Easing Workplace Tension

Jul 11 2019

Building Brave Expert Susan Mikulay

Susan Mikulay

Muscle tension in our bodies often results from stress and a lack of movement. Getting moving, loosing up, and exercising regularly help ease that tension. Building Brave Expert Susan Mikulay believes the same holds true for workplace tension.


Communication eases tension

Tension at work arises due to poor (or even worse, no) communication. This holds true for both internal and external communications. Clients can’t hear from their consultants enough. When they don’t, they begin to disengage and tension can develop. Internally, superiors have multitudes of opportunities to communicate with their team members. All too often, managers get caught up in their own responsibilities and tasks, and leave the team to fend for themselves. 

Communication is critical to success, and lack of communication leads to tension. As happens with our muscles and bodies, tension can wreak havoc on an organization. It can take months if not years for a full recovery. 

Become tension-free in the workplace

TALK. Your job is to talk to your team members– who’ve entrusted their career to you–and get to know everything about them. Ask about their families, their hobbies, and their interests. Just like your clients, people want to feel valued and appreciated.

WALK. Move around the office and be visible. Open your office door. Nobody likes a supervisor they never see or hear from.

NO NEWS = BAD NEWS. No news does not mean good news! People make up rumors all the time. The less bosses talk, the faster the rumor mill. This is particularly true when change looms on the horizon. If you’re facing a merger, layoffs, or any type of organizational change, be upfront and regularly communicate with team members. Even if all you can say is listen I don’t have much news on xyz, but here’s what I do know, it will be incredibly meaningful. In the absence of communications, tensions rise.

CELEBRATE SUCCESSES. Recognize your team members with a personal note when they get honored for civic or charitable work. People want to work with people who care about who they are and what they do, both inside and outside the company.

Become tension-free with clients

TALK. Call clients frequently between visits, not just when you have news. Simply say hello and check-in. Let them know you care.

WALK. Get in front of your clients! Attend board meetings, company picnics (when invited), host 360 degree satisfaction evaluations– do whatever it takes to become part of the fabric of their organization.

STAY IN TOUCH. Keep your client involved. Never underestimate their interest in staying abreast of your activities on their behalf.

NO SURPRISES. Stay ahead of trouble. Get on a plane and meet with your client immediately if you sense an issue on the horizon. NEVER let a problem linger!

When all else fails, treat others the way you would want to be treated and you should do just fine.

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About the Author

Meghan Wollack


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