How to Offer Positive Feedback in Stressful Situations

2015-10-29-1446158072-8078959-JasonShah.pngJason Shah is the founder and CEO of Do, a collaboration platform that helps you run productive meetings.

Is your team getting stressed out at work? Are they having a hard time managing their many responsibilities? Contrary to popular belief, this could actually present opportunities for breakthrough ideas.

Recent studies have found that people tend to focus on the positive more when they are under stress. Of course, this isn't to say that you should add to the existing stress of your team members. Instead, what you need to do is acknowledge the pressure they are under, and help guide their thoughts in a productive direction. Here are several reasons why you should offer positive feedback when your people are stressed out.

You'll Help Them Come Up With Productive Solutions To Problems

If people are already looking for positive outcomes under stress, then why not help them ease their anxieties? Maybe you could hold some brainstorming sessions, send team members a note of encouragement or ask them about what strategies they're looking to implement, and add some constructive thoughts to the discussion.

People are often stressed when they feel as though what's required of them is beyond their capabilities, or when they feel overworked. However, this can lead to innovative ways of doing work, and can help people to see whose help they could be enlisting and what work they could be delegating.

People naturally work to move towards pleasure and away from pain, so it makes sense that they would be looking for a way out when they're stressed. However, instead of watching them run from their problems, why not help them see the alternatives that they might be missing?

When we're stressed at work, we try to channel that stress into motivation to come up with a solution to a problem. There's no point in sitting around drowning oneself in stress; what it can do, though, is help you recalibrate and find an answer.

You'll Create An Opportunity For Your Team Members To Bond & Work Together

Wouldn't you love it if everybody on your team got along and worked together to solve their problems? Don't you wish they would act on their best instincts instead of coming to you with their questions all of the time?

Of course, you do want to instill confidence with your team members. You don't want to be completely hands-off, or you might come across as arrogant or uncaring. However, if your team members are overworked, it may be possible for them to collaborate and boost their efficiency. This will help them to get used to the idea of relying on each other's strengths, which may not be their default tendency.

Those who are on the sidelines might be inspired to contribute more while those who tend to take on everything as their own might be more inclined to delegate. Finding that healthy balance could help your people operate at peak efficiency.

With our company, oftentimes when we're overloaded with work, we'll sit down as a team and talk things out. It allows us to get a quick reset and look at things with a fresh pair of eyes; a blank slate of sorts. You should never make decisions when you're emotional: it's always best to take a breather and talk it out.

You'll Help Your Team Members Gain More Confidence

People don't become stronger by shrinking from responsibility. When they are stretched, that's when real growth occurs. This isn't to suggest that overcoming challenges is easy; you will likely need to offer positive feedback as your team is working to resolve relevant issues.

However, if they have ownership over their challenges and are able to work through them, they will gain a great deal of confidence, and will feel like they can take on greater challenges in the future too.

As a leader, you don't just want a pack of followers; you want your people to become leaders in their own right. Whenever we give positive feedback here at our company, it's a real confidence-booster, especially in stressful times. It serves as that quick reminder that we are all capable of doing incredible things.

Final Thoughts

Help your people stay focused on positive outcomes. Stress is an opportunity, not a hindrance to the work you are trying to complete. If you remain open to the possibilities, you'll be able to grow a stronger team as you work through their challenges with them.