Project Portfolio Management

How to Deal with Strategic Project Stress

Stress always seems like just below the surface, as far as strategic projects are concerned. Susanne Madsen explores this subject in greater detail in her article in

Stress Can Be Deadly

Worrying can be deadly, especially when there is a large amount of work to be done, and when calls for help and support at the workplace are ignored. As such, we should pay heed to the warning signs. That aside, the employers and their subordinates should take joint responsibility for minimizing negative stress. To round things off, the employer must take steps to ensure that they don’t turn employees into self-sacrificing superheroes, while also steering clear of unrealistic deadlines. That said, the employees themselves must be able to push back when their limits are reached.

Asking for Help

Asking for help is perceived to be a sign of weakness for many strategic project managers. So much so, highly driven managers fail to notice stress creeping in on them when immersed in a project. In this state, their IQ levels and their problem-solving abilities dip, and so does their capacity to perform. Project managers can reduce these symptoms when they set themselves up correctly, and take the necessary precautions so as to keep negative stress at bay.

Show Vulnerability

Clear role descriptions, a common set of practices and mutually agreed ground rules will also help minimize tension. What’s more, there should be a culture wherein which employees can express how they feel, and also talk freely about their expectations of each other. Employers, project managers, and team members should jointly create this culture.

Personal Boundaries

Setting up individual boundaries can be extremely useful to combat negative stress. To this end, employees should be honest about the type of work-life balance they would like to enjoy. Self-introspection is necessary to find out how they are feeling in body, mind, and spirit as well. In addition, employees should speak to superiors or colleagues about how they feel, as this can alleviate tension. That aside, employees should take up hobbies and activities to relieve negative stress.

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