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How to Use Counseling to Overcome Workplace Challenges
Most adults spend a good chunk of your day at work, which means that issues at work can affect other parts of life. There are many different personalities, schedules, and expectations within a workplace, which means it can be stressful and difficult to handle on a day by day basis. If you find it hard to deal with, you can use counseling to deal with challenges within the workplace.
Assessing Workplace Issues and Finding Help
Determine your challenges.There are many different situations that might present you with challenges at work, which can cause you stress or anxiety. Before you can examine your issues related to your challenges, you need to understand exactly what your workplace challenges are. Talk to your counselor about your work and what problems you have every day. Your counselor will be able to help you pinpoint exactly what your challenges may be. These challenges may include:
- Harassment or bullying from coworkers or bosses
- Conflicts with coworkers
- Gossip being spread about you at work
- Communication problems between you and those at work
- Workplace discrimination
- Performance issues from you or your coworkers
- Low job satisfaction
- Poor fit between your skills and job
- Lack of job motivation
Assess and accept your emotions.Once you know what your workplace challenges are, you need to figure out exactly what you are feeling about the challenges at work. Talk to your counselor about your challenges and work with him or her to find out exactly how you feel about these challenges. If you are not truthful with yourself about how you are feeling, you won't be able to work through your challenges.Once you figure out what these emotions are, you will need to work with your counselor to learn how to accept them.
- For example, if you do not feel motivated to do your job most days, perhaps you are feeling unfulfilled or bored with your work.
- If you don't accept your feelings, you will likely have additional problems later. Plus, you will not be able to work with your counselor to work through your workplace challenges if you are not truthful and accepting of your feelings.
- This may not be easy to do. Before you can even approach a counselor for help, you need to know what you need help with.
Look for underlying disorders.If you suffer from extensive workplace challenges, you may have underlying issues that have resulted from your unhappiness at work. Common issues include mental issues such as depression and anxiety, or physical issues, such as hypertension or insomnia.Your counselor can help you identify some of these conditions, but you may need to see your primary care physician for help as well.
- For example, if you suffer from depression, then you would need to talk to your therapist about that, but you might also consider talking to your physician or seeing a psychiatrist to discuss medication options.
- If you have additional mental health issues, ask your counselor to incorporate treatment for these conditions into your session. You will need to work on your workplace issues first to help lessen the resulting mental health issues.
- Additional physical issues should be checked out by your physician.
Commit to counseling.Counseling will not provide a quick fix for your problems in the workplace. It will take time and work.If you hope to get over your workplace challenges, you need to commit to working with your counselor to change. If you don't treat the counseling as an integral part of the healing process, you will be much less likely to be able to move past your problems.
- This means you need to be honest with your counselor, do what he or she tells you to do, and do everything possible to improve your situation.
- For example, if your counselor asks you to journal about how you feel before and after you go to work each day, then make sure that you do so.
Look into a counselor at your workplace.If your stress stems directly from your workplace challenges, you may be able to get access to a therapist through your job. This is a common issue, which means that many workplaces provide counseling help to deal with workplace issues. There are multiple kinds of counselors that are used by employers. Employers provide help through:
- Vocational counseling, who work with issues related to job performance, satisfaction, and fit.
- Industrial and organizational psychology, which helps with human behavior within the workplace and works on creating a healthy, collaborative workplace.
- Professional counselors through employee assistance programs (EAP), which is a no cost counselor location service that provides help for work related challenges.
Dealing with Emotional Workplace Challenges
Get help for unhealthy thought patterns.When you face challenges at work, you will likely not be happy at your job. This may cause you to have thought patterns that get in the way of the way you do your job. Talk to your counselor about how to change your thought patterns. Your counselor can give you ways to change your thought patterns throughout the day..
- Negative thoughts about your work can cause additional challenges at work in addition to the challenges you are already dealing with.
- For example, if you constantly dread going to work because you are not satisfied with your job or feel underappreciated, you may begin to think negatively about your job, which can cause you to do poor work or be less productive than before.
- If this happens, ask your counselor to teach you some ways to focus on the contributions you do make to your job instead of how unhappy you are.
Learn new ways to motivate yourself.If you feel undervalued or unhappy at work for any number of reasons, you may begin to slack off. This means that you may stop fulfilling your responsibilities or fall behind in your tasks. If you see this happening, talk to your counselor about how to find motivation within yourself. Your counselor can help you come up with motivational phrases or internal confidence to help with your issues.
