3 Tips to Manage Your Workplace Frustration
Things get really messy when humans are involved.
Parents and pastors know this well, but there’s another group of people who are acutely aware of how much humans can mess things up: project managers.
I should know. I’m one of them.
This doesn’t mean I hate the people I work with. In fact, I really like them — both my clients and my coworkers. But because of the tight-knit relationships we form and the passion we bring to our work, things can get tense. Especially when something goes wrong.
So how does a good project manager get past their frustration without yelling complaints at the first person who will listen?
I’ll tell you a secret: we don’t always. But halfway through that tirade, you realize it’s not helping. Venting isn’t positive.
Here’s what good project managers should actually do when annoying things stall their workday.
1. Write It Down
Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and write down exactly the issue at hand.
Maybe you’ll realize the issue you want to complain about isn’t actually a huge problem, and you’re overreacting a tad. Maybe you’ll see a solution that you couldn’t when you were letting your emotions run wild.
Or maybe you’re still pissed off.
Either way, writing down the problem will help you collect your thoughts and prepare you for step two of successfully handling those irritations: finding a solution.
2. Find a Solution
In our office, you don’t present someone with a problem unless you can propose at least one solution. It’s a lesson passed down from our wise CEO, Sarah Carnes, who has a low tolerance for complaining.
This problem-solving mindset helps our team minimize the impact of our frustration.
So instead, we look for solutions. It takes a lot of training to flip your brain from the easy complaints to the hard work of finding an answer, but it’s a much better option in the long run. It means we don’t keep circling back to the same problems over and over (and over and over . . . ).
This doesn’t mean Sarah invalidates our feelings — we’re still allowed to be upset. But we also know that spinning our wheels isn’t going to make any changes or fix the problem.
3. Celebrate the Wins
You’ve got to balance the bad with the good.
During times of major frustration, I often remind myself these are the days that truly matter — otherwise, I wouldn’t know how good I have it during the easier times.
At 9 Clouds, we remember to celebrate our wins as a counterbalance to the less positive times. We discuss wins during our weekly team meeting, and we have a Slack channel devoted to sharing wins and learning.
This balance is what gives you the power to complain (effectively) when something really irritating does happen.
Empower Your Team
Here at 9 Clouds, we’re successful because of our hardworking, problem-solving team.
Learn more about the people who make this awesome digital marketing happen, and learn how to help your own employees grow by reading our free resources.