Monday, December 8, 2008

Smell the Roses!

December is always a stressful time for employees and managers alike and this year, it’s even more so because of uncertainty over the economy.

So last night as I was driving home, I listened with great interest to a radio interview with Dr. Michael Spevack. He is an assistant professor at McGill who works in the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic which provides treatment for anxiety disorders, depression and stress related disorders. Dr. Spevack’s research has found there’re four simple ways you can reduce stress in your life.

According to the good doctor you can immediately reduce stress by consciously doing the following:

1. Walking slower
2. Eating slower
3. Driving slower
4. Talking slower

Makes sense to me! This is something managers can practice daily which will surely filter down to employees. Just like when managers begin practicing recognition, the mood in the office often shifts. Thank you’s can become happily contagious! And if managers begin to show a calmer side, I bet this’ll lead to happier and more engaged employees!

Unfortunately, I increased my wife Francine’s stress levels because I arrived home later than usual as I’d immediately slowed down my driving. And then she was none too pleased as I lingered over my dinner. I was trying to eat slower… but she thought I didn’t like her cooking.

All was put right when I explained Dr. Spevack’s recommendations.

Francine agreed that they made a lot of sense to her as well except for the fourth one. She said I talk too much and if I slowed down I’d be going on all the time and life would be unbearable for her and many others!

Seriously, Dr. Spevack got it right… we should all slow down and smell the roses!