As a regular business columnist I'm asked how to deal with issues that are raised within the workplace. Here's December's issue.
Question: “I dread December with email Christmas cards from suppliers and “special” networking events. How can I stop staff being distracted?” Raymond
Answer: “The short answer is you can’t but I’m more interested in why you would want to. Why you would want to deprive your staff of the bonhomie of others, of any perks, the “distractions” you mention, which might brighten their day and actually make them more productive?
The religious aspect of Christmas may not have any meaning for you or you might perceive it to be over-commercialisation and both are fair views. Are they sufficient reason though for your attitude?
You’re clearly under pressure but the reality is that by saying “Bah Humbug” to it all it you’re generating excessive negativity which increases the levels of stress you feel. Your ranting in the workplace has a knock-on effect on staff so their productivity declines, which again increases pressure on you.
Unless you isolate yourself from emails and the world you cannot change the immediate circumstances but you can change how you react to them. Stop ranting about the emails - just delete them from the screen and your memory. That will reduce the temperature at work and pressure levels. Next is to sit down and work through exactly what it is that’s causing your stress levels: whether it’s work or personal. A coach can help you do this objectively allowing you to plan how you are going to deal with them and re-boot your responses. Then next year you’ll be the one enjoying the celebrations.”
Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.