Exchange Hero EWB APR 24 2023

Managing Microstresses While Fostering Employee Connectivity, Belonging, and Resilience - Employee Well-Being Exchange

A special thank you to Rob Cross and Karen Dillon, Co-authors of The Microstress Effect: How Little Things Pile Up and Create Big Problems--and What to Do about It, for sharing in our engaging meeting. 


Top 4 Highlights

  1. There are 3 types of microstress. Microstress is the moments of stress, triggered by the people in our lives that are so routine that we barely register them, but whose cumulative toll is debilitating. They can drain your personal capacity, deplete your emotional reserves, and challenge identity and values.

  2. We experience microstress, but we also cause it. Often the stress we create ends up coming back to us in a different form (i.e. you stress out a high performer and they back away, so now you have more work). Use the Microstresses and Purpose Worksheet to identify these stresses and find ways to manage it.
  3. You can manage microstress. Do things like adapt negative interactions and initiate connections that create resilience and invest in dimensionality (different types of relationships). Use the Building Resilience Through Relationships Worksheet and check out the tips below.
  4. Companies can help their employees manage microstress, too. Getty Images shared examples of creating employee connectivity, an intentional culture and listening strategy, and more. Other members mentioned examples such an official Connection Week, CoffeePals technology to set up weekly coffee chats, and helping employees manage up.


Tips to Manage Microstress

Watch the video to hear Karen describe how you can take each of these actions.

  • Adapt negative interactions and initiate connections that create resilience – don’t just persist.
  • Invest in dimensionality – at least 2 and preferably 3 groups outside your profession -- reach back to passion;  re-engage dormant ties; alter one existing activity to pull you into groups.
  • Devote 15 minutes everyday to being present and proactive with those you care most about (i.e., your inner 5).
  • Add authenticity and repeat commitment to your top 15. Refresh this group as life evolves – 7 8-minute calls.
  • Welcome new relationships! And lean into micro-moments of connection (with colleagues and strangers).

If you're interested in hearing more from Rob and Karen, check out thier Next Practices Weekly presentation on Managing Microstress for a Healthy and Productive Workplace.


Summer Reading List

Rob mentioned several books that explore the influence of connections on well-being.

  1. The Microstress Effect. Examines how little things pile up to create big problems and what to do about it.
  2. Blind Spot. Discusses the lack of quality connections and overload create unhappiness.
  3. Together. Recognizes how human connection can heal the loneliness epidemic.
  4. Connected. Considers how both negative and positive benefits diffuse through networks.
  5. The Good Life. Explores how quality connections are critical to life satisfaction and longevity.
This meeting is exclusively for members of the Employee Well-Being Exchange. If you'd like to participate, please contact us to see if you qualify. If you are an i4cp member, please log in to access the registration/meeting details.
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This event is approved for certification credits.