Win Over Stress in Work & Life - Study Notes

388 views

Published on

"Stress is the psychological, physiological and behavioral response by an individual when they perceive a lack of equilibrium between the demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands, which, over a period of time, leads to ill-health."
Contrary to popular belief, stress itself is never a good thing. It is always harmful.

Published in: Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
388
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
7
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Win Over Stress in Work & Life - Study Notes

  1. 1. Win Over Stress: in Work & Life Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge
  2. 2. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Contents Finding Life Balance .......................................................................................................................................... 4 A. Assessing Your Current Situation .......................................................................................................................... 4 1. Life Charts ......................................................................................................................................................... 4 2. Own Values ....................................................................................................................................................... 5 3. Value Drivers ..................................................................................................................................................... 5 B. What is Getting in the Way? ................................................................................................................................. 6 4. Making Changes Proactively ............................................................................................................................. 6 5. Recognizing Obstacles to Change ..................................................................................................................... 7 6. Overcoming Obstacles to Change ..................................................................................................................... 8 C. Individual and Organizational Fit .......................................................................................................................... 9 7. Types of Organizational Culture........................................................................................................................ 9 8. Organizational Cultures..................................................................................................................................... 9 9. Types of Job..................................................................................................................................................... 10 10. 11. D. Recognizing Own Job Preference ................................................................................................................ 12 Balancing Work Relationships ..................................................................................................................... 12 Finding Life Balance - Exercises Materials .......................................................................................................... 13 12. 13. Jeff's E-mail to Carol .................................................................................................................................... 14 14. Olaf's E-mail to His Brother Todd ................................................................................................................ 14 15. Paula's E-mail to Her Mother ...................................................................................................................... 15 16. Carl's E-mail to Tony.................................................................................................................................... 15 17. Lisa's Notes.................................................................................................................................................. 16 18. Angela's Notes............................................................................................................................................. 16 19. Marilyn's Team ............................................................................................................................................ 17 20. E. Gloria's E-mail ............................................................................................................................................. 13 Julia's Project Team ..................................................................................................................................... 17 Finding Life Balance Glossary .............................................................................................................................. 18 Success over Stress ......................................................................................................................................... 19 F. Recognizing Stress ............................................................................................................................................... 19 21. 22. Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Stress ................................................................................................ 19 23. Personality Types and Stress ....................................................................................................................... 20 24. Stress Susceptibility and Personality........................................................................................................... 21 25. G. Defining Stress ............................................................................................................................................ 19 Causes of Stress at Work............................................................................................................................. 21 Coping with Stress............................................................................................................................................... 22 2|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  3. 3. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 26. 27. Being Prepared for Stress............................................................................................................................ 23 28. Recognizing Negative Thinking ................................................................................................................... 24 29. Challenging Negative Thinking .................................................................................................................... 25 30. Negative Self-talk ........................................................................................................................................ 26 31. How to Handle Criticism ............................................................................................................................. 26 32. Understanding the ABC Method of Perception .......................................................................................... 27 33. Relaxation Techniques Principles ................................................................................................................ 28 34. Relaxation Techniques at home, at work.................................................................................................... 30 35. H. Causes of Stress at Work............................................................................................................................. 22 Anti-stress Day ............................................................................................................................................ 31 Success over Stress - Glossary............................................................................................................................. 31 Strategies for Better Balance .......................................................................................................................... 33 I. Making Changes .................................................................................................................................................. 33 36. 37. Defining Boundaries Assertively ................................................................................................................. 