THE FOUR STRESSFUL “UNS” – Uncertain, Unclear, Unknown, Unexpected

THE FOUR STRESSFUL “UNS” – Uncertain, Unclear, Unknown, Unexpected

Paddy Steinfort, a human performance coach, says the pressures of these times has him advising his clients on the “Uns.”

Here they are:

  • Uncertain situations
  • Unclear futures
  • Unknown parameters
  • Unexpected novel stressors

Makes sense doesn’t it?

We want to be certain about our situation.

We want to be clear about our future.

We want to know the rules and boundaries.

We get thrown out of whack when things we didn’t know we had to be concerned about pop up.

Here’s the issue: Any one of those “uns” could cause stress and disorientation.  Put one, up to four of these in play at the same time, it can become a stress show that overwhelms.

So, what then?

  1. Be aware.  The four “uns” offer a good way to consider things when you feel stress creeping in. You can’t really resolve stress impacts if you can’t name them.  Stress robs you of objectivity and energy to cope.  Being able to “name” the source of the stress will give you a better chance to come to terms with it.
  2. Engage your team.  We handle stress better when we do it in community.  Our limited objectivity limits our creativity.  We leap to quick decisions.  We seek immediate relief.  The quick, expedient decision may not be the best one.  Be purposeful in sharing the stress situation and obtaining different angles.
  3. Focus on “what you can do and what you can control.”  The bad thing about “uns” is that they are uncertain, unknowable and unclear.  Time is your friend on clearing up the “uns.”  In the meantime, using energy to wring your hands and worry won’t help.  Remember, there are things you can do to make things better.  Get advice, come up with a strategy.  Go to work.
  4. Be kind.  Stress will cause you to judge, blame, complain and penalize.  When you’re inclined to feel and act negatively, pause and look for kinder, gentler ways.

Stress calls for mindfulness.  Don’t let the “uns” wear you out or tear you down.  In this company, you’re blessed to have teammates around you that can help improve things.  Let’s work together to make sure the “uns” don’t do us in.