Have you ever looked at an upcoming project or task list and felt completely overwhelmed? You are not alone! Join us as we discuss how having a support system and being a support system helps make work challenges more manageable as a team.
A recent article I read touched on how having a support system is critical to overcoming challenges. It quotes a study based on mountain climbers and how they perceived the mountain as smaller if they had a fellow climber beside them or even if they just thought of a supportive person in their life. It got me thinking of how support could also help with challenges in the workplace. It raised three questions in my mind:
- How does having a support system make work challenges more manageable?
- What can you do if your support system is not readily available?
- How can I be a source of support to my team?
Keep reading to see what Mark and I came up with as we discussed these questions.
Key Questions/Topics Covered
How does having a support system make work challenges more manageable?
We have all been there—a looming deadline or a massive project with what seems like a million moving parts. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and start tumbling down that rabbit hole. All of a sudden, there is a knock on your door. Perhaps it is a co-worker or, even better, a team leader, and they say the most amazing thing to you, “how can I help”?
How are you feeling now? This just illustrates how being a supportive team member or even taking the lead in showing support can help so much. Support can come in many forms, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Having the self-awareness to rely on your support and be supportive in return is also a critical element to building quality workplace relationships. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a team like this?
What can you do if your support system is not readily available?
Our support system would always be readily available in a perfect world, but this is just not realistic or practical. So what, then? Two options come to mind. One is to use your imagination and think about your support system and how they have your back. I likened it to a recent mountain bike race I competed in. The last five miles seemed insurmountable. My legs were on fire! So I focused on the messages of support I received earlier that morning and my family that was rooting for me, and I finished those last five miles. Another tactic is to tap into your internal support system. We should all be our own best cheering section. As Mark said, he likes to focus on how good it will feel to meet a challenge and how he will reward himself. Be it a cocktail, steak, or cupcake.
Employing any of these strategies will help you keep going until you can physically touch base with your team and enjoy that one-on-one support again.
How can I be a source of support to my team?
Being part of a team requires that we don’t solely focus on our needs. Nobody wants to be on a team with a person like that; instead, we should look for ways to support each other. Ask yourself: Am I approachable? What kind of supportive leader or co-worker am I? What kind of a support system am I able to provide?
Take the initiative to reach out to your fellow team members. Perhaps there is someone new, or maybe there is a team member you haven’t been able to get to know yet. Take the time to engage them so you can learn more and understand better how to support them. Taking the initiative to do this will only better team engagement and, of course, aid in mutual support.
The key takeaway here is that when it comes to managing challenges at work, we can make those mountains seem a lot smaller by working with and being an active part of a supportive team.
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