Feeling Stuck at Work: How to Escape the Clutches of Frustration

Have you ever felt stuck at work? Learn from a client who went from frustration and stagnation to team triumph.

2 min read

steering wheel covered in to-do sticky notes
steering wheel covered in to-do sticky notes
Change Your Thinking

Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Meaning: If you’re stuck, it’s time to think outside the pickle jar.

To help Jack, I needed to shift his perspective. As Jack walked me through his methodology, I saw that he was so immersed in his process he was blind to everything around him. Therein lay the source of his woes.

New Perspectives

I encouraged Jack to look at his process from his team’s vantage point. He realized that he had been so engrossed in his approach that he threw ideas at his team and expected them to interpret them correctly.

Unfortunately, clairvoyance is rare in business. (Just ask Miss Cleo.) Leaders must communicate their visions, ideas, and strategies effectively to their teams, with a two-way dialogue. After all, successful teams don't read minds; they read playbooks.

Enlisting the Team

When I met with Jack and his team, they confirmed they were struggling to understand Jack’s rapid-fire thinking, details were lost in interpretation, and Jack’s foul mood made them hesitant to ask for clarifications. By the end of the meeting, Jack and his team agreed on how they would work together moving forward. Jack also empowered his team to speak up when he wasn’t clear.

The Outcome

I recently caught up with Jack, and the transformation was remarkable. By shifting his perspective, he broke free from the shackles of stagnation and his team was red hot again. Yet, the most striking change was that he started saying “we” instead of “me” when discussing the team’s accomplishments. Way to go, team!

Jack's journey is a powerful reminder of how shifting your perspective and engaging others can liberate you from the clutches of feeling stuck. So, when you find frustration mounting, remember to breathe, look at things from a different angle, and ask for help.

After all, teamwork makes the dream work!

Have you ever felt stuck?

Maybe you were grappling with a challenging problem, overseeing a stalled project, or even trying to open a stubborn jar of pickles? That feeling of having your desires just out of reach can be incredibly frustrating, especially for high achievers accustomed to success. If you’ve been in that situation, you’re not alone. Let me introduce my client, whom we’ll call “Jack.”

Jack is a data virtuoso turned product manager. He had woven a remarkable career by crafting winning product ideas from intricate webs of user data, much like a detective untangling clues in a crime novel. However, Jack’s so-called “hot streak” had gone ice cold, leaving him deeply aggravated. Moreover, his CEO was becoming ill-tempered with Jack’s missteps. So, what doused the flames of his once-thriving career?

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