How it Affects Employees to Take Your Stress Out On Them

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When you are an executive, relying on others for your job performance is tough. Though you’ve laid out a clear plan, you may find your employees slow-moving or unmotivated, causing you frustration and concern. You follow up with them time and time again to get a simple task or project completed.

But, have you ever stopped to consider that you may actually be the problem? When you confront a team member in a contentious manner, he or she is immediately put on the defensive. This triggers a biological response that releases stress chemicals, blocking their thinking ability, problem solving skills, and creativity.

Your Stress Plays a Part
When you react poorly toward your employees, it’s often a result of your own stress. Most executives face demands dealing with millions or even billions of dollars. Their decisions affect the business, their livelihood, and the livelihood of their stockholders and employees.

When you’re stressed, your body initially reacts in a “fight or flight” mentality. Your natural response is to regain a sense of order and exert authority on those around you. Though not an excuse, it’s easy to see why an executive may lash out at employees or subordinates.

How to Fix It
You can see why an executive or boss may respond the way he or she does, but it doesn’t make it right, nor is it productive. To change your attitude and actions while addressing your employees in a way that motivates rather than scares, here are a few simple solutions:
Listen and Change
One way to change your behavior and discover what your employees need is by fostering an environment that welcomes feedback. Allow your employees to talk to you and share their concerns, while you intently listen and brainstorm ways to change. Start with implementing one small behavior change at a time, rather than addressing all issues at once.
Think Before You Speak
Being in an executive position, employees will interpret not only every word, but every facial expression. When providing feedback or instruction, make sure that you provide clear instructions or understanding. If you value one item or area over another, make that known, even going as far as implementing a number scale, if necessary.
Provide Clear Goals
Lastly, lay out clear expectations of what you want to see accomplished. Don’t bombard your employees with the entire big picture or multiple action items. Break it down for your employees, setting priorities, and allowing them to accomplishing one task before introducing another.

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