ROC Weekly Management & Mindset Segment
How to Use Stoicism when Managing a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center
Practicing stoicism can help you maintain composure, think rationally, and embrace the moment, regardless of the situation. Being a stoic means you can face challenges and conflict with patience and acceptance, and that you can persevere through difficulties with a high standard of behaviour and conduct.
Stoicism involves focusing on the things you can control, and letting go of those you cannot. It is about maintaining values and character, rather than winning.
As a manager, stoicism is extremely valuable, as it reminds you that a productive team is not necessarily one free of conflict. Instead, collaborative and effective teams inherently involve conflict, as they include people with differing ideas, perspectives, and motivations for the work that is being done.
As a manager, it is not your job to avoid and diminish conflict at all costs. Instead, you can focus on working through the conflict, anticipating it, and identifying when productive conflict is veering toward toxicity.
Lessons in stoicism for effective management
Here is a list of lessons that you can apply to help manage your team and rehab center:
This too shall pass
Regardless of the hardship or conflict you are facing, remember that nothing in life lasts. Even though this idea might seem negative, you can view it as liberating, as most things that upset you are temporary or insignificant. This can help you keep things in perspective and avoid distraction or overly emotional responses to challenges.
Criticism and conflict are not the same
Feedback is key to progress and development, so try to welcome it - and criticism- and treat it as an opportunity to grow. Nobody is perfect, so remember that self-reflection can help you develop in your personal life and career.
Innovation can arise from conflict
If you face a conflict that you seem unable to overcome, find another way. You can brainstorm with others and try to innovate a solution. This can provide you with the opportunity to find a novel solution and optimize your processes for future benefit.
Conflict is inevitable
Viewing conflict as inevitable can help you prepare for when it happens. Sometimes, conflict arises despite best intentions, but there are still other times when it arises from bad attitudes, office politics, and egos. If you anticipate a likelihood of conflict in your day, you are better able to handle it when it occurs. You can mentally prepare for the situation, avoid wasting time on unproductive issues and conversations, and better justify your position and decisions.
Focus on what you can control
Try to focus on the things you can control, like your own behaviours, your own thinking, and your own actions. The words of others, their opinions of you, their actions, world events, and bad luck are all things you cannot control. Remember that no matter how much you think and worry about those things, they will always be unaffected by you.
Conflicts arise because people care
Having a team of dedicated and passionate employees means people are likely to advocate for different things. The fact that there is conflict means that people are comfortable to bring their ideas and concerns to the group. Embrace this type of conflict, as it stands in opposition to having a team of uninvested “yes-men” that are unlikely to be innovative or progressive with their contributions.
Dwelling on conflict gives it power
Getting angry and upset over a situation is likely to only make it worse and extend its duration. When you dwell on an issue, you might get more mad about it, and it might affect you for longer than necessary. It can also lead to distraction and complaining. Try your best to assess the situation objectively and keep your emotions in check to stop the situation from having more power than needed.
Remember that life is supposed to be challenging
Life is full of moments and people that will test and challenge you. They will force you to define and defend your character, and determine who you are and what you value. Whenever you face a challenge, remember that it is an opportunity for you to define and prove your values, and that doing so strengthens your ability to develop and progress.
Stoic exercises and strategies for effective management
Here is a list of stoic exercises that strategies that you can use to more effectively manage your rehab center:
Keep it simple: Avoid distractions, especially those that concern other people. By focusing on your own tasks, you are more likely to excel in your role.
Beware of habits: Assess the thoughts, reactions, words, and actions you do and use by habit and determine whether they are serving you. Also consider if they are the best way you can accomplish your goals. Adjust if needed.
Prioritize your peace: While stoicism can help you navigate challenging situations and people, it also requires you to assess whether you want those things in your life. Try to be mindful of the people and situations that continuously cause stress and determine whether they are worth the effort they demand.
Stabilize your thoughts and emotions: On a typical day, there are likely things that make you happy, frustrated, anxious, and excited. Only you can be in control of how you think and act towards something, so being mindful of your frame of mind can help you react to and navigate things as they come your way.
Rules for the “good life”
Here is a list of rules from the Stoics, as summarized by Ryan Holiday (author of “The Obstacle Is the Way”, “Ego Is the Enemy,” “Conspiracy,” and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition). These rules can act as a guide to “the good life,” which you can apply to management and your path through life:
You control how you respond to things.
Ask yourself, “Is this essential?”
Meditate on your mortality every day.
Value time more than money or possessions.
Remember, you have the power to have no opinion.
Own the morning.
Put yourself up for review and interrogate yourself.
Don’t suffer imagined troubles.
Try to see the good in people.
Never be overheard complaining, even to yourself.
Two ears, one mouth, for a reason.
There is always something you can do.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Live as if you’ve died and come back (every minute is bonus time).
The best revenge is not to be like that.
Be strict with yourself and tolerant with others.
Put every impression and emotion to the test before acting on it.
Learn something from everyone.
Focus on process, not outcomes.
Define what success means to you.
Find a way to love everything that happens (Amor fati).
Don’t follow the mob.
Grab the “smooth handle.”
Every person is an opportunity for kindness.
Say no (a lot).
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Find one thing that makes you wiser every day.
What’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee.
Don’t judge other people.
Study the lives of the greats.
Forgive, forgive, forgive.
Make a little progress each day.
Prepare for life’s inevitable setbacks.
Look for the poetry in ordinary things.
To do wrong to one, is to do wrong to yourself.
Always choose “Alive Time.”
Associate only with people that make you better.
If someone offends you, realize you are complicit in taking offense.
Fate behaves as she pleases. Do not forget this.
Possessions are yours only in trust.
Accept success without arrogance, handle failure with indifference.
Courage. Temperance. Justice. Wisdom. (Always).
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