I have been talking to compliance professionals who are stressed. As has been mentioned many times, a recent survey showed that stress is something of an epidemic for compliance professionals. I have met some wonderful people whom I would like to see enjoy themselves a little more than they are. I have some things I would like them to think about. I completely understand that my advice is what I would call soft science. It’s not a black-and-white fix. It’s easy for me to say, but tough to implement. There is even a smattering of the obvious. However, for some it will be helpful to hear. A little help is more than none.
- Have more confidence.
- Don’t take the conflict so seriously.
- Don’t fight the little things so hard.
- Talk to colleagues in your profession about what is frustrating you.
- Occasionally call your colleagues and talk about anything but compliance.
- Go to conferences and spend time meeting people and building your network.
- Join compliance social media to watch people talk about their challenges and solutions.
- Don’t forget you are working on the best solution to one of society’s greatest problems.
- When dealing with serious issues, get outside experts to verify your position before major conflicts.
- Understand that occasional conflict is an important and unavoidable part of the job.
- People understand that you have to hold your ground on difficult issues, and they respect you in the long run, even if they get a little frustrated in the short run.
- Because this job is so hard, people picked for compliance jobs are often trusted and highly respected employees.
- Spend time in honest conversation with leadership. Let them know you cannot let problems go unresolved, but you will solve problems with them, you respect them, and you have their back.
I wish there was an easier fix to the stress, but there isn’t. We have a major initiative underway to help reduce stress. This is not a problem that money can fix. There is no big and glorious fix. We will do many little things that on an individual basis might look insignificant, like this article. However, all of these things we do to help compliance professionals deal with stress will collectively have a material impact. Of that, I have no doubt.
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