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Trainer’s Tip: Stress Management


This week Joanna Howard offers some advice on how to make the case for stress management training in a high-pressure environment.

If you're in a high stress environment, people can get sucked into a "when the going gets tough..." set of assumptions. This means that few people like to acknowledge they're under stress some people thrive on it and despise the others long-term stress-related conditions may be building up.

A stress audit may help you identify which the key stressors are. Generally they're connected with not having the power to change things that you can be blamed for, mild to severe bullying, too-tight deadlines and not enough information

Overall in my experience, being under pressure to deliver, without the tools or the environment to support the delivery is the most frequent cause of stress; especially if there's some threat associated with not delivering.

In my view, the first step would be to ensure that the systems and structures are in place to enable everyone to do their job effectively. Second would be to look at management style. The driving questions are: "Are we managing our people to get the best from them? What's working and what's getting in the way?"

The next thing is to do a costing of someone being off with stress, to show the ROI in preventing undue stress (when it goes from 'buzz' to 'burnout').

Only when that's all in place is it worth doing stress management courses, in my experience.

Read the question that prompted this response here.


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