How to Deal with Stress at Work?
Stress undermines the structure of strong workplace performance. Stress in and of itself is not a bad thing. The stress of wanting to do your best or having competition helps to create innovation and high performance. However, like water putting stress on a building’s structure, long-term and high stress levels undermine and can eventually destroy the structure of a person’s career. The W.R.I. is designed to measure your level of stress and how it is affecting both your career and your performance in the workplace. Both our personal and professional lives are often times intertwined and one affects the other. Just like stress in the workplace is often channeled inappropriately at home, so can stress at home negatively affect performance in the workplace. In addition, both types of stress have been found to have negative long-term health affects.
Workplace Stress Defined
What are examples of things that cause stress at the workplace? In the workplace, stress can be the result of any number of situations. Some examples include
Job Stressors such as:
Factors unique to the job:
- workload (overload and underload)
- pace / variety / meaningfulness of work
- autonomy (e.g., the ability to make your own decisions about our own job or about specific tasks)
- shiftwork / hours of work
- physical environment (noise, air quality, etc)
- isolation at the workplace (emotional or working alone)
- Role in the organization
- role conflict (conflicting job demands, multiple supervisors/managers)
- role ambiguity (lack of clarity about responsibilities, expectations, etc)
- level of responsibility
- job security (fear of redundancy either from economy, or a lack of tasks or work to do)
- career development opportunities
- overall job satisfaction
Relationships at work (Interpersonal)
- threat of violence, harassment, etc (threats to personal safety)
- participation (or non-participation) in decision-making
- management style
- communication patterns
Keep a Sense of Serenity
As the old saying goes, serenity is accepting the things you cannot change, changing the things you can and knowing the difference[iii]. For instance, you cannot change another person. What you can change, though, is how you react or deal with that person. That reaction is the key to resilience. The phrase I take responsibility is a key one to know to help you become more resilient. Just as you cannot ‘make’ somebody angry (they choose their reaction), nobody can control your reactions. For instance, you may have a sickness that is beyond your control. How you deal with it, however, is up to you. You always have options. Sometimes they may not be the most ‘pleasant’ options, but you have them nonetheless. Having options and changing how you react to an event is the essence of resilience. As important as it is to take responsibility for your mistakes so that you can learn from them, it is just as important to take responsibility for your successes. That is why the workbook contains the tools for listing your accomplishments. By taking credit for your successes, you empower yourself to become a high performer.
The antidote to the stress that undermines resiliency is creative and positive action!