How do organisations support their executives, managers and teams, when handling change and managing stress. Sue Firth is a business psychologist who looks at the relationship between “the way people think and the way they behave”, and has brought this into the corporate world.
What are the signs that a business needs to look out for?
- Individuals who don’t feel adept at approaching a colleague and knowing how to discuss a subject without causing tension, unrest or conflict.
- Individuals who have a certain amount of persistent unhappiness or disruption in the sense that they take time off or fall ill, perhaps not engaged or delivering and making errors.
- Individuals who’s values clash with the business or they are pushy and demanding.
- Individuals who are falling short of expectations – need to find out what the problem is that is stopping them performing and resolve it.
When stress starts to drag an individual down they can become dissatisfied, disengaged or take time off work. This can make a huge impact on the rest of the team who may complain if they are unhappy with holding someone else up. Issues that go on for several months really need to be dealt with.
People still underestimate the effects of stress on their bodies and lives
Stress is part of the business, it’s a real thing and it needs to be looked after. This is when we can move into the more proactive term of “resilience” which really has its benefits. When a business is willing to pay attention to the health and wellbeing of its employees, it seems to pay off quite markedly, especially in industries such as the care industry as its predominantly and inherently a stressful place to work.
We know that when we are busy our body produces adrenaline and when we are calm we produce serotonin. We can use these chemicals to understand our feelings and sensations, through four principle states: happy &busy, happy & calm, unhappy & Busy, unhappy & calm. If we learn to understand how we feel when we are in these states we can begin to take different actions.
For example – if your child is playing up this would be the source of stress but why it troubles you is what you then think about it. The source and cause correlation is a very strong theme in stress management, so a pragmatic toolkit around emotional and physical states, providing strategies and techniques, can be put into practice now.
Relationships between teams members, colleagues, or family members and partners are a key part of resilience, as you can have very toxic relationships or you can have very enabling, nurturing and useful relationships. Make sure that you are not leaning on the very people that may actually be part of the toxic mix that you haven’t really appreciated, that are making you stressed in the first place.
There is a huge value in analysing:
- your circumstances
- the support network that you have
- how much those same people contribute to toxic or stressful feelings
Lets face it when you have young children they are as beautiful and hugely fantastic to you as they are draining and tiring – it’s a fact of life. It helps a great deal the more aware you become and the more valuable and precious you realise your emotional energy is. If you expend it on everybody and everything then you feel used up and exhausted.
The more stressed you are, the harder it is to ask for help. It’s a hugely vulnerable experience to admit to someone that you are not coping so well. If you find yourself not smiling and feeling miserable and don’t want to feel like that any more, you may recognise that you may not have all of the answers as to how to pull yourself back up. It will help a lot to talk it through with someone who is nonjudgmental and not involved. An action plan gives you a ladder to pull yourself up. Small steps make the difference. If you try to do it by yourself you may feel overwhelmed.
We can measure blood pressure, cholesterol level, fat in your body, which can indicate how healthy and well we are. But when it comes to stress indicators, we are looking for cortisol measures. These should be in our body at certain times of the day but not all the time. It’s difficult to measure but stress related symptoms are likely to be: stomach playing up, not sleeping, troubled mind can, not resolving issues.
Recognising the signs and intervening as early as possible is key. We all go through problems and difficulties in life – problems are normal. Its how you deal with these events that will enable you to come back and thrive.
Contact Sue at http://www.firthconsulting.net, check out her recent blogs or read her latest book “More Life – Less Stress”