Table of Contents

Introduction

Welcome to your online Stress Management for Managers training course. For over 20 years our trainers at Total Success Training have taught thousands of our delegates to become more effective by teaching them practical tips and techniques that can be used immediately.

 

We’ve designed all of our courses to be both practical and easy to follow and have included topics that we feel will help you to learn quickly and easily.

 

To get the best out of this on-line training course please complete all the topics but go through each one at the pace you feel comfortable with. You may decide to do it in one go or in stages. It’s all up to you. We have included lots of exercises and quizzes to get you thinking, planning and using the course information in the most practical way.

Chapter 1

WHAT IS STRESS?

 

The word stress is used in a variety of ways. Write in the box alongside any phrases and words which describe what you understand by stress. There is no right answer to the question “What is stress?” as you can see from the various definitions given below.

 

SOME DESCRIPTIONS OF STRESS AND RELATED TERMS

 

“Stress is an individual reaction. Stress can be fantastic. Or it can be fatal” (P. Hanson)

 

“Stress is ‘dis-ease’, involving the whole personality.”

(Arthur Young)

 

“I have taken the view that stress results, when a person’s perceived or actual capabilities and resources are insufficient to meet the demands of the situation.” (J Cranwell-Ward)

 

“Stress can either be stimulating (pressure) or harmful (strain)”

(C. Handy)

 

“….the most useful way to understand stress and what’s most important about it, is that it’s something that makes you physically or mentally ill.” (M. Lucas et al.)

 

“Anxiety is to do with our fears and stress is to do with our reaction to pressure.” (M.Lawson)

 

“Stress is what happens when we try too hard and too often to do the impossible.” (T. Lake)

 

“Pressure is the aggregate of all the demands made upon you. Stress is your response to an inappropriate level of pressure. It is a response to pressure, not the pressure itself.”

(T. Arroba and K. James)

 

These descriptions illustrate some of the varied approaches to the concept of stress.  They show that:

  • Some see stress as a problem (i.e. negative) while others also see that it has a positive side
  • Some see stress as the force, pressure, demand you are subject to; others see it as your response to the force and still others see it as the result of your response (e.g. illness)

 

There are a number of closely related words, including anxiety and pressure, to which we can also add stressor and strain. You will find, if you start to read about stress, that they are all used in different ways.

 

It is quite likely that you have mentioned other aspects of stress. This is fine; what is important is that you have given some thought to what stress is. Having read through the descriptions above, go back to your own description to see if you wish to amend it.

 

In this course we apply the distinction made between pressure and stress, by Arroba and James: “Pressure is the aggregate of all the demands made upon you. Stress is your response to an inappropriate level of pressure. It is a response to pressure, not the pressure itself

So ‘pressure’ is used to describe demands in general, and ‘stress’ to refer to situations where the level of pressure is causing a problem.

Chapter 2

A major difference between pressure and stress is successful coping. Frequently it is not just what you do but how well you think you can cope that will impact on your performance; adapting your behaviour to pressure is crucial.

 

Stress is a complex subject, so too are coping strategies and there are a number that bring about a reduction of stress responses and are proven to help us manage pressure positively. Whilst you are already likely to be using some strategies without even thinking about them, it is beneficial to appraise their range and effectiveness. Strategies in isolation are not likely to provide adequate resources to support high or prolonged pressure. Furthermore, knowledge of coping strategies are meaningless without them being used, and without action or adapted behaviour the less they become habits.

 

We need to consider a range of key coping strategies and assess which ones to use on a regular basis. One characteristic of humans is that we can learn. This must mean we can also unlearn, albeit this may be more difficult. Think about changing the wrist you wear your watch on. How long do you think it would take you to adjust to looking down at the other wrist? To alter any learned behaviour you need to have the desire (want) to do so, the knowledge (what areas are appropriate to you and why) and skills of how to employ the most appropriate habits.

