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Stress in a Time of Urgency

Posted By Leslie Mizerak, Thursday, September 7, 2017


I am writing this blog post in the midst of hurricane prep in Orlando (Hurricane Irma).  As an executive coach, I have been checking in with my clients to support them with their strategies around communication, safety, and business response - before, during, and after the storm. 


The thing that has surprised me most as the storm nears is the need for support around stress levels. And it’s not as much about my clients’ stress, but instead how they can best support the people around them.


How does this matter to you HR professionals?  It matters a great deal because during times of urgency (like a storm, M&A, re-organization, etc…) stress levels elevate and you are often asked to support the needs of others.


There are a few things you can do to support others needs

  1.  Listen actively to understand what people are saying (helps you to answer the correct question)
  2.  Don’t do tasks for them, give them the tools to do it themselves 
  3. Instead of answering the question, ask them to answer it for themselves
  4.  Help them prioritize their requests or needs


What can you do to take care of yourself during times of high stress?

  1. “Teach others to Fish” (see 2&3 above)
  2. Say “No” when appropriate (prioritize for yourself)
  3. Take a few minutes now and again to breathe deeply, fully take in the air, let it fill your lungs and exhale slowly - do this a few times
  4. Walk or move around, don’t just sit at your computer; do some stretches
  5. Write things down that you want to remember; at times of high stress we tend to forget things
  6. Take care of yourself - if you don’t, you’ll never be able to do 1-4 above!

Be safe in the storm (be it a hurricane or just a busy season at work)


Leslie Mizerak

Communications Director – GOSHRM

Executive Coach - Mizerak Executive Coaching


Tags:  HR  Leadership  Listen  Storm 

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