Easing the Pressure in a Stressed System
Over the past 26 months, we’ve witnessed organizations undergoing extraordinary shifts due to the pandemic and other national and global events. These big changes have been stressors for the people within them. This spring, we’re hearing about the toll of this stress on leaders. Inside of coaching conversations and team meetings, people are admitting that they are “spent.” Even where there is a will to lead with vision and energy, many are having trouble summoning the focus and volition needed. As one client put it this month, “I feel like I’ve been in a two year car crash!”
At Nebo, we’ve been thinking about how to help stressed people in stressed systems. We can think of a “stressed system” as a water balloon that’s been overfilled. It’s still holding together, but because of the excess liquid, it’s even more vulnerable to bursting. We notice this kind of just-under-the-surface vulnerability appearing in team and company gatherings as people start to return to in-person work. For better or worse, virtual work allowed back-to-back meetings and heightened productivity, fueled by a sense of crisis and uncertainty. After two years of this experience, Spring 2022 is the moment when we are realizing that we cannot “return to normal.” It’s time to establish new strategies that must allow for renewal and creativity, once again factoring in the time spent in transition and the realities of “hybrid workplaces.”
Stressed systems are susceptible to burn-out, lack of productivity, loss of talent and revenue, among other negative effects. How might a leader ease the pressure in a stressed system? Listen to Nebo CEO, Kate Ebner, share a story and offer some observations in this recording.