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Learning To Manage Stress : Conceptual Methods Of Coping With Stress, Strategies For Supervisors To Help Employees Manage Stress

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Conceptual Methods Of Coping With Stress

  1. Change your internal attitudes/perceptions. While we may not be able to change some types of external stimuli that are stressful, we can change our internal attitudes and perceptions of these stresses. Examples include:

    • Develop social supports that reduce your sense of aloneness.

    • Develop a sense of humor about your situation.

    • Talk about troubles with friends.

    • Seek professional counseling.

    • Own your personal stress.

    • Know yourself and your level of optimum stress.

    • Balance work and play.

  2. Change your interaction with the environment. This strategy says that if we can “work smarter, not harder,” we may be able to reduce the amount of stress on us.

    • Improve your skills in areas like goal setting, time management and conflict management.

    • Take assertiveness training.

    • Use peer feedback as a way to identify areas for possible changes in functioning.

    • Use a case consultant for particularly difficult job areas.

    • Slow down.

  3. Change your physical ability to cope. The most common stress reduction activities are those designed to improve the physical resources of our body to handle the stress that we experience.

    • Get adequate and proper nutrition.

    • Implement a fitness program.

    • Cut down on intake stressors (i.e., caffeine, nicotine, sugar, etc.).

    • Relax, learn to loaf a little.

    • Get enough sleep and rest.

    • Develop some recreational activities.

  4. Change your environment. If a stressor is closely related to a particular environment, find a way to place yourself in a different environment. Caution should be taken that one does not develop the style of avoiding all stressful situations, but sometimes this may be a good short-term solution. For example:

    • Quit going to certain meetings.

    • Change job/vocation/location.

    • Develop extended education programs.

    • Structure time off from work.

    • Set up your job, if possible, so you can work in a variety of different program areas.


Strategies For Supervisors To Help Employees Manage Stress

  1. Outline goals clearly to workers and provide timely feedback on achievement.

  2. Be sure instructions are clear.

  3. Evaluate completion deadlines; are they reasonable?

  4. Eliminate conflict between your demands and other supervisors’ demands.

  5. Deal with personality conflicts directly before they demoralize the rest of the group.

  6. Have regular work reviews to provide accurate and timely feedback.

  7. Give reassurance that good work is noted and appreciated.

  8. Have workers participate, as much as possible, in decisions that affect their work.

  9. Have a career development program that helps employees look at the reality of their job and the possibilities within their job situation.

  10. Have a well-functioning employee assistance program for recognizing and dealing with specific employee stressors.


Strategies For Employees For Managing Job Stress

  1. Clarify organization mission and goals.

  2. Be orderly in work habits.

  3. Determine priorities and stick with them.

  4. Make a daily “to do” list to keep on track.

  5. Don’t wait until the deadline.

  6. Stick with a decision once it is made. Don’t continue to worry about whether you might have done better.

  7. Admit your mistakes. Don’t try to cover up. Do what you need to correct the mistakes, then get on with other tasks.

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