JJ's (March 2014) Tips in this issue:
1. Dealing With Stressful Change
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
A reader wrote; "I'm having a hard time at my new job! Maybe you can help me out and give me some advice. I'm a naturally hyper person but I have to work hard at remaining calm because I learn better that way. I really need my new boss to be more patient so I can concentrate to learn the job. He also reminds me of my hard-to-deal-with former husband.”
Change in your job or at home is usually hard even when you think it is going to be positive for you. You don’t know the outcome! Your fear of the unknown kicks in to cause you more stress.
Learning a new job is always stressful to some extent and made even more so when the person teaching you how to do the job reminds you of someone you have disliked in the past. (If you are interested in a technique to prevent your reacting negatively to this new person, E-mail me and I will send it you. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Start by having a private talk with him and tell him that your tendency is to be hyper but you need to be calm when trying to learn something new. He may need to slow down, talk less or stop doing something that makes you feel hyper when he’s instructing you. Remind him of what you are trying to accomplish together so you can realign your values and intentions—and start over again.
There is a strong possibility that you have been causing him stress too. Clear the air and talk about what would work better for you and ask him what he suggests you do that would help him.
If he has a tendency to be hyper too you could be a great team when you finally learn the process and what is expected of you.
If your personalities are quite different, you must learn to flex to the other’s personality. This is especially helpful when either of you gets overly stressed. An example: A Driver fast-paced person who wants to “cut to the chase” finds himself working with an Analytical detailed-oriented person. There will be conflict in working fast versus slow. Each needs to flex to the other. One needs to slow down and the other needs to speed up to work together. A compromise is needed. If neither will flex to the other it will be a standoff! If only one is willing to flex, there will surely be resentment down the road. If both will flex you'll likely have a good working relationship.
There are four main personality styles, and writers have given many names for them. A good book to learn about them and how to flex to others is The Platinum Rule by Dr. Tony Alessandra. This is what he says on his website about the book:
We have all heard of the Golden Rule-and many people aspire to live by it. The Golden Rule is not a panacea. Think about it: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule implies the basic assumption that other people would like to be treated the way that you would like to be treated.
The alternative to the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule:
"Treat others the way they want to be treated." Ah hah! What a difference. The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others. The focus of relationships shifts from "this is what I want, so I'll give everyone the same thing" to "let me first understand what they want and then I'll give it to them.”
Back to the situation question: Be assertive but respectful with excellent listening skills. Learn his values and the culture he has established. Make notes in a book so nothing escapes you. Go over those notes and reference back to them when you have forgotten what he said the first time. It makes you learn quicker and retain more information. It also shows your enthusiasm, attention to details and desire to learn quickly.
This is a process I have used on every new job I have undertaken since I was fifteen years old. It was started because I “didn’t want to look like a dumb kid" asking questions over and over. I called it my “bible” for the new job, and it worked until I didn’t need it any more. It took a lot of stress out of the learning process for me.
How do you de-stress when you are not working to learn the new process?
Throughout the day find ways to have a change of pace and new scenery even if it’s only for five or ten minutes. A good walk outside in the sunshine can do wonders. And remember to surround yourself with people who make you feel comfortable and make you laugh.
When you have down time, go to funny movies. Watch television shows that makes you feel good, and exercise to loosen the tension.
Massages also release tension and help to keep more serious health problems caused by stress from developing. Also engage your family and friends in supporting you during this time.
"We all create the person we become by our choices as we go through life. In a real sense, by the time we are adults, we are the sum total of the choices we have made."
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JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales,
and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human
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