Fast Company: 10 ways leaders can turn a lousy work day around - Michelle Gibbings

Your working day will have ups and downs, obstacles, challenges, and good and bad days. It’s up to you to find the best way through it. Thanks to Fast Company for the opportunity for Michelle to share her 10 ways leaders can turn their day around.

Bad days. Frustrating days. Days when it all goes pear-shaped. All leaders have them, and what distinguishes influential leaders from the rest is their ability to navigate their way through. In a constantly changing world, which throws up obstacles and challenges, being ready to withstand stress, manage roadblocks, and bounce back is critical.

Resilient people have a way of recognizing what provoked the bad day, reframing what it means, and adapting to their circumstances. Taking this approach doesn’t mean you ignore how you feel. It’s about how you respond to it. Your strategy determines whether you make the day worse or better for you and your team.

Do you let it overwhelm you and consume your thoughts and actions? Do you ruminate and let yourself spiral into the bad day funk, making the day worse for everyone around you, or do you find a way around it or through it? If you want to elevate your approach, you can deploy ten deliberate strategies to reframe, refocus and regain your joy at work.

Take the time to stop, breathe, reflect, and then respond to the event that caused the stress rather than immediately reacting. In this approach, you acknowledge and accept the emotion, whether it’s feeling stressed, hurt, annoyed, or something else. You label the emotion, pause, and breathe to give yourself time to process and respond wisely.

Investigate what has happened through multiple lenses and consider if your perspective is skewing towards the negative. There may be alternative reasons why something has happened, so consider if you need more understanding or information.

When facing an unpleasant situation, identify the potential options to address and what decisions you can and can’t make. Having a choice helps you feel more in control of your day and can help to shift you towards a more positive mindset.

There is much in each person’s day that they cannot control. However, often that is where they direct their energy and efforts. This approach is fruitless. Instead, identify what you can influence and control and accept what you can’t control. Then, deliberately direct your attention towards the elements you can influence and control.

As tribal creatures, humans feel good when they do things nice for the people around them.

Helping others can make you realize the positive forces in your life. So, consider how you can help someone at work today.

Leaders with purpose, who know why they do what they do, are happier and more resilient.

When you are clear on what matters to you, your goals, and where you are heading in life, it’s easier to find the strength to keep moving forward during the hard times.

When something goes wrong at work, there are always opportunities to learn. So rather than view the situation as a failure, recognize that it was an opportunity to experiment, learn, and grow. As part of this, remember you are not a failure. Instead, it’s just that you weren’t successful on this occasion.

Sharing your thoughts, talking to friends and family and being open about your feelings are healthy ways to respond. Humans are wired for connection, so you will feel better when you reach out and connect.

Expressing gratitude is scientifically proven to help you feel happier and aids your resilience and bounce-forward mindset. Even on tough days, take the time to think about what you are grateful for in your professional and personal life.

Numbing activities like drinking, binge eating or other unhealthy practices won’t shift how you feel. However, meditating, exercising, eating well, self-care activities and laughing will help you out of your bad-day funk.

Your working day will have ups and downs, obstacles, challenges, and good and bad days. It’s up to you to find the best way through it.

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