One of the ways we can help our team, but we can also help ourselves is to think about what we need to do to ease some of that stress, ease some of that unrest, and give ourselves literally and figuratively, some breathing room.

Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute, offers a weekly agency management tip to agency owners.

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Hey, everybody.
Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute
this week coming to you from home in Denver, Colorado.
You know, it's interesting.
One of the pieces of research that keeps coming up
and one of the things that both Danyel and I are hearing in our coaching sessions
is that your team members are self-reporting,
that they are more burnt out and feeling more stress than they did during COVID.
So four years ago, at this time of year
in March, April, we were in lockdown.
We had no idea what was happening
in the world, and we were going into an incredibly stressful time.
Personally and professionally – a time of great unknown,
which we know as human beings, creates a lot of stress for us.
And yet, fast forward four years later, we're through COVID,
we're through a lot of the challenges
that came after COVID, and yet people are reporting
that they are more stressed out and they are more worried
and they are more exhausted than even during that – what for most of us, I would
say, is one of the most stressful times that we've ever been in before.
So I want to suggest to you that one of the ways that
we can help our team and if we're reflective and we can say,
you know what, I'm feeling a lot of stress, too.
One of the ways we can help our team, but we can also help ourselves
is to think about what do we need to do to sort of ease
some of that stress, to ease some of that unrest,
to give ourselves literally and figuratively, some breathing room.
So, you know me, I don't get all sort of spiritual or woo woo very often.
But today's tip is really about when was the last time
you just sat for five or 10 minutes and took those deep restorative breaths?
There's a ton of apps for our phone that I'll walk you through a breathing exercise
if you're not sure how to get down to that diaphragm and bring those breaths up.
How do I do that?
And and so one: I want you to do it for yourself, right?
I want you to get in a habit of maybe two or three times a day.
And if you can do it more often than that, great.
But just taking three or 5 minutes and just doing some deep breathing.
And two: don't do it in the dark.
Don't do it in a way that nobody knows about it but you.
I want you to talk to your team about it.
I want you to talk about the power of literally
and figuratively, just pausing and catching your breath.
And I want you to encourage your team
members to do that as well, to just find 5 minutes a day.
And maybe that's all it is for right now.
But I think after people do that sort of restorative,
deep breathing exercise where they stand up or they sit,
you know, with their shoulders back and they really open themselves up
and they fill their lungs with that fresh air and they hold it.
And it's an exhale it. Again,
that's not my normal topic.
It's not my area of expertise.
But I do know that our bodies need it, and I do know that our brains need it.
And I know that our spirit needs just 5 minutes of nothing
but focusing on filling our lungs with oxygen and feeling everything.
Just expand and what that does is it forces us for two,
three, four or 5 minutes to stop,
to not think, to focus on our body, to just give ourselves
that minute of respite that we need to keep going in the day.
So is that going to solve the problem of our stressed out employees?
No. Is it going to solve the problem of our stressed out selves? No.
But is it a start?
Is it a way for us to focus on it a little bit and begin to give our body
something that it needs that will also be good for our spirit?
I think so.
So I know it's crazy, but I want you to just stop and breathe today
and I want you to do it every day for a week and see how it feels.
And then I want you to talk to your team about doing it.
If nothing else, one of the things that our research has also shown us
is that your team wants you to see them as whole human beings.
They don't just want to be an employee to you.
They want you to recognize that they have this whole other life
outside of their work and that you care about it.
So even if you think this is all hogwash, talking to them about, you know what,
it sounds crazy, but I started doing 5 minutes of deep breathing.
And you know what, You guys, it really did help me calm down.
It helped me relax.
I notice my shoulders dropping.
I notice the tension in my back releasing a little bit.
I just gave myself a little bit of breathing room.
And I know we're all going crazy.
We're all working really hard.
We're all working really fast.
But I want you to give yourself that gift of
just 5 minutes of breathing. Even just talking to them about it.
Even just saying to them, I see that you're stressed,
I see that you're working hard and I want you to take care of yourself.
There's huge dividends in that, just caring about them as human beings
and taking the time to talk to them about it for a few minutes,
I think is going to pay off huge dividends.
So number one, give yourself the gift.
Number two, give the gift to your team and let's see what happens.
All right?
Go on.
Take a few deep breaths and then get back to your day.
See you next week.

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