As the leader of your business, are you feeling tension? Is there tension among your employees? Believe me, plenty of tension can be found in the workplace today given our current COVID-19 environment.


Tension can keep customers away

If there’s tension in the workplace it needs to be identified and resolved. If it’s not, it will be difficult for your business to attract and retain customers. When tension is present people are ornery, argumentative, short, and unhelpful. People do not like or want to interact with others dealing with tension … not prospects, not customers, not vendors, nor employees.



Begin to mitigate tension

Before tension can be treated and properly mitigated it must be identified. Like any competent doctor — look for symptoms. They must be diagnosed and then treated accordingly. A few types of tension in the workplace include:

  • Environmental
  • Generational diversity
  • Crisis Management


Environmental Tension

Organizations have cultures — the civilizations we work in. Some are well thought through and kept current while others simply happen by default. Many business cultures suffer from being out of alignment. This occurs when leaders’ actions and behaviors are inconsistent with the “purpose” of the organization. An example of this is when a leader “talks-the-talk” but does not “walk-the-walk.” This is like an accident waiting for a place to happen.


Another relevant example has to do with employees working from home because of the current pandemic. The root of their tension, claim many employees, is not being given information about the length of time they may be operating remotely. Some people tell me they would have less anxiety if they were given outside dates in the future; even if those dates were changed as new information becomes available. Without that they feel left hanging, endlessly!


Generational Diversity

Dr. Terri Manning, Ed, former CEO for the Center for Applied Research at Central Piedmont Community College says:

“For the first time in modern history we have four unique generations competing in the workplace simultaneously. All four are competing for jobs, promotions, and technology. All believing that they are right, and others are wrong.”

Understanding how to diffuse this kind of tension is the first step toward enabling businesses to be more effective.


Crisis Management

Often, you will notice a leader/manager putting out fire after fire…sometimes to justify their existence because, “that is what they do.” They feel their job is to put out fires. Unfortunately, without fundamental change, these people will need to put out the same fire, repeatedly. A productive way to mitigate this type of tension is for the leader to step back. Employ someone like a business coach to provide fresh eyes. A competent business coach can suggest small changes to avoid fires, crisis, and tension. Doing this is typically a better use of time and less costly in the long run.



Get rid of the tensions in your workplace. Provide a culture that improves the productivity of your employees. And stop keeping customers away!


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Alan Adler coaches individuals and successful high-performing business leaders to help accelerate their personal and professional growth. In addition to one-on-one coaching, Alan hosts noncompetitive, confidential, business-owner mentor advisory groups. Click here to schedule a meeting with him. As an entrepreneur, he has started three businesses, including his current, Alan Adler & Associates, LLC. His experience also includes working in marketing communication roles, (with senior management) at two of the largest corporations in the world.  You can find his books, Getting the Fish to Swim to YOU & Keeping Them in YOUR Boat, and UpStream, on Amazon. Alan lives in Huntersville, NC with his wife Mindy. They have two grown children, two grandchildren, and a rescue dog named Bentley.






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