Leading Staff through Holiday Stress

Leading Staff through Holiday Stress

The holidays are a busy time and can be truly challenging, both personally and professionally. Often when we are stressed, going in too many directions, overwhelmed, or dealing with organizational changes, our EQ takes a real nosedive; regardless of our rank or position (CEO’s to the front lines)!  If, during stressful times, we take a few minutes to take a deep breath and think things through before we speak, we move from reactive mode to proactive mode and avoid being “inhumane”, which always turns out to be counter-productive. 

Recognizing Humanity in Organizations

All organizations are “living organisms” filled with human beings.  A colleague of mine, Sandi Cardillo, has a beautiful saying:  “Make change more human for the humans.”  Regardless of the type of change — loss of staff, shuffling the organizational chart, financial reorganization, company growth, etc. — the goal should be to “make the change more human for the humans”.

As leaders, our goal is to get things done through others. As leaders, it is our job to set the compass for all our team members to grow and to bring their own capabilities (strengths) to the organization. As leaders, we create the environment for them to succeed by getting them in the right seat of the bus and then trusting they have the capability to thrive in that position.  We make sure they have the tools to succeed, by coaching, mentoring and developing them to higher levels of success and capability.

Leaders must always remember the human side of the organization and check in with their hearts as well as their minds.  Communication is a key to creating clarity and understanding with our teamWe don’t know what is going on inside someone, unless we ask; remember to check in with your team members, heart to heart. That one touch point just may change a person’s attitude for that day!  Especially during stressful times, team members want to hear from the leaders in the organization that they are doing a great job!  “Most team members are starved for positive feedback.” – The 5 Languages of Appreciation by Gary Chapman.

Avoiding Holiday Stress and Drama

In my heart and mind, the goal for the holidays is to avoid drama and backlash at all costs!  Drama and backlash always end up taking more time to “clean up” than the reactive response was ever worth.  This takes practice, takes Self Awareness and Social Awareness. As organizational leaders, we can help smooth our team’s path through the stressful holidays.

Please find time for yourself and others this busy holiday season, look for ways to positively support your team members, and keep your responses – responsible! Create a “Humane” week!

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