Why are we stressed at work?
Look around and you cannot escape the signs of work related stress on folks around you. Everyone wants to be at work and yet this work is not where many are happy.
The peer pressure of growing up and living in mechanized societies makes us do things that may or may not resonate with our natural talents. Furthermore, the university system keeps producing newer graduates who are then succumbing to practice in the trade of what they've graduated from.
One can see this problem right through its roots. Recently I got asked a thought provoking question: What was the purpose for you to become a Parent?
We as parents too are guilty of creating routines for our children and want them to be molded in a die-cast of our aspirations and unfulfilled dreams.
While a child may be interested in sketching and painting – can you relate in this position, when a loving parent appreciated the creative output but immediately motivated you to make up on your math skills? In every instance, you can find this happening…this happened with you and this is being inflicted upon your children as well.
We are a product of the society that we are brought up to live in. In that sense, for many of us their individualities have been changed into a skillset that the society needs. You are not an individual in the pure sense of being an individuality at all…rather you become trapped in the guise of another vocation that is needed for the functioning of the society.
There is no freedom in this context as you set out to do what you have been taught to do. In this sense, your life is likely predetermined by the needs of the society. Once freedom goes away, the dreadful Routine sets in. Subsequently many get caught in this routine and then this causes frustration and misery which destroys any chance for us to live a meaningful existence. Workplace stress then continues to be inflicted upon workers as they go about from one paycheck to the another, from one target to the next.
So, is it safe to say that our life is determined by this society in which we were born and bred? Or do you have the freedom to completely reinvent your new self?
I came across a Leader (let’s call him Harry) who was introduced into leadership coaching by his India based organization. Harry had been promoted to leadership by virtue of being a long timer in the company and delivering individual results. The company now wanted him to develop behaviors in certain areas, that would make him deliver on the promise of the role.
While Harry went about the motions of the coaching process, the results he targeted did not come through. There were several questions in the coachee ’s mind “What I wanted to know was not how I scored on the results, rather why I behaved the way I did and why other stakeholders perceived me differently that my own impression of mine”
At this stage, a Neurometric assessment was necessitated wherein the tool provides information on why the person thinks and behaves the way he does. This is a tool that measures the dominance of certain behaviors that emanate from using the right and left halves of the brain. This is like: If I am a right-handed person, my right arm will be stronger than the left.
The result indicated sufficiently the person had dominant tendencies on the spontaneity factor and less of Reasoning tendency. This delayed achievement on his leadership behavioral goal; the key aspect being - to strengthen his ability on building partnerships at work. Naturally Harry was frustrated and stressed.
Just because one has a conditioned mind and old routines, does not mean that you cannot be successful in achieving mastery with the other part of the brain. This only conveys that for Harry - it will take courage, humility and discipline to work on his chosen goal - as it is not his habitual preference.
It’s well known that “It’s lonely at the top”. Everybody needs Help. It’s Ok to seek help.
For Harry it was stressful, to understand and be understood in his new role by his peers and sponsors. Having a Coach to analyze through his work situation and future goals, helped Harry to embark on a process that clarified his motivations on certain routines and helped him evaluate his commitment to the new goal.
This is Freedom to establish a new you. At this stage, everything else is an excuse and you can decide to tread on your own new self-determined path – a path that no one tread before you and no one would do the same after you.
Back to that interesting question - What was the purpose for you to become a Parent?