 

Finally, there is considerable overlap between coping strategies and pressure sources, since inappropriate coping strategies may actually add to stress levels. It is valuable personal development to recognise those areas that can both increase your capacity to manage pressure and reduce levels of stress. In order to make a real and sustained difference in our ability to manage pressure, we must adapt our behaviour appropriately. How long would it take before you remembered to look at the other wrist when you wanted to know the time?

 

The first step is to identify those inappropriate behaviours we wish to stop as well as the positive skills we wish to develop. By consciously practising and reinforcing positive behaviour patterns, good habits will eventually be made permanent. Understanding stress is an important foundation for managing pressure. But we need to ‘take action’ to improve personal effectiveness. To deal with pressure effectively you must continuous adjust your stress balance. Getting the ‘right balance’ is about hitting the appropriate buttons so as to take action that will have the best impact.

 

Positive Choices

 

  • Nutrition
  • Posture
  • Time Management
  • Managing Behaviour
  • Support
  • Positive Thinking
  • Relaxation
  • Coaching
  • Teamwork

 

There are many different strategies for dealing with pressure and inevitably a great deal of overlap exists between pressure sources, coping mechanisms and personality. For example, time management can be either an effective coping mechanism or, if poor time management is practised, an endless source of pressure. However, this is no bad thing as it serves to emphasise the importance of employing a range of strategies.

Chapter 3

YOUR ATTITUDE TO STRESS IN OTHERS

 

Our attitude to stress will affect whether or not you are prepared to recognise and confront it, rather than accept, deny or ignore it. Similarly your attitudes to stress may affect how you respond to stress in other people.

 

Answer the questions in the box below, trying to reflect our actual, rather than your ideal position — we all fall short of what we know to be the best practice.

 

 

REVIEWING YOUR ATTITUDES TO STRESS IN OTHERS

Yes / No

A  Is your immediate response to frequent industrial action to blame the unions?

 

 

If team meetings are going badly, do you believe the best policy is to workout whose fault it is and replace him/her in the group?

 

Do you believe that high pressure is an integral part of working life and that people must expect work to take its toll?

 

Do you avoid talking to people about personal issues or how they feel about their jobs?

 

Do you feel that signs of stress in your department would reflect badly on you as the manager?

 

Do you think personal problems should be dealt with by personnel departments, and so are not your concern?

 

B  Do you feel happy at the prospect of discussing personal issues and feelings with your staff?

 

Do you view it as a matter of concern if you detect signs of stress in your staff?

 

 

If you notice that a group is not working well, do you take steps to find out the reasons?

 

Do you view it as important to spend time with people discussing their worth and

the pressures they experience?

 

If you notice what you take to be signs of stress in a member of staff, do you raise the matter with him/her?

 

Do you view a high sickness rate as a matter for concern?

 

 

 

 

If you answered ‘yes’ more than ‘no’ to questions in A and 'no' more than ‘yes’ to questions in B, it is likely that on balance your attitudes will hinder your recognition of stress others. If this is the case, you need to discuss the issues with a colleague or friend.

More by Warren Wint

Coaching for Managers

Welcome to your online Coaching for Managers training course. For over 25 years our trainers at Total Success Training have taught thousands of our delegates to become more effective by teaching them practical tips and techniques that can be used immediately.   We’ve designed all of...

£30.00
Disciplinary Procedures

Welcome to your online Coaching for Managers t...

£30.00
Train The Trainer

Welcome to your online Train the Trainer – How to Plan and Deliver a Successful Training Course. For over 20 years our trainers at Total Success Training have taught thousands of our delegates to become more effective by teaching them practical tips and techniques that can be used immediat...

£45.00
Telephone Selling

Welcome to your online Train the Trainer &ndas...

£30.00
Dealing with Difficult People

    Welcome and thank you for investing your time to improve your ability to deal with difficult situations and people effectively. We aim to make this course challenging, practical and fun. You will benefit by learning tips and techniques which will improve your communication and asse...

£30.00
Negotiation Skills – Advanced Negotiation

    Welcome and thank you for invest...

£30.00