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#20 Positive Practices Less Stress VIII Work-Related Stress

communication handle stress misunderstanding unclear expectations work-related stress Jan 25, 2016

Work-Related Stress from Unclear Expectations:
How to Handle It

One common cause of work-related stress is unclear expectations. The best solution for this dilemma is clear communication. So how do you have a productive conversation about expectations with your boss or project manager?

First, convey your concern with a conversation starter like this: “I’m not sure I understand what your expectations are about this project, and I want to make sure I deliver what you want. Here are my thoughts. (Share your thoughts using “I statements”.)

Second, ask, “What are your thoughts?”

Third, and this step is critical: Listen to the response. If you are not ready to listen, then you are not ready to have the conversation. Make sure your heart and mind are open to suggestions.

And finally, check that you are understanding what is being conveyed. You might say, “So it sounds like you would like me to ______________________________. Is that correct?” Continue asking clarifying questions and reflecting back what you have heard until you have reached a mutual understanding.

If you can do this well, you will not only minimize communications, but you will also gain the respect of those you work with, and be viewed as someone who strives to be their best, listens to others, and takes suggestions for improvement in a mature manner.


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