Questions from Mail Bag: Stress, Persuasion, and Blame

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Aim Higher: Expert advice on stress, persuasion, and blame.  


Have you ever had a boss who stresses you out?

Do your ideas seem to fall on deaf ears?

Or do you feel like you get blamed for things you didn’t do?


This week on the “Aim Higher” podcast my panel of business and HR experts helps answer questions sent in by our users. The first deals with stressful boss relationships. The second asks about how to get your ideas listened to. And the third hits on the very tricky subject of getting blamed for things you didn’t do.



As always, my guests have some great ideas about how to address these issues. But I’d like to bring up one important point that first-time panelist Brian Berry hit on in relation to the question about a boss who stresses the writer out with “impossible deadlines and no support.”

Brian suggested that maybe one of the reasons the boss is stressing this person out is because they are highly competent. As he said, “Managers tend to put more tasks and stress on their best workers.” I think that this is a point that’s essential for good leaders to hear and internalize.



We do tend to lean on our best performers more often and in more high-pressure situations. It’s only natural—both as humans and managers—to seek out the people who will get the best results. But if that happens again and again? You may be stressing out some of your top people without even knowing it.



Take some time and review how much you’re putting on your star players’ plates. Are there projects you can help them offload? Are there others on the team who could use a stretch assignment? Can you get them some resources such that they can manage some of these projects without doing all the work themselves? We often think about mitigating stress issues with under-performing staff. But it can be just as much of an issue for our best people.



Brian, Tammi, and Elyse have some great advice for this listener, and for the other two questions we cover in this episode. As always, I think you’ll come away with some good, actionable advice that you can apply to your leadership and management challenges.


Listen to the Aim Higher podcast here.



Image Credit: Joel Moysuh

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