We all deal with frustrating and sometimes volatile situations and people, and oftentimes the situation can escalate if there isn’t someone there who stays calm and handles things without reacting or freaking out. At first, this may bring to mind situations like in action movies, but it also rings true on a less dramatic and life-threatening front. For example, when standing up for yourself against someone in the workplace who has taken it upon themselves to harass or bully you; this happens more often than we may initially think. In a circumstance like this, you are always faced with the options of either letting it go or doing something about it. And if you do something about it, what will it be? The higher your tolerance for frustration, the more rational your decisions are likely to be. Read on to learn more about raising your frustration tolerance levels.
Before I continue, it is important to note that if you’re experiencing any kind of abuse in the workplace, it is up to you to bring it to the attention of your superior, especially if the harassment is escalating. Speaking out about something like adult bullying or sexual harassment isn’t a crime, so please don’t feel guilty for standing up for your own wellbeing (someone has to, and if not you, then who?). And don’t let anyone else minimize it, either. You know what’s going on; with certain types of people, it’s only a matter of time before something really ridiculous happens.
Now that we have that covered, let’s take a look at a few ways to raise your frustration tolerance levels.
It’s All About Mindset
The first thing you can do to make your life easier and raise your tolerance for frustration is to remember that you have two main mindset choices you can turn to when something is irritating or obnoxious. You can either be annoyed... or you can be amused. Choosing to be amused rather than annoyed works for many everyday situations, and this is especially helpful when you’re dealing with children, family members, or friends whose feelings you care about.
Become An Observer
Becoming an observer of your own life while also being present in it is possible through meditative practice. Once you’ve been meditating for a while, you can carry that meditative state with you throughout your day and use it to practice mindfulness. This allows you to have an “overstanding” rather than just an understanding, meaning that you can see things from many different angles or perspectives. A bird’s eye view, if you will.
Be Mindful Of The Space Between Moments
There is a pause you can take or access between when something happens and your having a reaction to it. If you can access this brief moment between moments, so to speak, then you can literally “think before you speak,” even during a discussion or conversation that is escalating or no longer calm. If you get good at this, you will also begin to get better at diffusing situations such as this by validating the other person genuinely and pinpointing exactly what’s wrong.
Learn To Pick Your Battles & Let Go
Your powers of discernment will be honed over time no matter what, so utilize them! You can also choose whether you are going to participate or not. Sometimes it might be useful to jump in, but other times it’s really none of your business, in which case it might be better to let things play out organically. Of course this depends on the situation, but you may choose to ask yourself what the benefits might be of either decision. Is the battle worth it if you choose to participate? Or is there no point and it’s just a merry-go-round of drama and chaos that is being fueled by more and more reactions to one side of the story or another?
All of these skills are honed when you are faced with challenging situations in your life. Being aware of how you’re handling things can make a world of difference in the way you are around people, not to mention how people are around you. If you’re a loose cannon, people will likely walk on eggshells around you. If you’re a doormat, people will likely treat you as such. It’s up to you to find your happy medium, your middle ground, where you know what you stand for and balance it with compassion and kindness so you aren’t perpetuating unnecessary drama and problems.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope that this article helps you to begin cultivating your resilience. Come back throughout October to read more about resilience and the subset of skills associated with it.
To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:
If you are a mindful leader, that implies you have people to lead, am I right? Well, if there are people, there must be trust, and to build trust, you can work on a few different aspects of your leadership style, habits, and perspective. Read on to learn how you can begin developing trusting relationships with all of your employees… without getting overwhelmed.
What characteristics inspire trust in you and your abilities? If you’re in a leadership position and even just a little mindful, you will likely have at least some of these character traits naturally, especially if you’ve worked with integrity and genuine passion for a while. Whatever traits you have naturally, pay attention and be honest with yourself about recognizing them. From there, you can cultivate the rest of these character traits as you go through mental conditioning, meditation, and continuous mindfulness practice.
The Key Ingredients to Cultivating Trust
· Consistency. If you want to cultivate trust in you and your abilities as a leader, then lead by example. The little things done consistently each day are what will make all the difference in the long run. Once you begin to see results and your momentum builds, the proof is in the pudding and your team will have more trust in you.
· Commitment. Your unwavering commitment to your business, company, project, or vision even during lean or difficult times is what will inspire trust in you for future projects. No matter what the outcome, the fact that your commitment was unwavering speaks volumes. You made a decision and stuck with it even if it seemed impossible or wasn’t popular at one point or another.
· Clarity. Become very clear about your priorities, your purpose, your mission, and your expectations… make it a point not to be vague or ambiguous. Being straight forward is a great way to avoid wasting time beating around a problem as opposed to solving it.
