I need a little advice on dealing with stress. It seems every day is more stressful for me than the last. I run a concrete construction crew that is constantly pushed to the limit because of changing schedules. Plus, I never know which crew members will show up and, of course, I worry about the weather. With so many things stressing me out, I’m about to explode. Please help.
Dear Stressed-Out Sam,
Stress studies indicate feeling stressed increases the risk of heart disease by 40%, the risk of heart attack by 25%, and the risk of stroke by 50%. A great number of other symptoms are caused by stress as well. For the sake of your health, you are wise to seek ways to cope. Although deep down we are aware that stress is not good for us, many of us don’t do much about it. I encourage you to talk with your boss and get professional help as well. Meanwhile, follow these suggestions to help you through common stress-causing situations.
Accept that schedule changes can and will happen. Be open-minded, flexible, and positive about any change. Have fun with your crew identifying the silver linings in any changes you face. Remember, there is good in everything if you look for it.
Anticipate any “no shows” and have a Plan A and a Plan B for the day. Do plenty of cross-training to ensure all crew members can do various jobs on the site. Build solid relationships with them, and they won’t let you down. That’s how you can create a work environment they want to be part of for a long time.
With the aid of technology, meteorologists have become good at predicting the weather. That means being ready for changes has never been easier. You can’t control the weather, but you can control what you do about it. Simply respond to uncooperative weather by executing the plans you’ve made in preparation for this inevitability.
Make sure your deadlines are realistic. Set them collaboratively with the people involved in meeting those deadlines. When you’re having difficulty agreeing on a deadline, explain why that timeline isn’t realistic and what it would take to achieve it. You can do the same with unrealistic goals.
Determine your priorities and stick with them. You lose credibility and productivity if you set in motion priorities that constantly shift.
Become exceptional at delegation, empowerment, and allocation of your time in a way that produces optimal results. Always include time for yourself.
Don’t procrastinate. Make all your decisions fair and consistent—and make them for the right reasons. When making decisions, preparation and anticipation are good “wingmen” to have by your side.
Avoiding stress and reducing your stress levels are critical to your health and well-being. Therefore, be mindful of your diet, exercise, and sleep patterns while finding ways that allow you to be stress free. Because that’s difficult to do on your own, make sure you keep the topic visible. When you do, you’ll find many people willing to help.
About the Coach:
As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Register to receive his Leadership Tip of the Week at www.LeadersEdge360.com, or contact him directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, November 2021
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