33 38. Defining Your Boundaries ........................................................................................................................... 34 39. Releasing Time by Delegating ..................................................................................................................... 35 40. Pursuing Your Vision ................................................................................................................................... 35 41. Evaluating Change ....................................................................................................................................... 36 42. J. Behaviour Options ...................................................................................................................................... 33 Developing Supportive Relationships ......................................................................................................... 37 Fitting in with the Big Picture .............................................................................................................................. 38 43. 44. Simplifying Your Life .................................................................................................................................... 38 45. Life Changes ................................................................................................................................................ 39 46. A Life Change Cycle ..................................................................................................................................... 39 47. K. Simplifying - Powerful Tool ......................................................................................................................... 38 Reframing Your Life ..................................................................................................................................... 40 Strategies for Better Balance - Glossary ............................................................................................................. 41 3|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  4. 4. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Finding Life Balance A. Assessing Your Current Situation 1. Life Charts Do you rush through life so busily the whole time that you have no opportunity for reflection and evaluation? Stop and look at how you are living, and ask yourself whether it feels right—are you contented and fulfilled? Are you frustrated in some areas of your life, or is the balance wrong? Your personal life chart There are five key areas to your life that make up your life chart. You need to give the right amount of time and attention to each. Looking at your life chart may reveal the uncomfortable truth that, for example, your career and your relationships are both very important to you, but they are in conflict with one another. Just recognizing this fact is valuable and will compel you to try to strike the right balance between the two. These are the key areas to examine in your life:      Career—Look at all aspects of your present job. Is it interesting and enjoyable? Do you have sufficient responsibility? Will your job allow you to fulfil your career ambitions? Money—Decide how important money is to you. Do you make enough presently? Would it be better for you if you spent less time earning money and had more time for the other areas of your life? Health—Do you feel in good physical shape? Do you get enough exercise? How about your diet—are you eating and drinking as you should? Relationships—Do you see enough of your family and friends? Are you happy with your significant other or your spouse? How committed are you? Self—Is there something you've always wanted to learn, such as a foreign language or a hobby you've wanted to explore, but have never done anything about it? Once you examine the five areas of the life chart, you need to take some time to reflect on each area in turn. What do you have at present? How does that compare with what you want? By reviewing each area of your life chart systematically, you can assess your current life balance and identify the changes that you need to make. Your satisfaction level Once you examine the five life chart areas, you will need to give each one a satisfaction level rating. Then, based on the satisfaction level ratings, you will decide which life chart areas require action. The satisfaction level rating that you assign to each area is a reflection of how you feel about that part of your life. How satisfied with it are you overall? You're not concerned primarily with what other people might feel or say about your assessment. Your satisfaction level rating is based on the language you use to think and to talk about each life chart area. The words you choose will reveal your feelings and aspirations. Each area of your life chart is assigned one of these three ratings:    High satisfaction—When you are basically satisfied with a life chart area, you talk about it in positive terms. You use words and expressions such as "like," "love," and "enjoy." You also use expressions that indicate you do not want to change the situation: "great," "fulfilled," "rewarding." Moderate satisfaction—If you are moderately satisfied with a life area, you use positive words, but you qualify them. You might say, "reasonably happy" and "fairly good." You also use language that indicates that you may want change at some point in the future, for example, "might," "maybe," "possibly," "could." Dissatisfaction—The dissatisfaction rating is associated with words communicating negative feelings, such as "hate," "dislike," "detest," "bored," "frustrated." It is also associated with words that reflect a strong desire to change, like "need to," "have to," "really should," "must." 4|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  5. 5. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge It may be tempting to want to make changes in all areas of your life that do not have a high satisfaction rating. This would be a mistake. Concentrate instead on the areas where there is a high level of dissatisfaction. Not every area in your life with a dissatisfaction rating will necessarily be unsatisfactory. But any area of your life with something basically unsatisfactory about it needs attention. Once you have examined, rated, and assessed the five key areas of your life chart, you have taken the first step to making the necessary changes in your life balance. The next thing you must do is to take action. 2. Own Values "Values" is a little word with big implications. Having a clear sense of your core values is a prerequisite for living in balance and in harmony with your own needs. If your life is out of balance with your values, you can't be happy. When you talk about your values, you are not talking about something that you happen to enjoy or like to do. You may enjoy music and like swimming in the ocean, but these are not values. Your values are the things in your life that are the most important to you and that truly motivate you. There are five key value drivers that motivate people:      Contributor—A contributor puts other people or an abstraction such as an organization ahead of himself. Leader—A leader needs to consciously act as a model for others, setting a good example for those she works with, and believes that she can be a source of inspiration to them. Winner—A winner takes great pride in personal success, accomplishments, goal setting, and planning. Adventurer—An adventurer requires a lot of risk in her life. She is not happy unless she feels that she is being challenged. She finds the risk invigorating. Creator—A creator expresses himself through being original. Creators like to be associated with ideas and be at the center of new developments. You are not one thing or the other. Everyone is made up of a mixture of value drivers to some extent. But each individual has one principle, or dominant, value—this is the main motivating force for the individual. You can recognize your own main value driver by the words and phrases you use to describe what is most important to you. Each value driver can be expressed in many ways. You may express your main value driver strongly through your job. You may also realize it through an activity, or a combination of activities, outside work. Your values are what drive and motivate you. One of your values dominates, and your life will only feel in balance if this main driver is fully expressed. Knowing what drives you is an important step to effectively expressing yourself. 