It’s easy to get a little overwhelmed these days with the news, the coronavirus, the unknowns, and the economic concerns. There is not always an easy path forward when our bodies, spirits, communities and workplaces are under stress. The question for all of us is ,”how do we stay steady during times of upheaval? “ Where do we have control when it feels so much is out of our control?
There is much being written about anxiety, stress and our physical reactions to the myriad of external forces. One way to approach this is to consider where you can grab control when you feel you are winding out of control, worrying, and exhibiting stress behaviors with coworkers, friends and family.
One coping strategy is understanding how our strengths show up under stress. Once we can manage our strengths with a clear strategy, we have created some level of control. Below are some examples of how to center four specific strengths from a place of control.
Input: People with this strength like to gather. I find most people with input like to gather information and the Internet is a gold mind. When this strength gets a little “out of control” it can spend hours gathering information, the latest details, and become blind to time passing. One way to take control of this strength is set a timer and a time limit. Appreciate the strength and use it to its best potential by giving Input 30-45 minutes, twice a day. Then ask that strength to take a break and turn to another strength while it’s resting up for the next round of input. Input will be more efficient and more in control with time management.
Harmony– Friends with this strength are hard wired for noticing when things are in balance and out of balance. They are masterful at putting relationships, systems, and connections into balance. However, when “harmony gets “out of control” it will notice a system out of balance and at times will retreat, go silent, and even become disengaged. But wait, we need harmony’s balance right now! A way to “gain control “with this strength is to identify one small area where a little balance can be restored. Perhaps a routine was dropped and you could try to find one small step to move back to that routine to claim control. Learn to leverage the power and edge of harmony by focusing on one small area to restore balance. Step into the disharmony and create harmony for you and others.
Deliberative– Deliberative colleagues are amazing at risk management. They can anticipate challenges and problems. Deliberatives look for solutions that are thorough and thoughtful. When this strength gets “out of control” it will see a mountain of problems and notice underlying problems. They see problems with roots and the roots go deep. A way to take charge of deliberative is to look at the roots and name the top 3 most important roots to monitor. Pay close attention to those challenges and problems and let some of the other problems rest. Use the Deliberative strength for identifying small steps to solve the top three challenges. Solve the challenges that are most accessible and you will feel like you are gaining control.
Strategic– Colleagues and friends who have this strength will be incredibly talented at looking for pathways to solve a complex problem. In the current landscape, strategic people can quickly feel “out of control” because they see the layers of complexity in the problems. To “take control” of this strength it’s best to set a hard, clear goal. Ask yourself, what would success look like today? Then brainstorm the pathways to get to that success, compare and contrast your options and then pick a pathway forward. Then, go grab your “in control” Deliberative, Harmony and Input friends and go get that success! Enjoy a win together, you’ll all feel like you are more in control.
“Taking control” is hard when it feels like so many things are out of our control. However, if we can focus our inner strengths and wisdom, we might just be able to claim some daily control. Spend time with people who are seeking to keep their strengths in control, together you can navigate the internal and external challenges.
Want to learn more about your strengths and how to keep them “in control”? Consider a March, 2020 complimentary 30 minutes session.