· Competence. You will find that people trust you more if you know what you’re doing, are always learning and staying up to date, and either know the answers or know where to find them. This is where applied knowledge becomes a very powerful tool.
· Character. Are you the type of leader who does what is right over what is easy? If so, this is a characteristic that will help to inspire trust in your leadership. Life and business very often require doing what needs to be done whether we like it or not, so it’s no wonder that this trait inspires trust.
· Gratitude. A leader who practices gratitude will have an amazing set of personality traits that everyone can appreciate. That’s what makes a mindful leader such a great connector. Grateful leaders don’t gossip, complain, or feel entitled. This mindset can always be achieved through practice.
· Results. Nothing screams, “Follow me!” like achieving the results you set out to, or better. When you are able to produce positive and successful results on a consistent basis, your expertise expands, your team trusts you more and more, and you are able to be more confident and build upon your success no matter where you are on the overall ladder.
· Empathy. Being compassionate toward others is essentially caring about things bigger than yourself or outside of yourself, and taking those things into consideration. This will ensure that you are working toward the best interests of the majority and the business as a whole, applying the golden rule as your default setting.
Now that you’ve read about some of the most important traits of a great leader, it’s time to put these habits into practice. The only thing you have to do to begin changing your life and leadership style for the absolute best it can be is to implement one of these small habits at a time until you practice all of them daily. Think incremental improvement at a relaxed pace so it sticks effortlessly and feels wonderful.
For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:
We just received word that our flagship Executive Coaching Training Program (CMEC) was approved by the International Coach Federation! We can now award 15 CCEUs (credit hours) toward coaching certifications with the ICF. This is a wonderful compliment to our SHRM certifications.
This is such a beautiful reflection on our entire team. Congratulations to all of you!
Many thanks to all of you for your support over the years. We are so blessed…
You can find details here:
Founder and CEO
According to Gallop (and other leading survey firms) here is the reality:
What do you think of these smelling salts?!
Coaching can address all of these issues…in fact; it may well be the ONLY thing that can cure these workplace “ills.”
If you don’t have a coaching strategy in your organization, I can guarantee you one thing—these statistics will not go down…
Coaching is the “cure.” Isn’t it time you used coaching to focus on your most important asset…your people?
A. Drayton Boylston
Founder and CEO
Executive Coaching University
© 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.
Are Leading or just Managing?
Pretty sad facts.
Guess what? They more than likely apply to your organization too.
If you manage people, you own this!
What’s happening within our workforce to make these statistics a reality?
In the United States employee engagement only averages 30%. That's it.
It comes down to poor leadership.
We have spent so much energy creating “good managers” that we have become disengaged with what it means to be a good leader.
Managing comes from a need to produce an outcome, which of course, is important. However, when we can move to a place of leading those around us the organizational momentum transforms. More than anything employees want to make a contribution. Once they feel that they are, they stay...and they stay engaged. Which boosts your bottom line.
If you have the management skills without the leadership skills your career will plateau at some point. That is a fact.
The soft skills that good leaders possess are going to be in high demand as the battle for top talent continues to increase. Are you ready?
Want to learn how to become a better leader? Click here for details.
Coaching In The Workplace - Training for Executives, Managers, and HR Professionals
© 2014 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.
While our time together progressed, my client must have glanced towards, or checked in some way, her “smart phone” three or four times over the course of our first fifteen minutes.
I commented on her split attention and asked her to turn off the phone and just be focused on our time together for the next forty five minutes – fully focused upon our work. The look on her face would have lead someone not knowing my request, to think I had asked her to do something exceptionally distasteful…maybe even illegal!
Through our discussion around my request it became quite clear that she had NEVER turned off her phone – it was always on. This meant she was always connected, always available, always “on.”
She explained that this level of being available and connected was the status quo at her corporation and essentially had been the status quo since she was at University. “What if I miss something really important?” she asked. “I’m not productive if I’m not juggling a number of issues, projects, or conversations at once!” she stated.
This multitasking misconception arises quite often, especially with high performers who see their success as driven by the ability to do many tasks at the same time.
Yet, there is a downside to always being “on.” Consider:
Is it possible that any of the above might contribute to the 33% worker productivity rate in the U.S? 33%!!!
There are also other, more personal costs. This particular client was referred to me due to increasing conflicts between her staff and those in her chain of command – she had become “hard to work with” and was close to losing the job she so valued.
Additionally, her marriage was on the verge of divorce and she had been diagnosed with digestive/intestinal issues primarily caused by stress.
Coincidence? Not likely!
Sound familiar? Chances are if you are reading this then you have experienced, or know someone close to you who has experienced, a very similar chain of events.
Take time to focus within the moment, express gratitude, and disconnect at least once daily. You will find you are actually more productive, healthier, and happier. Then lead all those around you to do the same!
Director of Special Projects