Steps to Management Success – Step 92: Use the Release Valve as Needed

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 8th, 2010


Use the Release Valve as Needed

If you’re not at least a little bit frustrated by the slings and arrows of the daily grind, you’re probably not working hard enough, too burned out to care, or are already emotionally intelligent enough to have made this rule part of your standard operating procedure. Everybody else—read on.

WHAT IT MEANS: Sometimes they are small, and sometimes they seem as huge and heavy as the world itself, but frustrating things happens. Deals fall through. You’re passed over for that promotion you thought you had nailed. Your assistant made the wrong decision without taking the time to ask you. Your boss chewed you out in public. Sometimes you can attempt to defuse the source of your frustration by confronting the individual or reevaluating the situation (maybe Joan in Accounting really isn’t out to get you). Sometimes, though, you just have to suck it up and take your emotional bruises home—but you owe it to yourself, your professional demeanor, and to others not to be a seething volcano of resentment. It’s almost impossible to make cool, level-headed decisions when you’re seeing red.

ACTION PLAN: Be aware of what’s eating you—and don’t let it eat you! Identify the problem. Decide whether it is feasible or worthwhile to deal with it, and how to do so in the most constructive way possible. Remember to choose your battles wisely—a jerk of a boss or colleague is not likely to change his or her ways simply because you decide to confront him or her. It’s not that you should never take the chance—just realize that your results may vary.

EVEN BETTER: Strive to keep your frustrations to a manageable level by not getting all bent out of shape at every perceived slight. Accept that a certain amount of work-related frustration is par for the real world. Try to adopt a more long-range perspective: chances are that what’s bugging you today won’t be renting space in your head a few weeks or months down the road. Everything passes—including your foul moods.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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