How To Recognise Frustration In Your Team

Team members will, from time to time, get frustrated and disillusioned with what is going on around them, just as we do. What makes this situation undesirable is when the levels of frustration build up to a position where extremes of behaviour appear – at this point you should not just accept the situation and you must do something to deal with the situation.

Frustration is the outcome when a goal is blocked and cannot be achieved and the individual reacts badly to this. This is a negative form of behaviour and appears in four different behaviours:

  1. Aggression: verbal or physical attack on a person or an object. This can be a case of Displaced Aggression where attacking the source of the frustration is not possible – often this appears through vandalism and damage to property or belongings of others. Here a scapegoat is selected who has no involvement in the original issue.
  2. Regression: reverting to a childish state or behaviour which includes sulking and tantrums which then disrupts outputs and performance.
  3. Fixation: persisting with a particular form of behaviour that repeats previous outcomes and outputs with no positive results being achieved. This is often seen where people refuse to accept change and are determined to continue with outdated practices.
  4. Withdrawal: apathy, giving up or the ultimate approach of resignation from the organisation. Milder, but very disruptive behaviour includes arriving late and leaving early, increased sickness and absenteeism, avoiding decision-making, refusal to accept responsibility and passing work over to other colleagues to perform.

The above may not appear for some time, allowing resentment and frustration to build – what you MUST do is be aware of the behaviour and attitude of your staff and act when you recognise that there has been a change in attitude or approach from individual team members.

Good Luck!

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