3. Value Drivers Use this SkillGuide to help you to recognize value drivers, and how they are expressed. There are five value drivers. They are the driving forces that motivate us most strongly. They express what is most important to us. We may be influenced by several or all of these drivers to some extent, but we all have one key driver. If we are to have a sense of our lives being fulfilling and balanced, our key driver must be expressed. Look at the notes below, and decide what your value driver is. Use the notes to decide the value drivers of your colleagues. 5|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  6. 6. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge A Contributor It is other people, and specifically helping other people, that is most important to a contributor. A contributor finds satisfaction in improving things for the individuals he comes into contact with. A contributor could express his value driver by being a nurse, or physician, or working on a help desk. It could also be expressed through a homemaker role, or voluntary work. A Leader A leader finds the most motivation in acting as a source of guidance and inspiration to other people. She needs to be a positive influence and role model. Any professional role where a positive example is demanded would be great for a leader--a management or supervisory position, particularly in a time of change, or teaching. Out-of-work activities, such as running a sport, music or drama group would also allow this driver expression. A Winner A sense of personal success is what is most important to a winner. A winner hates failure, and will work flat out to prevent it. Any job that allows some personal responsibility could be a source of satisfaction to a person with this value driver, and if frustrated at work, this driver may find expression on the golf course, or tennis court. At the high end, top sports and media people and the heads of corporations are, more or less by definition, winners. An Adventurer An individual with this driver needs risk, and the excitement or thrill that comes from risk. An adventurer will be frustrated in a mundane office job. She is more likely to find satisfaction in starting a new business, or a fresh and perhaps high-risk project for an existing company. An adventurer may be found trading stocks on Wall Street, and mountain climbing on weekends. A Creator This value driver indicates that a person needs to be responsible for originating and making things. It is the designing and inventing impulse. It could be expressed by something practical, like fitting a new kitchen in the home, or writing a book. At work, a creator could be a carpenter producing handcrafted furniture, or someone who finds satisfaction in designing and introducing new systems, or ways of working, in whatever situation. B. What is Getting in the Way? 4. Making Changes Proactively To balance the myriad activities with which you fill your life, you must be proactive. The changes that you want will not happen by themselves. In fact, the biggest threat to change is inertia. You may want a better job and a nicer house, but don't think that either of these are easy to accomplish. It's likely that you just settle for the job and the house you have. If you do nothing, you get nothing. Fundamentally, you may not want to change, so you remain in the grip of inactivity. Acting successfully to bring about change requires that you want to make the change and that the change is realistic. Initiating action It's important to avoid excluding areas in your life. Don't be tempted to think that your job is a given and that you can't do anything about it. Everything is open for consideration. The next step is to prepare for action. 6|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  7. 7. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge To initiate action, follow these two steps: 1. Select changes. Select one change that is quickly achievable with only one or two actions, such as visiting a neglected friend or playing tennis regularly, and one change that requires long-term planning—a career move, for example. 2. Take action. Take action immediately to achieve the short-term objective: call your friend and arrange to meet, or book a tennis court. Then, plan the actions needed to achieve the long-term objective, including performing the first action straight away—for example, looking into possible career opportunities. Drawing up two separate lists—one for changes that can be achieved quickly and one for longer-term ambitions— can help you focus your thinking. Acting promptly to bring about a change provides an immediate sense of accomplishment and takes you from inertia into action. Identifying how you will bring about the long-term change you desire makes the balancing of your life an on-going process that you are in control of, rather than a here today, gone tomorrow phenomenon. Behaving proactively to balance your life is a habit you can develop, and this action strategy is a tool you can use to do this. Escape the clutches of inertia. Follow the simple, proactive strategy. List the changes that you want to make. Take action on one simple and one long-term change. Start today. 5. Recognizing Obstacles to Change You can see the need to make changes in your life. You truly want to make them. So, what's stopping you? What's stopping you are obstacles and barriers; in some cases, you may not even be aware of them. The obstacles that block your path to change can be removed. But first, you must know what they are. Two kinds of obstacles inhibit change: internal barriers and external barriers. Internal barriers How you feel about change is critical. You may feel that change is not possible, or you may be afraid of what change will bring. If you want to reorder various aspects of your life, but your mind tells you that no action you take will ultimately be successful, then the absence of belief is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your feeling that change is impossible may result from previous failure. This may also be why you fear change—you believe that change only makes things worse. External barriers Factors in the outside world can also act as obstacles to change. One common external factor is the behaviour of other people. You may be opposed by your spouse, other members of your family, your colleagues, or even your friends. But in the end, it's what you need to do that is important, not how others feel about it. Another kind of external barrier is the organization you work for. It may not be supportive of change and block your efforts. A third external barrier is the lack of resources. You simply may not have the resources you need immediately at hand. Sometimes, shortage of funds, lack of knowledge, or insufficient time can be obstacles to change. This state of mind is irrational and totally damaging. Remember: Change comes from pursuing the right strategy, but it needs to be underpinned by a conviction that the change will be successful and beneficial. Once you know how to identify the two kinds of obstacles to change and how each expresses itself, you're in a position to take action to overcome them. 7|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  8. 8. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 6. Overcoming Obstacles to Change You must expect there to be obstacles in the way of making life-altering changes. If there were not, you would have made the changes sooner. So, what do you need to do to get rid of them? Choosing a systematic approach to implement change can be achieved by dealing with internal obstacles to making the change and acting to overcome the external obstacles to making the change. It's easy to say that to overcome obstacles, you simply have to deal with them; but how can you do so effectively? Internal and external obstacles require slightly different approaches:   internal obstacles Talk about the change with someone supportive who you can trust. This person will not make the obstacles disappear, but you can be confident that she has your best interests at heart. Clearly explain the benefits of the change to help you overcome the barrier. external obstacles Talk to the right person about the external obstacles, obstacles involving people, organizations, or resources. Ask for what you want, and be as reasonable as possible in your approach. How do you make the most of the support that you receive when you are faced with internal or external obstacles to change? Suppose that the obstacles are not in yourself, but external to you, such as resources issues, factors in the organization you work for, or a person standing in your way. Apply these basic strategies