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Creativity and Impact in spite of Stress

Does this sound familiar:

In a stack of meetings, urgent calls and projects it seems impossible to keep up with your to do list. Especially for those of us who like to solve problems and build bridges, it is often a great frustration to once again have to worry about the color of the bridge piers. Such days need ... yes exactly ... humour and a coffee cup.

Admittedly, that sounds a bit unconventional. But it's proven by studies and even worth considering from a strategic management point of view:

Relaxation brings creative solutions

Brain research has proven in numerous studies[1] that relaxation brings creative solutions. Instead of investing even more of your valuable time in details, you better take a break and consciously invest in your creativity and - more importantly - do something good for yourself.

Be a serene, achievable superior

When was your last break? Get up and treat yourself to a walk in nature or, if this is not possible, use the break as an investment in your leadership success and practice "leadership by walking around".

You can not only show your presence, you can also strengthen your team in a very targeted way. For example, stop by at those employees who rarely push themselves to the fore. Do you spontaneously think of employees with whom you have not talked personally for a long time? Ideally, those with whom you would like to have a conversation. This has a positive effect on your composure.

Be interested - not interesting

If possible, go by without a specific goal in mind. You don't want to solve a problem or address a specific topic. It is perfect if you simply listen to what they are saying, and ideally your talking time is much less than that of your counterpart. Be surprised by the benefits you will gain from the conversation. New insights? New trust? A concrete idea for a burning problem?

Support your employees in their self-efficacy.

If problems determine the conversation, apply the "Problem Monkey" concept: Visualize a possible problem as "Problem Monkey", i.e. a problem monkey sitting on the shoulder of the other person. Your goal is not to take the problem monkey into your office, but to give the owner tips on how to tackle or solve the problem.

Dooes he need additional information or networking with the right person? What advice could help? Or is knowledge, experience and network available and only an open ear is needed? This will increase the competence in your teams, relieve yourself and do what employees particularly value about superiors: You actively pass on your own knowledge and open network doors.

Do something to cheer you up

I am now courageous and tell you my personal insider tip for days that are a really big challenge or after conversations that had little positive content: I visit the quiet place and when I am sure that the room is empty, I practice creative grimaces in front of the mirror until I cannot otherwise but laugh at my own picture.

Here, too, studies[2] prove that even forced laughter or smiles noticeably lift the mood. Some people already feel the effect of raising their eyebrows in order to noticeably change their mood.

This gives you more of the day - and you achieve more

Fact is: You have your current position because you have proven that you achieve goals and move things.

You know how to get projects and plans under control. How to lead teams. And if the deadline tetris doesn't work out at all, a night shift helps every now and then. So far so good.

But where is the fun, your inspiration and the sometimes necessary distance that allows a more comprehensive view of challenges?

Enrich your everyday life in the truest sense of the word and consciously plan breaks in your days, whether spontaneously or by means of an appointment calendar. Treat yourself to something more than a full coffee cup:

Marvel at how many new approaches a walk around the building can bring. How good a break of 5 minutes in the sun is. How much completely new information you get from the exercise "being interested instead of interesting".

And laugh - at full throats. No matter where.


[1] Article about findings from brain research "Pause makes productive" ; Spiegel magazine "Ich bin dann mal off"; Interview with Ernst Pöppel, brain researcher; Study of the New University of British Columbia on brain activity during daydreams.

2] 3-sat article "Laughter is healthy, now science knows too" ; Guidance for more laughter in everyday life by; "Laugther is the best medicine"; Study of the University of Maryland "Laughter is the best medicine for your heart";

This blogpost is based on an article written by R. Spühler dated in April 2017.

Picture from Free-Photos on Pixabay

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