With supply chain issues, open job requisitions, the polarization of politics, division of beliefs on masks/vaccines, and many people still wanting to work in a remote or hybrid capacity there has been an increase in stress levels in today’s workforce. This increase in stress has resulted in a decrease in motivation and an increase in people voluntarily resigning from their jobs.
Dale Carnegie, in his best-selling book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” examined best practices for developing what is referred to today as, “Psychological Resilience”. According to Wikipedia, “Psychological Resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis in order to return to pre-crisis status quickly… to remain calm during crises/chaos and to move on from the incident without long-term negative consequences.”
Dale Carnegie’s research in “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” uncovered 30 different principles that can help people develop more resilience. Dale Carnegie felt that resilience was a learned skill. And like any skill, the more you practice the better you become at it. Just like in sports some people are natural athletes that can pick up the sport easier, while others have to work a little more to develop their abilities. When it comes to Psychological Resilience, some people might be more naturally gifted in this area while others have to work at developing this skill.
The key is that organizations have to help employees develop Psychological Resilience in order to strengthen the fortitude of their people. Here are three of the Dale Carnegie principles that organizations can use to help employees adapt and overcome stress while reducing the long-term effects stress in the workplace may cause:
- Live in day-tight compartments. Dale Carnegie’s book described how life is like a voyage on a great ship and like a ship you must create “bulkheads.” These great iron doors allow the ship’s crew to lock off compartments that have been compromised with leaks and could cause the ship to sink. In life, we need to close the door of the past and put the past behind us to keep us from drowning in stress. For example, when I was doing a great deal of cold calling, I would get people that would yell and curse at me simply for calling them. I did not let these people destroy my attitude or prevent me from picking up the phone and making the next call, I simply closed that compartment off and moved on to the next call. This takes practice, but the more you do it, the less you obsess about the things that go wrong or are out of your control.
- How to Face Trouble:
- Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?”
- Prepare to accept the worst.
- Try to improve on the worst.
Everyone has had real trouble that they have had to face from time to time. For example, during the pandemic, my training business was forced to shut down. I believed the worst thing that could happen would be that I would lose the business and my house. My family and I would be forced to start over with nothing. After accepting that would be the worst thing that could happen, I was able to start improving on the worst. We quickly rolled out new webinars and virtual training programs to meet the needs of our clients. I was able to move from the emotional response side of the brain that caused worry and stress to the logical response side of the brain to be productive again.
- Basic Technique in Analyzing Worry – write out and answer the following questions:
- What is the problem?
- What are the causes of the problem?
- What are the possible solutions?
- What is the best possible solution?
These are only three of the thirty principles Dale Carnegie gives us in the “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” book. These principles can be downloaded in the App store on your smartphone (just look for Dale Carnegie Golden Book). The more you practice, the more Psychologically Resilient you will build. When you practice these principles, you will start to increase your ability to remain calm during stressful situations and recover faster from any mental stress they may cause. Your life will become more enjoyable as you focus on the positive and what is in your control and set aside your old worry habits.
Managers Matter: Employee Engagement for Increased Retention
September 14, 2022
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM