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Be All You Can Be: Managing Work/Life Stress

Be All You Can Be: Managing Work/Life Stress

I had an amazing experience while conducting a workshop entitled, Managing Work/Life Stress, for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The participants were eager to learn, reflect and share experiences.

That last part about sharing experiences rocketed this workshop to the moon and back.

The USACE’s Human Capital Strategy calls for: “A cadre of leaders who are self-aware, adaptive, and agile; who set challenging expectations while achieving results even when faced with adversity.” Managing work/life stress is integral to the mission.

Stress is a given, but how you deal with it is a choice. The workshop agenda topics included:

1)  The positive side of stress

2)  Tips & tactics for the overwhelmed

3)  4 steps to make your Work/Life ROCK

The active participation of the group – amplified the learning for all of us.  Here’s a sampling:

• One man told us how he watches for signs to know he’s falling into the negative side of stress. His voice gets high and his breathing gets fast. He turns that around by mentally stepping back, taking a breath and talking in a low, calm voice focusing positive energy towards the situation.

• A supervisor who joined us for lunch gave a tip on how he handles it when his brain won’t quit cycling through a problem. He “calls it in” literally calling his own office phone and leaving himself a message. That frees his mind to refresh, which is critical to creativity and productivity.

• As part of the 4 steps to make your Work/Life ROCK, we practiced the technique known as Mastermind. Each participant got a turn to get ideas from the group on weekly actions that would move them to the outcomes they are looking for in their work & life roles.

I realize that the Army slogan of “Be All You Can Be” has come and gone, but I was privileged to experience it with the Corps of Engineers and walk away inspired.


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