The Importance Of Recognising Stress

Stress can have a major impact upon both individual and organisational effectiveness. Broadly there are four discrete areas of stress in the workplace outlined below – begin by considering how they might apply to you or an organisation with which you are familiar:

Time Stress.

This is the feeling that there is just not enough time to achieve everything. Work piles up, deadlines approach at lightning speed and things have just got to be done. Prioritise, plan ahead, set deadlines ad delegate sensibly. Some of your colleagues thrive on this, you may thrive on this. Others just shrug their shoulders.

Situational Stress.

The stress linked to the role that you have which is often made worse by the types of colleagues that you have and characters around you in a particular situation. We are frequently tempted to walk away or to just wish that we did not have to work with various people but we have no room for manoeuvre. Just grin, bear it and work through it!

Anticipatory Stress.

We all worry – not looking forward to the Meeting tomorrow, when is my Appraisal? I don’t want to have to deal with Mr X’s under-performance. And so it goes on. This is the fear that some unknown disaster is about to happen and that there will be pain, horror and angst as a result. Some professions try to put this into a box in their mind and only open it when the time is right, others just worry. We all have an active, even over-active imagination, which works to feed this stress and build it up into fearsome proportions.

Encounter Stress.

The fear of dealing with one or more people we find difficult, challenging or just not very nice. If possible we need to consign such individuals back into our normal social patterns and conventions and not give them any more worry-status than is absolutely necessary! Avoid the retreat behind your operational title or role, be pleasantly formal and if all else fails only ever write to them and avoid any contact with all possible effort.

Knowing, and recognising, the above can help you identify potential stress and conflict areas – if you at least see them for what they are it gives you the chance to take proactive decisions on how to manage them better.

Good Luck!