weren’t going to be getting instant responses to their emails as she walked between meetings or at 10pm at night. She looked happier and more relaxed than most people could remember ever seeing her. The biggest shock came at 5pm when she…… went home, leaving her laptop behind.

So, what happened on Wednesday afternoon? Well, exactly what happened her colleagues may never know, but during her coaching session, she realised she could approach things differently and she found out what had prevented her doing that before. She didn’t get some tips and plans. It was more profound than that. She’d been locked into one way of approaching her work and during her coaching session her thinking was unlocked, freeing her up to think and act differently.

There are lots of self-help and leadership books out there but there’s not one that listens to you and helps you to think out loud and find your own solution.

I don’t want to suggest that all your troubles can be solved in an hour, but the unlocking process can definitely start, and once you start to free up your thinking, you will start to reap the benefits of clarity and confidence rather than overwhelm and confusion.

If you can see yourself in this story, get in touch and let’s talk about how you can re-discover your joy, confidence and clarity at work. Book in with me or drop me an email.


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