to overcome your obstacles:    Talking to the right person—Speak to the person or people who could help remove your obstacles. Asking for what you want—Explain, factually, what you want. Tell the other person what she can do to help. Being reasonable—Use polite language, and ask him to help you. For example, you might say, "I'd appreciate it if you could..." or, "It would be a big help if..." or, "Do you think you could...?" You may need to recruit the help of more than one person. If you want to transfer to another office to acquire fresh skills and new challenges, you will have to talk to your boss and perhaps also to your human resources department. Some issues are easy to talk about; others may seem trickier. Your boss may take it personally if you want a transfer. Also, for example, if the problem is that your spouse's personal attitude is an obstacle to change, there's the danger of a negative emotional atmosphere to your discussion. For this reason, it's vital that you explain the problem factually and not offer personal criticism or be aggressive. Then, by asking for help from the right person and doing so politely, you encourage her to do her best to remove the barriers in your way. Each time you try to make a change in your life, it's likely that you'll face a combination of both internal and external obstacles. The key to dealing with each type of obstacle is to talk to people. Internal obstacles affect your innermost feelings and fears, so you should confide in someone who you trust and whose advice you're willing to take. External obstacles coming from people, your organization, or resources also have to be talked through with someone who can make a difference—someone you can reasonably ask to take action. Employ the correct method when you are confronted by obstacles to change, and they will turn out to be far less substantial than they seemed. 8|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  9. 9. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge C. Individual and Organizational Fit 7. Types of Organizational Culture No company is perfect, but is your current organization one that you feel generally comfortable working for? Is there a good fit between the two of you? To understand how and why you feel as you do about the organization you work for, you need to recognize which of four cultural types it belongs to. Organizations are never exclusively of one culture. Elements of each of the four organizational culture types are in all companies. But one culture always dominates. These are the four organizational culture types:     Competitive—In a competitive organizational culture, there is a strong focus on measuring and comparing performance. Results are everything in this type of company. Nothing else seems to matter. Employees can exhibit aggressive, competitive behaviour. Formal—Formal organizational cultures are characteristically hierarchical. There are many layers of management to deal with and to refer to in this type of company. Employees do not necessarily exercise personal initiative. Instead, they wait for instructions or ask for instructions. No one voices doubts or disagrees with a superior. Individualistic—In an individualistic organizational culture, personal creativity is encouraged and valued highly. You are expected to come up with your own creative solutions to problems. Employees work on their own most of the time. They are producing something new or original to a set deadline. Democratic—Democratic organizational cultures have evolved team-based ways of working. The team members work together to achieve the objectives set by management. Team members usually listen to and show respect for one another's views. Everyone has his say. Employees try to make decisions in ways that everyone agrees on, or if not, could at least go along with. A combination of cultures with a dominant type Some types of organizations are often associated with a particular kind of culture—but it's important not to oversimplify the picture. Organizations can be a combination of several types, usually with one dominant type. These are some examples of organizations with two or more cultures:    Military—The military is fundamentally hierarchical, but teamwork is also vital, so clearly, a significant democratic strand exists in the military in spite of the dominant hierarchical culture. Advertising—In advertising and journalism, the prevailing culture is individualistic. But these types of organizations have hierarchies, and there is significant teamwork in them. Banking—Banks traditionally have formal organizational cultures, while in entrepreneurial, owner-managed companies, the culture is often strongly competitive. However, in these cases, too, other cultural strands are present. So, the picture can be a little complex. But the reality is that how good the fit feels between you and your company is determined not by the secondary cultural strands, but by the dominant culture. The best way to recognize the culture that you work in is by observing how employees behave—their behaviour reveals the organizational culture. 8. Organizational Cultures Use this SkillGuide to help you to recognize types of organizational cultures. 9|P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  10. 10. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge There are four types of organizational culture, and they are fundamentally different. Any company contains a mix of cultural elements, and indeed the cultural flavour will differ somewhat from department to department. But that said, one of the four types of organizational culture is dominant in any company, and pervades the way it conducts its activities. Competitive Culture In this organizational culture, the result is more important than the individual, so much so that it may override every other consideration. Behaviour in this type of company may be characterized by unchecked displays of aggression and open disagreement. People will tend to criticize each other in personally critical ways. There is generally a strong focus on comparing individual and group performance, and someone who fails to hit his targets is likely to encounter trouble. Formal Long-established companies, particularly in traditionally conservative industries like banking, are associated with a formal organizational culture. A formal culture means that there is a strong sense of hierarchy, and many layers of management. Decisions are made above and passed down--this is a top-down world. People are not expected to exercise personal initiative, but instead to refer to and follow established procedures. Instructions from a superior, even if they make little sense, are not questioned. Individualistic This type of culture is dominant in industries such as advertising and journalism, where a high premium is placed on personal creativity. An individual has to be responsive to the needs of the organization, but she plays her part by working on her own, or as part of a small, creative project team, to produce a unique solution to a unique problem. The individual has a lot of freedom so long as she comes up with the goods. Democratic In a democratic organizational culture, team-based ways of working are favoured. In a meeting, it is important that everyone is heard and that, as far as possible, decisions are agreed upon, rather than imposed. A high value is placed on achieving and maintaining a cooperative atmosphere. Decision making in the organization is decentralized as far as possible, which means that project teams and other small work groups are trusted and empowered by management. 9. Types of Job To be happy and fulfilled at work, you need to be performing the type of job role that suits you. Life is short—it's a pity to waste even one day of it doing a job that is fundamentally out of balance with the kind of person you are. Job roles The expression job role does not describe a broad job category, such as white collar, blue collar, or manager. Nor does it mean the choice of profession or occupation, such as physician or teacher. Job role refers to the basic kinds of satisfactions that a job provides. These are the four basic job roles, or job types:  Communicator—A communicator gets the most job satisfaction from interacting with people to stimulate their interest. 10 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  11. 