Imagine the perfect workday:  Everything goes smoothly, you reach your goals and everyone is very content with what comes out of it. Your clients are just amazed by what you’re doing and there is no complaints at all.  

But that’s not how it is really, right?  You get so stressed out because you never reach your goals and there is always someone who hasn’t done their homework, someone who hasn’t done their deal and you feel you’re just struggling with people who don’t care about what they’re supposed to do.

They don’t reach their deadlines and when they don’t get their deadlines, you don’t get your deadlines. And you are the one that is responsible for it, it’s kind of your fault.  Or at least that’s the feeling you get.  

And the clients, your clients, the company’s clients when they start complaining they complain to you.  When you try to say that it’s not your fault because there is someone else who hasn’t done their work  you feel bad and you try to make it not so much of a big deal and you feel guilty because you are complaining.

Inside you’re getting more and more stressed out it doesn’t really feel like a good work ethic. You are in a vicious circle.  

You have tried to talk to people, you try to talk to your own boss, to your board and with no luck.  It’s like you are becoming the pain in the neck and you are the complainer and you are always the one that says the wrong thing.  But deep down you know you are always delivering what you’re supposed to do.

It’s not your fault but you are the one to blame.  

I have seen this scenario in so many of my clients and also in the health care clinic where I get to meet people with stress related disease. It’s actually very, very common that you feel that you are stressed out because of other people not doing what they’re supposed to do.

That’s what I’ve been learning and what I see in this is that there is miscommunication. That’s the big, big, big thing in this area just like for my client Sara; she was a middle manager and she was about to quit her job. She thought how could she be doing her job when other people didn’t do what they were supposed to do? She was feeling so dissatisfied with her life, not only with her work but it kind of spilled over into her personal life.  She came to me and we discussed and we set up a plan for her doing three things.

Deep down she didn’t want to quit her job, she actually really loved it, but she couldn’t go on being the one that was the pain in the neck or the one that was seen as the one that was not doing her job.

So we decided these three things for her:

  1. Firstly she arranged a meeting with her own boss, with her leader and with someone from the Human Resources department (or equivalent depending on how big a company you are in).

In this meeting you will need to talk about the problem. You’ll have to go deeply and you have to talk the truth and say your real feelings. You’ll also need to have them listen.  

When you have discussed things over with them then you’ll kind of know what the possibilities are

  1. The next step is that you yourself make a plan for what YOU want.

It’s not about what has been, because what has been before is in the past and now we’re talking about the future. Plus you cannot change what has been before but you can definitely change the future, and so that’s what you do.

You find your ideal situation and remember we’re still just in the planning stage.  

  1. Then you have a new meeting and at that meeting you have to put all your staff there, all the ones that are dependant on you or that you are depending on, including human resources if possible or if needed depending on the situation. At this meeting you describe your plan and discuss with the rest of the gang.  

It’s important for everyone in this meeting to have the same end goal, because if you don’t have the same goal you’re not going to be able to work together aiming for it, instead you’ll be pulled in opposite directions.  

If possible it would be a great idea, I mean it really is a great idea to attend, and hold, workshops around communication. At these workshops you learn what your communication style is, you understand how you communicate and why you do it and also you can see why other people are communicating the way they are, and the differences and where the problems are and where the solutions are.  

So that’s a great thing to do to have a workshop around communication.  It can solve a lot because then you get a language that you all use, that same language that helps the communication between your team immensely.  

This is what Sara did. After the 3 steps above she arranged a workshop for her staff and they had a ball getting to know themselves better, getting to know each other better and learning a communal color language which helped them to do great teamwork.

As you may have guessed, Sara did not quit her job. She was so thankful for the help she got and is as happy with her job as can be.

So to summarize: When you are getting off track and you don’t know what to do try the three steps:

  1. Talk to your boss together with human resources if possible.  Go deep on what do you want?

Where are you? What’s the problem?

  1. And then the next step you work out your own ideal plan and like I said it’s not the final plan but it’s where you want to be.
  2. Take the whole work group and discuss with everyone that is in your group and the ones that you are dependent on and see that you have the same goals. See that you aim for the same things and see how you can set it up so that it suits everybody.  

It’s might never be perfect but it has to be good enough for most of you.  Remember – have the same endgoal!


If you liked what you’ve read and you want more de-stress tips then visit Dr Annika´s website where you can get a lot more free tips for: how to de-stress being a busy leader.

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To your success and keep smiling!