MODERN WORLD, MODERN STRESS: Balancing the competing demands of life is indeed a tough issue. But as we've said before, the stickier the problem, the greater relief you get from solving it. The ability to prevent our work lives and personal lives from bleeding into one another is one of the greatest predictors of overall resilience. So, not only do we gain the ability to focus on work in spite of problems at home and be truly engaged with our families when we are there--we also get the added bonus of greater stress management capability across the board. It is doubtful that he either heard or understood Jane's comment. If the leader attends carefully to the meaning and intent of these early contributions and conveys understanding and acceptance, it has the effect of freeing the individuals to participate more in terms of the total group situation. Perhaps we have here an example of how individuals at first are demonstrating a kind of tunnel vision -- that is, their perceptions are limited to their own needs and tensions. Later their perceptions widen in scope and include the needs of others in the group. Ego-centered participation thus gives way to group-centered participation. This widening of the effective psychological field of the group member is undoubtedly only one explanation for the change in the nature of his participation. We need to understand more clearly why this change seems to take place under group-centered leadership. Another possible explanation would be that as the group member feels more and more accepted in the group he no longer has to defend his self-organization. He is now more free to devote his energies to helping the group solve its problems. The Increase in Spontaneous Expression of Feeling and Meaning. I was raised in a family where I felt valued for my achievements more than for who I was. My success as a student was a ticket to getting the attention and pride I desperately wanted from my parents. That started me on the endless drive to achieve--Who really needs three postgraduate degrees? What I'm really craving is acceptance for who I am at my core, not what I can achieve. In some ways, the attention I get for this work I currently do--writing and speaking--is very hard on me because it reinforces the value of my professional identity. But in the process, I'm not sure I always get seen.

Others have a very different experience of workaholism. Some people use work to distract themselves from traumatic thoughts. It can be effective for that, too--in the short term, of course. Working hard, like most behaviors, is not inherently problematic. All Work and No Play The primary question we're going to ask you to ask yourself with regard to extreme working habits is this: How are you compromising your other life goals by only channeling down one avenue? Time is a zero-sum game. Unlike other scenarios in which you can find a win-win strategy, the time we put into our jobs we cannot spend with our families or in other pursuits, because it is a finite resource. We cannot spend it in two ways. The tricky thing about icebergs is that they can drive us to funnel that precious resource into our work at the expense of everything else we want to experience or achieve. If you dial down at work, you may not get ahead as fast as you want. That's possible. But the key question is: Is that your only goal? What else matters to you in your life that you are sacrificing for this one avenue of achievement? Group-centered leadership seems to accelerate the process whereby group members begin to feel secure enough to express their true feelings and attitudes -- to say what they mean. As they begin to perceive the nonthreatening nature of the group climate, they throw off their disguises and shed some of their defenses. In most groups attitudes and feelings remain bottled up and become displaced, invariably showing up in some new situation where it is difficult for others to see the connection between the feeling and the new situation. If, however, real attitudes are expressed toward their real objects, they are more easily understood and handled. Consequently, in an atmosphere which permits spontaneous expression of feeling a group will be more effective in solving its problems, because when a group of individuals must work together their effectiveness is dependent upon mutual understanding and shared meanings. We should expect that when there is greater correspondence between what members say and what they intend to say, when members are willing to make public to the group their real attitudes, creative ideas, and true feelings, then it is more possible that mutual understandings will be developed.