11. Study Notes    http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Measurer—If you are a measurer, you want a job where you are involved with the details. You like to make sure that things are being done right. Generator—A generator wants to come up with the initial idea. That's the main source of satisfaction. Outcome person—An outcome person needs to be responsible for pulling the ends together to achieve a result. That's what satisfies him. Preferences People generally prefer one type of job role over the others. If you prefer one role, it does not mean that you are incapable of performing any of the others, but it does mean that you will find them less congenial. It is also highly unlikely that your work simply allows you to indulge your job preference. Your work will make other demands on you. What is realistic and what you should aim for is a situation where there is a generally good fit between the demands of your job and your personal job preferences. Identifying your preferred role The precise language that someone uses to talk about what she finds fulfilling in a job is extremely revealing of her preferred job role. By examining the words that an individual chooses, you can identify the kinds of activities or interactions that he needs in a job to feel fulfilled. The types of words each type uses include:     Communicators—use words like "excite," "persuade," and "show." They most enjoy getting other people interested in what they are saying. Outcome people—say they need to "complete" or "develop" projects, or other similar wording. They might also say that they want to "organize." In this way, they confirm that they find satisfaction in working toward and achieving results. Measurers—say that they like to "check," "evaluate," or "confirm." This indicates that their greatest satisfaction at work is being certain that the detail of any activity is correctly carried out. Generators—say that they need to "create" ideas or proposals, or "initiate" and "start" projects. They use these kinds of words to indicate that they gain a real sense of achievement by being responsible for the start of a process or activity. Job role preferences are not tied to particular jobs, though they are perhaps more easily expressed in some jobs than others. A communicator would feel very comfortable as a teacher or in selling, for example. A measurer would be suited to quality control or many bank positions. Jobs offering entrepreneurial opportunities would suit a generator, while an outcome person would probably feel at home managing a construction project and seeing it through to the end. The language you use reflects the four basic job role preferences. Which of these job preferences do you have? Does your current job allow you to express them? If not, you might consider how you can adapt your current role to better allow you to express your preference and to improve your life balance. 11 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  12. 12. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 10. Recognizing Own Job Preference Use this SkillGuide to help you to identify your preferred job role. The four job roles are listed below, with five statements attached to each. Give yourself a score from 1 to 10 on each statement, depending on whether you strongly agree, or strongly disagree with it. 1 strongly agree ____________________________________ 10 strongly disagree Communicator · I am good at persuading people to accept my ideas · I really enjoy talking to people, even strangers · I don't get irritated if I have to spend time showing someone how to do something · I work hard to get people interested in or excited by what I am talking about. A Measurer · People who mess up on the detail of a job annoy me, because it shows they don't care · I get anxious if I am short of time, and am not able to be thorough in my work · I like to assess or evaluate the quality of a job myself. It is not something I want to delegate · I am a perfectionist. A Generator · I'm great in brainstorming sessions · I get bored quite quickly by routine work · I'm good at getting projects off the ground · I like to initiate change. An Outcome Person · I like to have overall responsibility for a job · I prefer to delegate responsibility for the detail to others · I am good at organizing staff members and resources so that work gets done · I like to be involved with projects that I can see through to an outcome. Add up your scores. You should have a score between 4 and 40 for each area. The area with the lowest score is your job preference. If your current job is frustrating or not fulfilling, it may well be because it does not allow you to properly express your job role preference. 11. Balancing Work Relationships The people you have contact with at work contribute to the total of your work relationships and how well-balanced they are. Do the relationships that you have at work enrich your life, or are they a source of frustration and aggravation? The relationships you have with the people that you meet form a complex set of interactions. What's important to you is how comfortable you feel with these relationships. Four relationship types There are four underlying relationship types, and you have a dominant preference for one type over the others. To feel generally comfortable with your work interactions, your dominant preference must be fully expressed. These are the four relationship types: 12 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  13. 13. Study Notes     http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Low intensity—People who flourish on low-intensity relationships want personal interactions that do not put them under a lot of sustained pressure. They like a regular routine of interactions, for example, regularly scheduled meetings. High intensity—People with a high-intensity preference like their human interactions to put them under pressure, and they cope well with it. They are happy meeting new people and participating in meetings where events are unpredictable. Supported—When people primarily like supported relationships, they want to work in partnership with others. They like to interact in ways that allow them to give or to receive help. They place a high value on collaborative contact. Unsupported—People who like unsupported relationships do not want to work closely with others. They are comfortable in interactions where there is rivalry or competition with other people. To say that someone has a dominant preference—for example, for supported relationships over the other possibilities—is to describe tendency. The bottom line is that you will feel out of balance if your work situation provides insufficient opportunity to give expression to your dominant relationship type. It's important to recognize that the four relationship types are not value loaded. Low intensity does not mean lazy, for example. You just have a tendency to favour one type of work relationship. This preference needs to be acknowledged and respected if your professional life is to be in balance and if you are to be contented. D. Finding Life Balance - Exercises Materials 12. Gloria's E-mail Use this learning aid to review part of Gloria's e-mail to her brother about her life chart. Hi Dave! I've been thinking about life lately, and thought I'd share my thoughts with you. Thing is, I've been in selling for a long time, as you know, but in my present job I hate the fact that I'm on the road for five days a week. And frankly it's boring a lot of the time. Of course, I like the fact that it's really well paid, but with my qualifications, I'm going to be well rewarded wherever I work. I'm in pretty good shape physically. Still running once a week, and (mostly) staying away from junk food! Oh, and you might remember that I had this idea that I might start French classes. It hasn't happened yet, but you never know, I might get around to it. Art and I are still together, but we're both so busy that we hardly ever seem to see each other. We should go away for a weekend, and spend some quality time together. Anyway, enough about me, what's going on with you? Love Gloria 13 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  14. 14. