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The Gut Punch

Updated: Jul 25

Something was off.


Normally bubbly, talkative, and upbeat, Tina sat quietly through most of the meeting. She paid attention, but didn't seem totally engaged. When the meeting was over I asked to talk with her.


"Am I in trouble?" she asked. Another clue that not all was right with the eternal optimist.


"Of course not," I answered. "What's wrong?"


That's when the tears started.


Leadership Stress

It was a very busy time at the office. We were all working long hours, running as fast as we could. But something different was happening with Tina. This wasn't just fatigue. After a few minutes of talking Tina opened up.


"I'm just not sure I'm any good at this job."


To be honest, I almost laughed. She was amazing at her job. Dealing with the public, communicating in creative ways, stirring up interest, getting people excited about what we did, she was great.


Luckily I held in the humor long enough to ask why she felt the way she did. Turns out in the middle of all the pressure and busyness she'd had some negative input from a potential client. That was all it took. She felt it personally and it started her spiraling.


We all handle stress differently. And we each have triggers that can send us over the edge. Tina's happened to be personal criticism. Normally she would have just handled it, but because she was already tired and emotionally overloaded it felt like a gut punch.


Eighty percent of US workers say they experience significant stress on the job. Eighty-seven percent say the last few years have been a constant stream of crises. Leading your team through stress is your new reality. Unfortunately, they don't teach you how to do it in business school.


Do you know your stress triggers? How about the stress triggers that make your team members vulnerable? Do they even know what they are?


If you'd like some help leading through stress, we have an upcoming one-hour workshop called Thrive that's a great place to start. Click here for more information.




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