Avoid stress – Learn to say no to the boss

With this exercise you can help an employee handle a stressful work environment by using a “stop card”.

  1. Spread out a Pocket Set on a table in front of the employee.
  2. Ask them to pick a card that expresses how they feel when the manager places a new assignment on their desk. Allow them to give an in-depth explanation and ask elaborating questions to details and possible symbolism in the picture card.
  3. Ask the employee to find another card that illustrates how they would like to feel when the manager is handing them an assignment that they don’t have time for. Again, make sure to have a detailed, thorough discussion.
  4. Place the second card in the middle of the table and tell the employee that from now on, this is their “stop card”.
  5. Have a discussion with the employee about the various tools and methods they can use to deal with work challenges and stress. For instance, they can practise visualizing their time by marking in their calendar how much time present assignments are already taking up. You can help them practise saying no to the manager and suggest alternative solutions in a constructive way, or be proactive by discussing possible bottleneck constraints so the manager will have the chance to prevent them.
  6. After your conversation, you download the “stop card” and send it to the employee’s phone. You can even add some of the keywords of your discussion to the card. This picture will help them deal with the stress in the workplace in the future.

The employee can also take a photo of the “stop card” with their phone if you don’t have time to download and add words to it.



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