Management Coaching Blog

Manager Tip of the Week:  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

March 3, 2016

Do you let the little things get to you?  If you pass someone in the office and they don’t say hello, does it bother you?  If someone asks you to repeat yourself because they weren’t listening – do you get frustrated?  I’ve had clients who admit things like this bother them all day.  These same managers seem to experience a lot of stress and dissatisfaction.

Unfortunately, when you experience this type of stress continually, a bad stress hormone is released into your bloodstream.  Over time, it can weaken your immune system and affect memory and learning.  The good news is – there are actions we can take to reduce the smaller stressors in our life, particularly in the workplace.


Looking at the stressor in a different lens.  Maybe the person who did not say good morning to you was preoccupied with a personal or work related project.  It’s possible they thought they already greeted you that morning.  Is there another plausible explanation that does not have anything to do with you?

Focus on solving the problem. Rather than spending your energy determining who is to blame for the stressor or letting it get the best of you, focus your attention on what you and others can do to eliminate the stressor from happening again in the future.           

Speak positively. When speaking with the person who causes you stress, take a deep breath and speak with a positive tone.  Just the act of speaking positively has been proven to calm both ourselves and others down.

Use imagery.  Think about where you want to be in 10 years.  What are you are at and what are you doing? This will produce a positive emotion and help calm your nerves. It will also help you focus on the bigger picture and realize the smaller things are simply leading you there.

Plan for the stress in your life.  Tell yourself that today you can expect to be stressed by your staff at least 3 times and keep a count of when it happens.  Expecting the stress to happen and knowing it is a part of the job helps us remain objective and solution-focused instead of stressed and overwhelmed.   Know what you will do when you do get stressed.  Will you take deep breaths?  How many?  Will you take a walk outside?  How far?  Plan ahead!

To learn more stress reducing techniques, contact Manager Coach, Tom Figiel, at or 312-914-1341 for a FREE consultation today!

> > Article originally appeared on the Tandem HR website < <

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply