Who decides when enough is enough?


Summary: How many of you have said, “enough is enough?” And you find that while you demand the upset to stop, it just keeps going on and on? This leads to both overwhelm and anxiety.  Here are some tips to help.

QUESTION: Who decides when enough is enough? 

ANSWER: It depends on the circumstances. 

What an annoying, non-answer!

Well, it does depend on the circumstances.  

Assumptions about other people can make you feel like an ass!

For example, what if your direct report is acting up in a meeting. He is slyly looking at his phone, which is strategically positioned under the table.

Further, while his voice is silent, his eyes are going from squinting to total OMG. You see him rolling his eyes and figure it’s to let you know he thinks your idea sucks. (Or so you think he thinks this). 

Therefore, you say to yourself, “enough is enough.”  

Consequently, you call for a short break. Then you motion for the rolling eyes guy to join you in the hallway. And ask him what his problem is (all the while thinking you should fire the jerk).  

Moreover, he apologizes. 

Being overwhelmed can cause you to ignore the present situation.

After that, he tells you he has too many things on his mind. Foremost, he has a sick child waiting at her elementary school to take her home. His wife, he explains, is out of town at a leadership meeting from her company. He is the designated parent for the rest of the week. 

He looks sullen as he utters your phrase, “Hell, this week is hell. When is enough enough?” 

Okay. How do you respond to him? 

Consider the “whole human” rather than the “employee” are the winners.

That was the context of my coaching session with the senior VP mentioned above. He had to furlough everyone except for the few senior leaders at the above meeting. 

Therefore, stress was high, and the remaining team felt overwhelmed.

Above all, my client said he felt like a jerk for assuming he was the target.

Most importantly, he wanted to encourage the remaining staff rather than judge them.

Here is my suggestion: 

Healthy emotional temperature can keep staff from feeling overwhemed.

For instance, it would be best if you had some time to take the “emotional temperature” in the room. Do this at the next meeting.  

“How do I do that?” he asked. 

By a process we call “Getting Current.” 

It’s crucial during times of group stress and being overwhelmed.  

Also, it works for all companies at all meetings all year long. 

Start meetings with the human connection of “Getting Current.”

Here’s how it works—best for smaller groups (up to about 20). 

Most importantly, you start the meeting with a minute of silence. Yes, a minute. You know, 60 seconds. Every session can give that much time for a little bit of quiet. 

No rules about keeping eyes open or closed.  

Just mouths shut and phones off. 

After that, each person has a few minutes to say how they feel (the sound “F” word).  

In the same vein, there is no pressure. No deep explanations. Just a few short sentences about what is going on personally as well as professionally. 

To clarify, here is a short excerpt from my book, Don’t Bring It To Work 

“Meetings are often called the ‘black hole” in the business day. Most meetings are agenda-driven and stay with the linear, left side of the brain, often excluding the intuitive right side. Yet, it  is the combination of the two that sets off creative sparks and bonds teams together.” 

Start the meeting by letting each person room to say something about how they are doing. Monitor it—no long paragraphs, no cross-talk, no saving someone, or giving advice and just listening. And then the following person talks.  

It is also essential not to be in a straight line or “straight circle” if at a conference table.  

Someone talks. Then someone, maybe on the other side of the table, picks up the conversation. The following person says whatever they want to say. 

Keep going till everyone has a chance to express themselves. 

Getting current clears the air at the beginning of a meeting.

It clears the air.  

I promise you; the meeting will move faster with more positive results. 

In a group of 20, this would take maybe 15 minutes. 

Example from the “designated parent” above. 

If he had the chance to say he was worried about his ill daughter and would have to leave after the meeting to pick her up, he felt the pressure of being the sole parent.  

Just that would be enough. 

How long did that take? Maybe 30 seconds if he spoke slowly. A minute if he needed to say he was frustrated and wished his wife could get back sooner. 

Moreover, he would be more present in the meeting, and the “enough is enough” mentality would have been put to rest. 

Give it a shot.  

We have taught this process to large organizations, family firms, and startups.  

It works. 

In conclusion, there is a great deal about team collaboration in my book Don’t Bring It To Work. Get a copy  HERE and contact me for more information. 

 To your success,


PS. My new book “Invisible STRESS (It’s NOT What YOU Think!)” is available on Amazon. It is a short (90 pages) read with excellent ways to stay out of feeling overwhelmed.

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options