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 13. Jeff's E-mail to Carol Use this learning aid to review part of Jeff's e-mail to his friend, Carol, about the activities that comprise his life chart. Hi Carol, I have a new job since I last wrote, with more responsibility, which I like. The money is a little less than I am used to, but I'm fairly happy with it. I might need to earn more in a year or two if I buy a house (I know, I've been talking about that for years), but right now I'm okay financially. I don't see nearly as much of friends as I want to (including you). I really ought to do something to remedy that. Physically, I feel great. I've joined a gym, and I go swimming twice a week. Also, although I still use a little more sugar than I should, my diet is generally good. Another thing, I've started working again a couple of nights a week with disadvantaged kids, and that's really rewarding. Let me know how you're doing, Jeff 14. Olaf's E-mail to His Brother Todd Use this learning aid to review part of Olaf's e-mail to Todd about his action strategy for putting his life in balance. Hi Todd! What can I say? There are a lot of things I want to change in my life--things I am easily capable of changing. A few days ago I listed everything I could think of just to do with my job and my family relationships. I didn't even get around to friends or my social life. Guess how long the list was? Fourteen changes! I figured that the best thing to do was to put them in two groups. I mean, there are some actions I can take now, or tomorrow, if I want, and the change is made. There are others that are longer-term propositions. I decided to concentrate my attention on one item from each list. At the moment, I get no exercise at all--unless you count walking from the elevator to my car as exercise. Exercise is something that I should deal with immediately. I'm planning to join a gym within the next couple of months. The other action I've decided on is I want to work in one of our European offices, in France, Germany, or Italy. I figure I could organize that within the next 18 months. The first thing to do is to talk to someone in HR about it. Then I need to do some research--find out which country would offer the best career experience and social life. I can do that over the next couple of months. Then, once I know which country I'm aiming for, I'll register for some language classes. Let me know how things are with you, Olaf 14 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  15. 15. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 15. Paula's E-mail to Her Mother Use this learning aid to review part of Paula's e-mail to her mother about her action strategy for putting her life in balance. Hi Ma! ………………………. At last I'm doing something about my life! I wrote down everything I want to change--things affecting work, family, my relationship with Ed, what I do with my free time--everything. It is clear to me that there are basically two types of change I am able to make: things I can do something about at once; and things I need to plan for. Anyway, I decided to focus on three changes in each category. One of the immediate changes I've made is to make more time for going out to places with Ed. I've told my supervisor that I can't stay late any evenings from now on, and I've bought tickets for a concert tomorrow. As I said, there are three long-term changes I plan. One of them concerns my acting career. Basically, I don't have one. So I've decided that some time in the next year or two I'm going to find a job that I can do part time, and concentrate on finding movie work. Obviously, I'll need to get in touch with my old agent, and renew my other contacts. Oh, and I want to discuss it with Ed--to make sure we're on the same wavelength about the career shift. A lot to think about… 16. Carl's E-mail to Tony Use this learning aid to review part of Carl's e-mail to his friend, Tony, about his action strategy for putting his life in balance. Hi Tony! I've been meaning to write for a while… So, I've decided to take a look at my life and get it back in balance. A few days ago, I sat down and thought about how I spend my time, and the things that I would like to change. I listed all the changes I could realistically make. The only area of my life I did not consider was changes connected with the possibility of relocating to another town. Relocating might be a good idea, but it just seemed too difficult to think through. I came up with two lists in the end: changes I can make at once, like quitting smoking, getting in touch with the guys I used to go bowling with, or going to a movie once a week; and things that it's going to take me some time to accomplish, like a new serious relationship, or major progress in my professional life. I decided that the best way to go was to focus on one change from each list just now. The easy change I selected is to start bowling again. I'm going to telephone one of my old bowling buddies some time before too long about that. The more difficult change concerns work. My career is stalled, and I need to do something about it. I have decided that by the end of next year I want to be promoted to a senior construction project manager. I should talk to my boss, the vice president of engineering, and make my renewed ambition clear to him. Over the next six months, I plan to get more experience on bridge-building projects. By December, I will need to have lobbied successfully to be made project manager of one of the two challenging projects that are scheduled for next year. 15 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  16. 16. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 17. Lisa's Notes Use this learning aid to review the notes that Lisa has made about each of her team supervisors, and then determine what their value drivers are. Amanda, the administration supervisor Amanda has a strong need to be personally successful. She has set herself goals, and is planning and organizing herself to accomplish them. That is what drives her on. Nicholas, the marketing coordinator Likes helping people, and giving them anything they need. Puts other people first. Eleanor, the departmental buyer What is most important to Eleanor is to be involved with making or inventing something new. The part of her job she enjoys the most is coming up with ideas for new services and developing them. She wants to set a good example to the people in her team, and Rhonna, the financial that way she figures she can be a source of inspiration to them. controller That is what is most important to her. Warren, the production supervisor Warren needs work that really tests him. He is willing to take a chance on failing; in fact, what really motivates him is taking risks. 18. Angela's Notes Use this learning aid to review the notes that Angela has made about her life chart, and help her to decide how satisfied she is with the different areas of her life. Notes, Saturday morning: I enjoy the new job I have in the theatre publicity department a lot, and there are really good promotion prospects. But the money is terrible. I have to ask for a raise. My roommate, Lucy, and I are getting along pretty well now, and living downtown again allows me to see a reasonable amount of most of my friends. I really dislike the fact that I eat so badly now. Partly, it's because of the hours I'm working, it's difficult to get regular meals. But I ought to address that issue. Why did I stop going to my French class? I quite miss it. Also, I never go to the movies anymore. Maybe I could do something about that this fall. 16 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  17. 17. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 19. Marilyn's Team Review the comments about Marilyn's team members, and then determine what the most important value driver is for each of them. Caroline, administrative assistant Caroline is organizing her life in order to achieve success. What motivates her most strongly are personal accomplishments. Tina, secretary Tina values the expression of originality very highly. She needs to be involved with designing, or making new things. Jake, financial officer Jake needs to test himself by taking risks. He needs to put himself in situations where the success or failure of what he is trying to do is in doubt. Other people are the most important thing to Alvin. He is Alvin, personal motivated by helping people. If somebody needs some assistant to Marilyn assistance, he gives it if he can. Raymond, project manager Raymond likes to set himself up as a role model for other people. He believes that, by setting a good example, he can be a source of inspiration, and a positive influence. 20. Julia's Project Team Review the comments about Julia's project team members, and then determine what the most important value driver is for each of them. Betsy, the graphic designer Betsy is motivated when she is involved with making or designing something new. She values originality highly. Ross, the Ross needs risk in his life. What motivates him is the fact that he never administrative knows whether a venture will succeed or fail. assistant Joan, the project assistant Joan plans to be successful. Personal accomplishment is her primary value driver. Ann, the To Ann, other people are the most important thing, and what senior project motivates her is helping them in any way she can. manager Eric, the budget controller 17 | P a g e Eric wants to inspire and be a positive influence on other people. What motivates him deeply is acting as a role model for those around him. Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  18. 18. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge E. Finding Life Balance Glossary An external obstacle A negative factor or lack in a person's external environment, which inhibits change. An internal obstacle A negative feeling in a person that inhibits change. Drain Any activity which is disliked, and has the effect of making a person feel that her energy stock has been depleted. Energizer Any activity which is enjoyed, and has the effect of making a person feel that his energy stock has been stimulated or increased. High-intensity relationship A work relationship that puts a person under sustained pressure. Life chart It comprises five key areas of a person's life, each of which can be evaluated to assess overall life balance. The areas are: career, money, relationships, health, and self. Low-intensity relationship A work relationship that does not put a person under sustained pressure. Organizational culture The kind of relationships and ways of working that dominate in an organization. There are four types of organizational culture: competitive, democratic, formal, and individualistic. Supported relationship A work relationship that involves a partnership with another person or people. Unsupported relationship A work relationship that does not generally involve working closely with other people. Work relationships They comprise all the people with whom a person interacts in the course of his job. 18 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  19. 19. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Success over Stress F. Recognizing Stress 21. Defining Stress Stress is a serious matter. It has harmful psychological, physiological, or behavioural effects, which if left unchecked can even become life threatening. Cause of stress Different things cause stress to different people. The pressure that might motivate and stimulate one person, for example a tight deadline, or important presentation, might be the source of harmful stress for another. Essentially then, stress stems from a mismatch between a person and his or her environment. For example, if you believe you do not have the resources required to fulfil all the demands placed on you, you may develop stress. Pressure and stress are very different things. Pressure can give you the impetus to achieve and excel, but stress, if unchecked, can have negative impacts on your emotions, physical well-being, and behaviour. Knowing what stress is, and which situations are potentially stressful to you, will enable you to take steps to overcome stress in all aspects of your life. 22. Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Stress If you can recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, you will be able to deal not only with your own stress more effectively, but also respond in a supportive manner to others who are experiencing stress. The immediate and long-term effects of stress can be put into three categories:    psychological—how you think and feel physiological—how your body reacts behavioural—how you act. You might exhibit one set of symptoms or a whole range —everyone is affected differently. Physiological or physical signs of stress These include nausea, breathlessness, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, loss of appetite, and more severe conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Psychological or emotional signs of stress These include feeling angry or over-emotional, loss of interest in other people or activities once enjoyed, sadness, guilt, apathy, loss of confidence, memory loss, and poor concentration. Behavioural symptoms of stress These often involve an individual seeking temporary relief by indulging in excess. People suffering from stress may start to drink alcoholic drinks or stimulants, such as caffeinated beverages, excessively. Other symptoms are binge eating, smoking and/or spending money. 19 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  20. 20. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Take notice of any changes in your physical well-being, look at your behaviour, and think about how you are doing emotionally—that way you will recognize the signs of stress in time to take positive action. 23. Personality Types and Stress Although current thinking describes stress as a result of imbalance between the demands made on an individual, and his ability to meet those demands, it is true to say that certain personality types are more susceptible to stress than others. There are three personality types to consider when trying to find out whether you are more or less susceptible to stress than others:    Type A tend to have a lot of stress in their lives, and often suffer from more stress-related illnesses than others. Type B are generally people with less stress in their lives, and who are far less likely to suffer from stressrelated illnesses than Type As. Type A/B are people that exhibit some Type A and some Type B characteristics. Everyone is affected by stress at some point in their lives. Once you are aware of your personality type, you are in a position to work toward reducing the impact of stress. The characteristics of personality types A and B are described below. Type A characteristics       Competitive—Type A people tend to be high achievers who are very competitive. Fast—They work quickly in a way that suggests that their lives are driven by time. They will place deadlines and constraints on themselves, maybe finishing work well ahead of time. Demanding—They do not gain satisfaction from meeting their goals, simply saying that achieving targets is part of the job. Productive—Because of their commitment to deadlines and getting things done, Type A people are often seen as model employees. Domineering—Type As do not like to delegate, feeling that to do so will result in a loss of control. Aggressive—They can be impatient and aggressive in their dealings with others, often finishing other people's sentences and rarely pausing before answering a question. Type B characteristics     Balanced—Type B people tend to be less driven than Type As, but they often achieve more because they are more measured in their approach. They are also less likely to suffer from stress-related illnesses that can impact adversely on deadlines. Relaxed—Type B people can be ambitious, but are also able to relax without feeling guilty about taking time out. Rewarding—They take pleasure in achieving goals, and do not need external approval to feel good about themselves. Open—They communicate openly and freely, listen to others to incorporate their ideas, and work as part of a team because they are relaxed and confident in their abilities. Type A and Type B personalities are very different, and you may recognize elements of your own behaviour in both types. 20 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  21. 21. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Stress can affect anyone, at any time. However, if you know that your personality type predisposes you to stress, you can be on the lookout, and try to pre-empt problems by taking action. 