Do You Work with a Scrooge?

New study shows speaking up is key to reducing holiday stress at work

Provo, Utah, Dec 12, 2005 – The holidays are upon us. And for many, this bustling time of year not only means family, festivities and good food – but also stress at work. According to a recent research poll from VitalSmarts, a training and organizational research company, more than three-fourths of the US workforce will be stressed out this holiday season by coworkers who dump on, abandon or fail them.

73% of respondents say their holidays are more stressful because of four Scrooge-like colleagues. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • The Dumper – Drops big projects or tasks on you with very little notice and lots of year-end pressure.
  • The Missing – Takes unplanned leave without finishing his or her tasks and leaves the rest of the team to take up the slack.
  • The Dawdler – Comes in late or leaves early requiring colleagues to compensate and cover.
  • The Flake – Misses deadlines in a way that keeps you from finishing what you need to do.

Joseph Grenny, author of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations, and co-author of the research study, says the good news is that your level of stress isn’t necessarily predicted by how busy you are at work or how many “Scrooges” you may work with.

“The survey showed people who experience the least amounts of holiday stress at work are capable of candidly and respectfully discussing the support they need with their boss, spouse or coworkers,” says Grenny. “In short, the problem is not that we have problems. The problem is that we’re incapable of confronting, discussing and resolving these problems with others.”

The research showed the 93% of survey respondents who frequently don’t discuss the tough issues end up doing one of two things: 1) sneaking out of work when they shouldn’t, and feeling stressed about what is not getting done; or 2) staying at work too long and feeling stressed about dwindling family time.

“If people improve their ability to hold crucial conversations, work-related stress around the holidays could get immediately better,” says Grenny. “And less stress at work means more joyous holidays at home.”

 

About VitalSmarts

Innovators in corporate training products and consulting research, the founders of VitalSmarts have co-authored two New York Times bestsellers: Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations. VitalSmarts has helped thousands of organizations, including more than 300 of the Fortune 500, realize quick, hard-hitting results through its award- winning training programs using a method that no other training company yet offers.

VitalSmarts currently has two training initiatives: Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations. www.vitalsmarts.com

Note to Editor: A list of tips on how to confront co-workers is available, as well as headshots of authors and review copies of the book.

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