You’re given a project and assigned a deadline for its completion. You’re really excited about the assignment and already have a clear vision of the steps you’re going to take to its execution. However, you also experience an immediate sense of overwhelm because in order to really do it the right way, this assignment will take you days longer than you’ve been given.
Many of us experience fear and high stress around these (or similar) situations.
We are fearful of saying anything to our boss because they might think:
- I’m incompetent
- I lack initiative
- I can’t handle the work load in this position
And we experience high volumes of stress in an effort to hide all of the above fears and push ourselves beyond our own capacity to deliver the quality we want to give and the quality expected of us.
Oftentimes, this results in poor quality output and/or other projects not being managed effectively.
What do you do?
This is a perfect opportunity to have a conversation with your supervisor to renegotiate the assignment and to take full ownership of its outcome and in so doing, you also drop the fear and the stress.
The objective of this conversation is not to come from a defensive, angry or frightened position. When you communicate your genuine interest in delivering exactly what’s been tasked, you can suggest you have two choices:
1. On-time delivery OR
2. Quality delivery
Which is preferred?
From that place of honest and sincere desire to serve, you can engage, connect, and create solutions that involve you in the equation.
It’s easy to slip into an internal dialogue that suggests you’re always on the losing side of projects, assignments and workload. And when that voice in your head gets louder, the more unhappy you become with your work environment.
Shift the balance and quiet the voice by speaking up and speaking out. Chances are, whoever’s handing out assignments isn’t doing so with intent to stress or incite fear in you. They want you to succeed, and you communicating the best way for you to achieve success is information they will welcome.
The alternative is to say nothing at all, continue being fearful of upper management, allow stress to wreak its havoc on you and harbor resentment about how unfair your job is.
*Note that this method of renegotiation is just as applicable and effective in our personal relationships as it is in our professional ones.
Be sure and watch this video for some additional insight on the topic!