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Identifying the right tools is crucial for enabling peak performance in any role. Clearly defined goals and benchmarks allow individuals to track progress and measure success. Self-discipline and effective time management keep employees focused on priority tasks without procrastination, whereas proper equipment and technology tailored to specific jobs also maximize efficiency and productivity. Thus, with the right objectives, habits, and solutions in place, organizations and employees alike can reach their full potential. In her book Meaningful Success, Bettina Gallego explores the keys to living a meaningful and successful life, both personally and professionally. One of the critical ingredients she identifies is effectively managing stress and working well in teams. When we can harness these skills, we are able to thrive and achieve our full potential. Let’s take a closer look at some strategies for mastering stress and collaboration.

Managing Stress

Stress is an inevitable part of life, especially in high-pressure work environments. While a little stress can motivate us, too much can become overwhelming and counterproductive. Some keys to keeping stress under control include:

Practice Mindfulness

Being present through mindful breathing, meditation, yoga or martial arts exercises help deactivate the body’s stress response. Even taking a few minutes to be still and focus on your breath can make a difference. Apps like Calm and Headspace provide great guided mindfulness practices.

Prioritize Self-Care

Make sure to pay attention to your basic needs – get enough sleep, eat nourishing foods, exercise regularly, and carve out time for relaxation. Simple self-care habits go a long way in managing stress. Designate time in your schedule for wellness.

Set Boundaries

Don’t overcommit yourself. Learn to say no and be realistic about what you can achieve. Clearly communicate your limitations to managers and colleagues. To learn how to delegate and train your team is also important. Protect your personal time.

Reframe Thoughts

How we think about stressors determines how we respond. Try to reframe stressful situations in a more positive light. Look for opportunities to learn and grow. Focus on what you can control. Positive thinking can be trained.

Identify Triggers

Notice when you feel most overwhelmed and what tends to trigger your stress response. Is it certain people, tasks, or times of the day? Seeing patterns helps you anticipate and better manage stressors.

Fostering Effective Teams

In today’s workplace, much of our success hinges on how well we collaborate with others. Teams that communicate positively and work cohesively together outperform groups of individuals. Some tips for being a good team player include:

  • Cultivate Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, enables us to be aware of our own emotions and read those of others. Having empathy and relating well with colleagues makes for better teamwork. There are interesting tools to identify the best ways to construct a leading high performing team such as the CliftonStrenghts assessment and understanding Enneagram types.

  • Give Constructive Feedback

Offer regular positive feedback to reinforce behaviors that contribute to the team. Frame useful and valuable criticism constructively, focusing on the issue rather than the person. Showing our own vulnerability inspires others to share genuinely their concerns.

  • Listen Actively

When others speak, put aside distractions and make an effort to fully understand what they are saying. Reflect back on key points to show you are engaged. Authentic relationships with true communication pay off and take us forward.

  • Share Recognition

Make sure to acknowledge team members who do great work. Recognize their contributions publicly and recommend them for opportunities—generosity of spirit fosters cooperation. Incentives and enthusiasm are key.

  • Collaborate on Goals

Focus on bringing into line individual goals to support collective objectives. Develop a common vision for direction, a shared mission for motivation, based on values for an integral path, and defined metrics for achieving success. If there is alignment, success will be a consequence to be celebrated as group wins.

We can thrive in our work by managing stress effectively and relating well to those around us. While there are many other factors that contribute to success, mastering these two essential skills provides a critical foundation. Bettina Gallego underscores in Meaningful Success that taking care of ourselves and working together harmoniously allows us to live fuller, more meaningful lives and do our best work.

Grab your copy of Meaningful Success today!

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