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How to Relieve Job Stress With Corporate Theatre

Resolving-Frustration-in-Your-LifeIf you are stressed at work, which is worse…your workload, or the people you work with? Or maybe you have both. Either way, a new trend is spreading in the field of workplace stress management. Companies are learning to deal with workplace conflict and problem solving through theatre.

No, this does not mean the boss takes everyone out for a night on the town. Nor does it mean those awful training sessions where employees are asked to “role play.” Instead corporate theatre workshops give both supervisors and employees a chance to act out a scripted role, which may deal with everything from how to handle office gossip to how to deal with unfair treatment from your boss.

From business scripts to famous scenes

There are several different methods of doing short theatre pieces as a way to resolve conflict, but all share the same basic goal. They allow management and staff to experience working through a situation similar to something stressful in their work environment, within the safety of make believe.

Led by professionals in the field, workshops might feature short scenes from famous plays or films, and allow different participants to try the same roles, and comment on how they felt, or how they might suggest a character change. They might even consider how the same words, in a different scenario, would have a far different emotional impact. For example, the famous line, “Show me the money,” from the film Jerry McGuire, might feel far more uncomfortable if spoken to a salesman by an unhappy boss.

Writing in The Daily Mail, India, Ashwin Ahmad describes how companies such as STEPS Drama, in the U.K. and India, bring specially written scripts of common business scenarios, and allow both supervisors and employees a chance to see their jobs from a broader perspective. They also allow business people the opportunity to prepare for stressful situations before they have the problems to face for real.

Writing your own play

One different way to use corporate theatre is for employees to write their own. Playwright Alex Broun conducts corporate theatre workshops to energize employees and teach them new ways to cooperate with each other. Theatre is all about collaboration, and Broun helps participants learn to trust each other and work together to create something they have never done before. By the end of the two day workshops, the group of co-workers perform a ten minute play they wrote themselves.

How can you bring this to your job?

If you have a boss who is open to new ideas, then a little research and a good chat might be all it takes to generate some excitement about doing a theatre workshop. Your Human Resources department might also be interested in adding corporate theatre to training they already offer.

Not all workshops need to be long. An hour or so a week, could tackle a different cause of workplace stress during each session, and also build communication among those who take part.

For more information, and an info-graphic showing how theatre might help relieve conflict and stress in your company, check out:
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Meditation Techniques For Time Pressed Executives

Office Worker Meditating at WorkMeditation, quite rightly, has an image of relaxation, peace and quiet, and many may interpret this as meaning meditation can only be for those who have time to laze around half the day. For this reason, those people, such as business executives, who live a pressured life with little or no time to spare, may assume that meditation can never have a place in their lives. That is a shame, as meditation techniques can be quite flexible and quite easy to fit in to a busy day.

The benefits of meditation can be so great to somebody under pressure, that even a few minutes occasionally may bring a noticeable benefit. For a busy executive to have reached their position in life, they are likely to be determined and intelligent individuals. This can often mean that, should they perceive a benefit in an activity, then they will continue or extend that activity. It is therefore possible that an executive trying out even a brief period of meditation may soon adopt some meditation technique or other on a regular basis.

What type of meditation techniques may fit in with an executive lifestyle? Important features of meditation are being able to breathe well and consciously, relax and clear the mind, and then focus the mind. An executive with perpetual meetings and a full diary, with pressures to perform and maximize profits, may think such things cannot be fitted into their busy lives.

It is true to say that the most powerful and beneficial meditation sessions are prolonged. However, that does not mean short periods of meditation are a waste of time; far from it. An executive is probably geared up to packing as much into their day as possible and, although it may be difficult to clear a hyperactive mind, they may well learn to pack in short meditation sessions also. In so doing, they may well find that those sessions give them a boost that is far greater and more beneficial than caffeine.

So, what techniques can an executive use during their busy day? Here are a few ideas:

1. If using public transport to get to and from work, and you are able to sit down, it can be a good time to close your eyes, concentrate on correct breathing, and try to shut out the surrounding sounds. Commuting can be a very stressful experience every day of the week, so a snatched meditation session, even in far from ideal conditions, may minimize those negative effects, or even turn them on their head. In fact, it can be good practice to try to meditate in difficult conditions, as that makes ideal conditions even more beneficial later on.

The secret to these train or bus sessions is not to fall asleep, and to concentrate extra hard on maintaining the focus.

2. Do you go to a gym or health spa? Whether at lunch time or in the evening, this can be a good time to tag on a short meditation session. If you have finished your work out, you need some time to shower and relax your body a bit. Following that with a 10 minute or more period of meditation could work wonders. Most gyms or health spas will have a room you can use for a short spell of peace, so it is worth asking. A vacant massage room would serve the purpose.

3. Control your diary, and schedule in a mid morning and mid afternoon “tea or coffee” break. Only instead of tea and coffee, drink water, sit comfortably, focus on your breathing and then when totally relaxed, have a short session of meditation, focusing on something calming and not related to work. Even 10 minutes can provide a power inducing respite from the day’s work, and the chances are you will not lose time, but rather gain time, as you will work more effectively.

Snatched meditation sessions spread through the day may not be the stuff of traditional meditation, but they are certainly better than none at all. Hopefully, the rejuvenated executive will perceive enough benefits to set aside time in the evenings and weekends to learn full meditation, and then be able to return to work at the top of is game every weekday morning.

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