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Stress Management Training for Managers

Stress Management Training for Managers

Stress Management Training for Managers

If you are a manager, you need to know the following about stress management.

All stressors have three components:

  1. Intensity. Intensity of the stressor refers to the concentration of pressure being exerted or imposed.
  2. Duration. Duration refers to the length of time of continuous exposure to the stressor.
  3. Frequency. Frequency refers to the number of times in a given period the person is exposed.

Stress Management : Stress Management Training for Managers

The main point you must understand is this: Intensity and (Duration + Frequency) are mutually exclusive, meaning:

  • People can successfully cope with high intensity stress, BUT ONLY IF the stress is of short duration and not too frequent.
  • People can successfully cope with long, frequent exposures to stressful situations, BUT ONLY IF the stress is limited to moderate or low levels of intensity.
  • NOBODY can tolerate frequent exposures to long duration bouts of high intensity stress. If you expose somebody to a high intensity stress situation, for too long, or too frequently, they will crack under the pressure.
  • If you need to expose people to high intensity stress situations, (for example, people who must make high value, quick decisions) then you must LIMIT the duration and frequency of such exposure.

As an analogy: You can successfully hold a weight out in front of you, at arm's length. But you cannot do it for too long, and you cannot do it too often. And the heavier, (more intense) the load you are expected to sustain, the shorter duration and the less frequently you will be able to manage that level of load.

Implications to your management of stress.

You cannot avoid all stressful situations. Sometimes life will be filled with high intensity stress. Under those conditions, it is important to:

Minimise all other non-essential stressors from your life.

Take plenty of rest and recuperation between bouts of intense effort.

Eat nutritiously.

Go to bed early.

Keep away from drugs. (Drugs don't make champions).

Keep away from alcohol, (which imposes yet another stress on the physical body and reduces your capacity to deal with the external situation. You cannot DRINK your way out of trouble. You can only THINK your way out of trouble)

Keep a healthy balance between intensity, duration and frequency of stress.

If you fail to balance the intensity, duration and frequency of stress, then when you impose a high intensity stress situation upon the team, they will initially respond well, but if you impose the stress for too long or too frequently then, as their adaptive capacity to stress begins to run dry, the SAME LEVEL of stress will begin to break them down and they will eventually crack under the SAME intensity pressure.

This strange phenomenon appears confusing to the observers because they think, "I don't know what has got into the team recently, they seem to have lost their enthusiasm and motivation, and the work is no more stressful than it was six months ago".

You can see what has happened, can't you?

The team have been over-exposed to a high intensity stressor and they have run out of adaptive energy.

The good news is that, if you successfully balance the intensity with the duration + frequency, then stress will cause an INCREASE in well-being and productivity, and will make life feel exciting and invigorating.

Your mission as a manager is to find the BALANCE point between the stress-intensity and its duration/ frequency.

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Further Reading in Stress Management

  • How to Handle Stress
    Not all stress is bad for you. Stress can be good for you. It depends on what kind of stress it is; and how you deal with it.
    Read Article >
  • Stress Management Training for Managers
    As a Manager, it is important you know how to balance the stress that your staff are under. A healthy balance between the intensity and the frequency/duration will ensure that staff work effectively with high levels of motivation.
    Read Article >
  • Coping With Stress
    Stress cannot be avoided, so learn how to handle stress by keeping your different experiences in distinct and separate compartments.
    Read Article >