Stress is good! But only to a certain level. And what level is that?
Well, where it motivates you to act, inspires you to progress and stimulates you to achieve.
With materials that undergo a stress test it is the force (pressure, pulling, stretching, pushing) placed on the object.
Similarly, the force we experience is pushing to move forward, pulling us up, stretching our mind or pressures of deadlines looming. All good! All designed to make things happen!
After that, it’s downhill i.e. “when the demands placed upon you outweigh your ability to manage them” and then it becomes the negative, harmful stress that people these days refer to.
What pressures might you experience that you can’t manage?
Time – not enough time to achieve the tasks you’ve been set (by yourself or someone else)
Often in workplace stress, it is the time factor that is the problem. Not enough hours in a day, too many tasks to complete in too short a timescales, unrealistic deadlines imposed on you, and expectations that don’t relate to the practical instead of just the paper exercise for example.
Skill – not sufficient understanding or training to achieve what you are meant to do in your job
If you are put in charge of a task or a job that you haven’t the knowledge and training to do, then it will feel stressful. You will feel nervous, uncertain, unsafe and threatened. Your fight or flight response will kick in and you may get grumpy or angry, or hide/run away, procrastinate or become ill.
Capacity – your knowledge, awareness, mental capacity to understand & process information
If you haven’t actually go the capacity to do the job then it will be stressful – if you havening the physical strength to carry, the mental acuity to make rapid calculations or are too sensitive and caring to do difficult management responsibilities like disciplinary, then it just won’t work and you can’t make it happen! Again, frustration, outbursts, tears, hiding or low morale that develops – losing self-esteem and self-doubt creep in.
Away from work, it could be the practical capacity of having enough money to do the training course, pay the mortgage or ask someone out!
Ability – knowledge, practically, physically, mentally that you can access to complete the task
This is your natural status, or learning/knowledge, flexibility and adaptability perhaps that allows you to move with changes, to be comfortable in a new environment, talk to people and be honest and open. If you are an introvert, thinking in your head and uncomfortable with people, then moving to a new team could be traumatic for you!
So, how can you learn to manage it instead of stress managing you?
It’s easy (she says!)
1. Identifying the problem – see above
2. Looking at solutions – on your own initially perhaps but it may also involve getting help, advice or co-operation from others too
3. Looking at alternatives – actions, options, new perspectives
Ask for help to manage overwhelming workloads for a specific, timescales project; find help and advice with something new to you, that you are learning on the job; asking your boss to reduce your workload; learning new skills to make your job easier (time
management, coaching, Excel training); waiting a while for the training you want but can’t yet afford
4. Taking action to make the changes you’ve identifies are (a) necessary (b) possible
But don’t assume someone won’t help when you ask, or that you can’t do it just because you haven’t yet!
5. Maintain the new changes and for a month it might be difficult to adjust but then a new habit will form, a new way of being, a new behaviour in you and others, should form and the helpful change established and the helpful process learned!
For help and options from Clear Mind
If you want help achieving this outcome for you or your team/company, coaching step by step could help you to manage change and develop more efficient and effective systems and processes. This can improve output, enhance income, and reduce strain on your workforce and on you!
Six sessions of coaching one to one or for teams; finding their individual strengths; meeting their needs; enhancing their skills and adding to the management toolbox of skills, knowledge and techniques!
One or group session on managing stress in your workplace – tools, techniques and awareness that once learned, cannot be lost again, and can be adjusted and recreated consistently for individuals and teams – by managers!
Call for details on 07765813827 or contact me here to discuss your needs and reduce your stress!