- For example, you could ask your counselor to teach you some personal mantras to keep yourself motivated, discuss ways to set goals for yourself every day, or rehearse ways to tell your coworker your goals so you are accountable to someone else.
- This will help you work past workplace issues and still get your job done.
Develop ways to keep track of your emotions.Work with your counselor to learn how to track your emotions. Your counselor may tell you to keep a diary or write down the different ways you feel and react each day. You can see how various emotions you experience throughout the day can affect different aspects of your work performance. You can then work with your counselor to come up with ways to shift your emotions or deal with them so they don't affect your job.
- Your counselor may advise you to take note of the different emotions that contribute to or are caused by the challenges you have at work.
- Make sure that you are writing your emotions down as directed so you can discuss them with your counselor later.
- This will help you determine how to deal with the emotions that contribute to challenges at work as well as the ones caused by challenges at work you cannot change.
Leave emotions out of the equation.When you are around other people at work, try to keep your emotions out of your interactions. If you know you are an emotional person or respond to situations in emotional ways, ask your counselor to help you learn different ways to channel your emotions into other outlets or shift your emotions away from the surface while you are at work. Your counselor can help you learn to keep a level head instead of letting your emotions decide how you react. If you allow your emotions to rule how you are at work, you can cause more challenges for yourself at work.
- If you are dealing with discrimination, bullying, or other outside challenges that may cause an emotional response, work with your counselor to figure out how to remain professional until your specific challenges are handled.
Lower your stress levels.When you are dealing with workplace challenges, you will likely be more stressed than normal. Talk to your counselor about the best ways for you to reduce the stress levels in your life. Your counselor will have insights into how to approach stressful situations with a calmer, more focused mind. Your counselor can also work with you to find ways to reduce your stress outside of work as well.
Changing the Way You Work
Work on your communication skills.If you have problems at work with your coworkers, try to work on your communication skills. Work with your counselor to find better ways to express yourself, work past personal hang ups that inhibit communication, or any social anxiety that may contribute to an inability to properly communicate at work.
- This can help you relate better to those around you, which can help you tell your coworkers about issues you are having with them, ask for help with your job duties you are unsure about, or express your dissatisfaction with how your job is going.
Be more assertive.One of the ways you can improve your work environment and work through challenges is to be more assertive. Use your counseling sessions to come up with ways to get past personal insecurities that hold you back from being more assertive. Ask your counselor to help you find of root of your job insecurities and help you move past them so you can be more confident and assertive every day.
- If you are being bullied, discriminated against, or are unhappy with your job, tell your superiors so they can help with these issues. They may not even know this is happening.
- If you have people who work under you that are not doing their jobs, be more assertive with them as well. They will not feel accountable until you tell them what you expect of them.
Delegate tasks when possible.If your workplace challenges stem from having too much to do or not being qualified to do certain jobs, learn to delegate tasks to others.This may be hard at first, especially if you like having control over things at work. Talk to your counselor about why you feel the need to always be in control and how you can be more comfortable letting go of that control.
- However, letting go of some of the responsibility at work can help you and your coworkers' lives run more smoothly.
Seek conflict resolution.A great way to work through interpersonal challenges at work is through conflict resolution. This can help reduce stress and tension between you and a coworker. Work with your counselor on how you should approach this resolution. This may mean working through the hurt caused by the conflict as well as learning to let go any lingering anger.
- You should approach this with an open mind and a positive attitude in order to get past the challenges the conflict causes at work.
- If you are not able to come to a resolution, work with your counselor to figure out a way to deal with and move past the continued conflict at work.
- If your employer supplies you with the counselor, he or she may be able to sit in on the conflict resolution in order to help.
Prioritize work tasks.If you are having problems getting tasks done at work, make a list of your tasks every day with the most urgent at the top. If all of your tasks are not urgent, do the unpleasant ones first. This will get them over with early so you can save the more enjoyable one later.If you are having a hard time getting to the point where you can do this, talk to your counselor about why this might be and what may be holding you back from doing your best every day. Your counselors may also be able to help you come up with the best strategies for you to do that.
- This may require you get organized as well. This can take effort and work, but it will be worth it.
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