On the Job

Times of Team Stress

Prepping last minute details for a big conference. Launching a new product. Gearing up for your annual sale. Anytime we take a detour from business as usual, we put ourselves in a stressful situation and one of two things seems to happen: we band together in our foxhole or, desperate to save ourselves, we turn on each other.

Much of this is human nature and we can’t help ourselves. It’s rooted in our adrenaline to either fight or take flight in times of stress. And since we can’t typically take flight from our jobs during these stressful times, we’re left with the option of fighting. Fighting isn’t always bad, especially if you can band together against a common enemy – fatigue, mediocrity or unanticipated problems. You can also fight for something together – your highest number of sales, fewest onsite issues or even just making it to the closing bell. Any team member from a successful fight will tell you how much they bonded with their teammates as a result of the battle. You have war stories to tell together, common experiences and inside jokes you had to be there to get.

So when you find yourself in the middle of a stressful team situation and you notice people frustrated with each other, getting shorter with their responses or complaining more, see what you can do to shift the fight and band together.

And for the record, baked goods are always a highly recommended battle tool. Or chocolate. 😉

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