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How to effectively deal with stress in Project Management

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Whereas short bursts of stress has a positive effect on performance, prolonged stress is harmful to the body and can cause burnout. Too many project managers are chronically stressed and don’t take the warning signs seriously. In this webinar Susanne will share her own story, explaining how she almost faced burnout running a large project. The experience taught her to set boundaries, listen to her body, delegate and focus on activities outside of work that fuelled her energy.

Main points covered:

• Recognize the warning signs of negative stress
• Understand the psychology behind stress
• Develop skills that lead to more productive thoughts and habits
• Create more balance in your work and life
• Learn to operate within your zone of peak performance


Susanne Madsen is an internationally recognised project leadership coach who facilitates transformational leadership programmes. She works with organisations globally and is the author of several books including The Power of Project Leadership. Prior to setting up her own business, Susanne worked for almost 20 years in the corporate sector leading high-profile change programmes of up to $30 million. Susanne is a fully qualified Corporate and Executive coach and an NLP Practitioner.

Recorded webinar: https://youtu.be/TMkaOIGJKyM

Publié dans : Formation
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How to effectively deal with stress in Project Management

  1. 1. www.SusanneMadsen.com Susanne Madsen • International project leadership coach • 20 years hands-on experience leading change programmes of up to $30m • Qualified Corporate and Executive coach • PRINCE2 and MSP Practitioner • Author of The Power of Project Leadership and The Project Management Coaching Workbook • Visit my website http://www.susannemadsen.com Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  2. 2. www.SusanneMadsen.com My road back to full health Art of Projects Conference 2018. • I got better at delegating and asking for help • I learnt to control my mental state • I began to leave the office at 6pm • I decided not to think about work once I left the office • I began to practice yoga and pay more attention to what I eat • I did more of what gave me energy • I took a mini sabbatical
  3. 3. www.SusanneMadsen.com What causes you stress? Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  4. 4. www.SusanneMadsen.com • Think of a recent situation that has been stressful to you • What were you thinking? • How were you feeling? • What did you say and do? • What was the physical effect on your body? • What was the effect on people around you? • If you were your own coach, what would you say to yourself? What causes you stress?
  5. 5. www.SusanneMadsen.com Burnout or Rustout? Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  6. 6. www.SusanneMadsen.com What is stress? • Negative stress is a situation where demands on you exceed your resources or ability to cope. • It happens when you feel that you can't cope with pressure. Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  7. 7. www.SusanneMadsen.com The physical stress response • Fight or Flight – we move into survival mode. • Cortisol and adrenaline are released. • The blood thickens. The brain swells. • The heart beats faster. Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  8. 8. www.SusanneMadsen.com Why does it matter? • Prolonged negative stress has a severe impact on health and happiness. • Reduces access to prefrontal cortex. IQ drops by about 20 points. • Reduced problem-solving abilities. • 12.5 million days are lost to stress each year, costing UK employers billions. Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  9. 9. www.SusanneMadsen.com Which warning signs do you recognize? (1) Art of Projects Conference 2018. Cognitive Symptoms Emotional Symptoms Memory problems Moodiness Inability to concentrate Irritability, short temper Poor judgment Agitation, inability to relax Constant worrying Feeling overwhelmed Anxious, racing thoughts Sense of loneliness Seeing only the negative Depression, unhappiness No sense of humor Lacking confidence
  10. 10. www.SusanneMadsen.com Which warning signs do you recognize? (2) Art of Projects Conference 2018. Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms Aches and pains Eating more or less Diarrhea or constipation Sleeping too much / too little Nausea, dizziness Isolating yourself from others Chest pain, rapid heartbeat Neglecting responsibilities Loss of sex drive Using alcohol /drugs to relax Frequent colds Nervous habits (nail biting) Sleep deprivation Refrain from taking initiative
  11. 11. www.SusanneMadsen.com Peter’s story • Unrelenting pressure for months to implement design and build projects within the rail industry. • Collapsed at work with severe chest pain and ended up in the Cardiac Care with fluid around his heart. • It was a wake-up call for his employer who began to train staff in recognising the warning signs of stress. • Peter began to exercise, make time for friends and family. He learnt to ‘switch off” and does not check email between 7pm and 7am. • Today, 12 years later, he manages much more complex projects but experiences them as less stressful. Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  12. 12. www.SusanneMadsen.com What stresses us at work? Art of Projects Conference 2018. STRESS Too much work Too little time No job security Project Issues Inter- personal conflict Imposter syndrome – I’m not good enough Project managers like to be in control – know it all and do it all
