When my intention doesn't match my actions, that causes me stress. Sometimes it's self inflicted, and sometimes it comes from someone else who seems to be saying two conflicting things. When you feel like you can't win or you're in a double-bind, it's frustrating and stressful.
Why do some organizations seem to be designed to frustrate employees? Why is there such a disconnect between what we intend and what we actually do? If we can reconcile these mismatches, we could bring our stress way, way down.
Here are some things that have worked for me.
- Care a lot, and don't care at all
I take pride in my work; I'm driven to do the best I can on any given day; I care.
I'm willing to get fired or quit if I have to give up my principles; I don't care.
I care about the work, but I don't care about my job security. This way, I am never in a position where I have to do something against my will. I'm rarely in conflict and I'm not stressed.
- Shine a light on the Incongruence
When your boss asks you to do something that goes against company strategy, what do you do? Or when you see that 2 leaders have set conflicting direction, what do you do? Do you go gossip in the break room about how stupid this is and then do it anyway to keep your job? Or do you raise the disconnect and shine a light on it?
If you care a lot and don't care at all, you will go above your boss and raise the issue.
- Remember your personal principles
I've met some of the prickliest people at work, and then when I chat with them one on one, I find out they are religious or spiritual people. I wonder if they checked those principles at the door when they got to work. I truly believe that they are doing it as a matter of survival. Is that other team really all jerks? Probably not. It's stressful to believe one thing and act a different way.
This is what works for me. What works for you?