From mutual understanding follows consensus, and out of consensus comes action that is most appropriate to the needs of the group. The Decrease in Dependence Upon the Leader. One of the most noticeable outcomes of group-centered leadership is the decreased dependence of group members upon the leader. In discussion groups this is reflected in a greater number of member-initiated problems brought before the group, in fewer requests for the opinions and judgments of the leader, in more comments which are in disagreement with the leader. But workaholism is quite distinct from working hard to make ends meet. It's what's driving the behavior that determines its effect. There is a clear difference, too, between a hard worker and a workaholic. A hard worker is emotionally present for family, coworkers, and friends. A hard worker can put their work aside and tend to other things. A hard worker can recognize they are more than their work. A hard worker may have periodic bursts of overworking to meet a deadline or an emergency, but they can also follow up with a reduced schedule or days off to restore depleted resources. And to be clear, workaholism doesn't work. A meta-analysis (summary analysis of multiple investigations' findings) of eighty-nine primary studies found that workaholism was related to lower satisfaction with job, family, and life and diminished physical and mental health. That same meta-analysis found that not only does workaholism fail to improve productivity, but it also strongly relates to increased job stress and burnout. Remember, time is zero-sum. So, what you really need to do is analyze how your icebergs are getting in the way of your investing it in all the ways you want to. See the situation accurately and you'll make clearer decisions, from the broadest perspective possible, rather than being pushed down one road unconsciously. Let's get these icebergs in our scope so that we can recognize when they are steering our ship, and navigate a beneficial path around them. Leading with Your Heart to Quiet the Chaos Values-driven leadership is not only the best way to lead;

And, it's a highly successful way to manage your work/life conflict and improve your performance. When you're authentic and values-driven, you choose to align your actions with what you believe in. Those who are unsure end up reacting to stress rather than choosing their responses. They find themselves in sticky situations because they don't know who they are or whom they're trying to please. In our own Counseling Center organization it has meant that members of the staff have taken the initiative to develop new areas of service to the community, they have tried out new counseling methods of their own, they effectively carry on the functions of the Center in the absence of any one person or group of persons. Instead of energies being expended in trying to figure out what the leader might want or approve, in a truly self-directing group individuals discover they can be truly creative. The conditions exist in which each member has the opportunity for real self-actualization, self-expression, and self-development. Individuals learn to assume responsibility for their own feelings, ideas, and behavior. The Acceptance of Group Standards. We have seen clearly the process whereby a group formulates its own standards, provided there is the proper psychological climate in which it may tackle this problem. The significance of group standards has been repeatedly referred to in studies of worker production in industry. The Western Electric studies (163) demonstrated how groups set their own standards, and how successfully the group members reach standards which the group sets itself. Our own experiences are consistent with these findings, and in addition have convinced us that standards that a group sets for itself will be more realistic, more attainable, and more comfortable than standards that are imposed upon the group from the outside. Furthermore, when individuals have a hand in setting their own standards they are much more likely to accept and to maintain those standards. Clearly, workaholism is damaging, but it's important to remember that it is a biologically driven strategy (thanks, dopamine cycle! Originally it was a smart strategy when you lacked better skills to help you manage. But, in the long run, it doesn't serve you. What does help? You'll get a detailed explanation in article 10. Short, simple answer, for now: It's about acceptance.

Believing you're okay as you are. You don't need to prove yourself. And don't worry, I'll be providing strategies to help you get there. Why is aggression so common? On Day 12, you'll learn more about the skill of aligning your actions with your life goals. In the meantime, as you are looking today at the belief-driven decisions you make about work, it's helpful to ask yourself what you stand for. Why do you do the work you do? What do you hope to inspire in your team and in others? What is the legacy you are looking to impart, and are the choices of how you are showing up at work each day aligned with that? Take Action It's important to know that this is a practice, and the shift won't happen all at once. But the more you employ this skill, the more balance you'll achieve. Over time, the icebergs that no longer serve you will melt away, and you'll become surprisingly adept at spotting and navigating around the rest. Here are your steps for striking a work/life balance: Also, a group frequently will set for its members standards that are much higher than those that would be set by some external authority. We have all been in groups that have set goals for themselves that the administrator or supervisor would not have dreamed of requiring of the group. It may be that a group is like an individual in that the standards it sets for itself are likely to be appropriate unless the group is in some way reacting against standards that it feels are being imposed on it from the outside. We see this type of reaction operating in the common practice of workers' restriction of output in industry, often because of the imposition of rates by expert time-and-motion-study engineers. In industry it has been shown that when a group participates in setting its own standards there is much more acceptance of this standard, as exemplified in the study by Coch and French (41). Similarly, the study reported by Radke and Klisurich (152) of the buying and consumption habits of housewives and their families showed a greater acceptance of a change in food habits in those groups that arrived at decisions themselves than in those groups that were given lectures.