  13. 13. www.SusanneMadsen.com It’s all about our thoughts.. Stress isn’t the result of stressful situations. It’s the result of the thoughts we have about those situations. And thoughts are only real if we believe them. Art of Projects Conference 2018. If we can identify the thought and change it, we have found a key to combatting stress.
  14. 14. www.SusanneMadsen.com How do you respond to stress? Art of Projects Conference 2018. EXTERNAL EVENT INTERNAL RESPONSE OUTCOME Your thinking patterns determine how you respond to external events. Pause for 2 mins. Breathe deeply before choosing your response. (The biology of courage)
  15. 15. www.SusanneMadsen.com Avoid thinking errors • I must/I should/I can’t – I should know this by now, I must finish this today. • Thinking in black and white – It has to be 100% perfect. • Attaching negative labels to ourselves - I am not as clever as everybody else. I’m inexperienced. I’m too young/too old. Art of Projects Conference 2018. • Predicting negative future events – I know I’m going to mess up. I’ll be found out. • Catastrophizing and blowing things out of proportion – This is terrible, now I will be fired.
  16. 16. www.SusanneMadsen.com How to beat stress  Project-level responses  Setting boundaries  Working smarter  Put things in perspective  Physical health  Re-energizing  Relaxation techniques Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  17. 17. www.SusanneMadsen.com Project-level responses Art of Projects Conference 2018. • Use proper project management – Create realistic plans with sufficient contingency – Agree expectations – have clear role descriptions • Change the culture – Set mutually agreed ground rules – Make it ok to show vulnerability and express how we feel – Do something together as a team – Care about each other’s wellbeing
  18. 18. www.SusanneMadsen.com Set personal boundaries Art of Projects Conference 2018. • Decide on the work-life balance you want. • Agree ground rules with yourself: – Leave work on time (4 times a week) – Don’t take work home (switch off phone) – Take a proper lunch break • Be authentic and respect your limits: – Express what you see, hear and feel – Speak up and say no when you have reached capacity
  19. 19. www.SusanneMadsen.com Learn to say no Art of Projects Conference 2018. • I cannot do A, but I can do B • Let me think about it and get back to you • I can do what you ask, but it will mean that I have to drop x, y, z..
  20. 20. www.SusanneMadsen.com Work smarter Art of Projects Conference 2018. • Do you tend to multitask? – Find your flow – Focus on one activity at the time – Don’t let email manage you • Give up the super hero image: – Learn to delegate and ask for help – You don’t have to know it all / do it all – Get project support
  21. 21. www.SusanneMadsen.com Put things in perspective • How awful is the stressing event is on a scale from 1 to 100? • How much it will matter in 12 months time? • Don’t overreact – ensure your stress response is appropriate Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  22. 22. www.SusanneMadsen.com Change your physiology • Mind and body are interconnected. To change your state of mind, change your physiology: – Breathe deeply and slowly – Get up and move – Stretch or go for a walk – Practice mindfulness • Look after you physical health: – Exercise regularly – Get enough sleep – Eat healthily and avoid energy zapping foods Art of Projects Conference 2018.
  23. 23. www.SusanneMadsen.com What drains and energizes you? Art of Projects Conference 2018. • Identify the activities that either give you energy or that drain you. • Follow your passion.
  24. 24. www.SusanneMadsen.com What can you start and stop doing? Art of Projects Conference 2018. • I could ease the impact of stress in my life if I were to start.. • I could ease the impact of stress in my life if I were to stop.. • I will know that I am managing my stress better when I.. Finish the sentences
  25. 25. www.SusanneMadsen.com Visualization and relaxation exercises Art of Projects Conference 2018. • Meditation, yoga, guided relaxation techniques • Self-hypnosis: create a calming and centring ritual before and after work • Use empowering self-talk and positive affirmations
  26. 26. www.SusanneMadsen.com The key to wellbeing Art of Projects Conference 2018. • Notice the small things to be grateful for. • Contribute your talents to a cause greater than you. • Amplify the things that give you meaning. • Engage in generous and altruistic behaviour. • See the positive in other people. • Be fully present.
  27. 27. www.SusanneMadsen.com Connect with Susanne Art of Projects Conference 2018. www.SusanneMadsen.com Twitter @SusanneMadsen Connect on LinkedIn Available on Amazon and on Kindle. www.PowerOfProjectLeadership.com
  28. 28. • ISO 21500 Training Courses • ISO 21500 Introduction 1 Day Course • ISO 21500 Foundation 2 Day Course • ISO 21500 Lead Project Manager 5 Day Course • ISO 21500 Lead Assessor 5 Day Course Exam and certification fees are included in the training price. https://pecb.com/en/education-and-certification-for- individuals/iso-21500
  29. 29. THANK YOU ? susannemadsen2003@yahoo.co.uk www.SusanneMadsen.com linkedin.com/in/susanne-madsen-1134312 @SusanneMadsen