24. Stress Susceptibility and Personality Use this SkillEval to help you to evaluate your personality, and determine how susceptible you are to stress. This type A behaviour profile is adapted from the Glazer stress-control lifestyle questionnaire (in Goldberg, 1978). Select the number for each question below that best reflects your behaviour. The key is to be as honest as possible with your answers--you want to find out what you are now, and not what you would like to be. Unhurried attitude to time 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Always on time Express feelings openly 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Hold things in Usually have enough time 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Feel rushed Do things slowly 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Do things quickly Become impatient if kept waiting 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Happy to wait patiently Have many hobbies and interests 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Interested in home and work Satisfied with life as it is 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very ambitious Take tasks one at a time 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Like to juggle many tasks Let others finish before speaking 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Interrupt others Never set deadlines for myself 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Always set my own deadlines A score below 55 indicates a Type B personality. This means that you are generally relaxed and respond well to situations that might induce stress. You are not at a high risk of suffering from stress. A score of between 55 and 75 shows a balanced type A/B personality which is healthy. Although no one personality trait dominates to any great degree you should be aware that you could develop type A behaviour. A score over 75 shows a Type A personality. This means that you don't cope well with stress and you are susceptible to stress related illnesses such as cardiac problems. You should consider using the stress coping and stress management techniques identified in this course, and possibly consider stress management training. It’s recommended to repeat this test periodically because your personality type can change depending on circumstances. 25. Causes of Stress at Work You spend a large amount of your time at work, so if you are trying to become resilient to stress, you need to consider whether your working conditions are conducive to reducing stress or not. Stressors in the workplace vary considerably from one organization to another, but job conditions can be considered in terms of four broad categories: task-related; people-related; organizational; and environmental. Task-related stressors There are two types of task-related stressor: 21 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  22. 22. Study Notes   http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Poor task design Poor task design happens if your job is badly structured, you have an excessive workload with few breaks, and you have little control over your time. For example, doing a lot of routine tasks that have little inherent meaning, such as inputting data, can cause job stress because the role takes no account of your skills and you have little control over what you do. Work role Your work role becomes a stressor if you are not sure what your job is, and how it relates to those you work with. For example, you may become stressed if you find yourself being expected to wear too many hats, or having the responsibility for resolving problems without having the authority to ratify solutions. People-related stressors If your working environment does not support healthy relationships with others, or you are poorly supported by colleagues and supervisors, this can cause stress. Organizational stressors These are often related to management style, poor communication, and lack of consultation. For example, if employees are not involved in decision making, this can cause stress. Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for advancement are also organizational stressors. Environmental stressors These are unpleasant or dangerous working conditions such as noise, clutter, or poor lighting that can lead not only to emotional stress, but can also result in physical injury. You may be able to resolve some of these stressors relatively easily for yourself. Your ability to develop long-term resilience to stress can be seriously affected by your working conditions. If you can review your current work situation dispassionately, you can decide where you might be subject to stress, and make decisions accordingly. You might not be able to change things, but in the short term, you will be able to accept your situation. In the long run, you may be able to set a process in motion to relieve some of the stress you are feeling. G. Coping with Stress 26. Causes of Stress at Work You spend a large amount of your time at work, so if you are trying to become resilient to stress, you need to consider whether your working conditions are conducive to reducing stress or not. Stressors in the workplace vary considerably from one organization to another, but job conditions can be considered in terms of four broad categories: task-related; people-related; organizational; and environmental. Task-related stressors There are two types of task-related stressor:  Poor task design Poor task design happens if your job is badly structured, you have an excessive workload with few breaks, and you have little control over your time. For example, doing a lot of routine tasks that have little inherent meaning, such as inputting data, can cause job stress because the role takes no account of your skills and you have little control over what you do. 22 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  23. 23. Study Notes  http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Work role Your work role becomes a stressor if you are not sure what your job is, and how it relates to those you work with. For example, you may become stressed if you find yourself being expected to wear too many hats, or having the responsibility for resolving problems without having the authority to ratify solutions. People-related stressors If your working environment does not support healthy relationships with others, or you are poorly supported by colleagues and supervisors, this can cause stress. Organizational stressors These are often related to management style, poor communication, and lack of consultation. For example, if employees are not involved in decision making, this can cause stress. Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for advancement are also organizational stressors. Environmental stressors These are unpleasant or dangerous working conditions such as noise, clutter, or poor lighting that can lead not only to emotional stress, but can also result in physical injury. You may be able to resolve some of these stressors relatively easily for yourself. Your ability to develop long-term resilience to stress can be seriously affected by your working conditions. If you can review your current work situation dispassionately, you can decide where you might be subject to stress, and make decisions accordingly. You might not be able to change things, but in the short term, you will be able to accept your situation. In the long run, you may be able to set a process in motion to relieve some of the stress you are feeling. 27. Being Prepared for Stress One of the surest ways of coping with the stress you encounter on a day-to-day basis is to anticipate when stress is going to hit you, and to do something to either avoid that stress, or at least minimize its impact. The one thing you cannot do is ignore it. Each stressful event that you encounter will provide you with a different type of challenge, but if you can anticipate what your reaction will be, there are several techniques to help you to cope. These are: Planning for stress There are three ways to plan for stress:    Avoid—This can only work when you have control over the event. For example, if your commute is stressful, you can alter your route. Alleviate—The best way to do this is to minimize the time that you have to spend in the stressful situation, or reduce your input if possible. For example, if you have to sit through a two-hour meeting, and you are only needed for 20 minutes, remove yourself from the meeting after your input has been received. Rehearse—Rehearsal can come in two forms. You can rehearse how you will act in a given situation, or you can rehearse how you will deal with the stress that you will feel. For example, if you are attending an interview, you can rehearse answers to possible questions. You can also rehearse what you will do to calm yourself down, such as practicing a relaxation technique. 23 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  24. 24. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Reducing the importance of an event Sometimes, you cause your own stress by exaggerating the impact of an event. When considering the importance of an event, reflect on the following:    Scale—Think carefully about the event, and try to put the event in the context of your goals. Compare it with bigger things that you have dealt with. Money—If there is money at stake, remind yourself that there are always other opportunities, and what is important is to focus on your performance. Career— If people who are important to your career goals are watching, remind yourself that you may well have other chances to impress them. If you focus on the correct performance of your tasks, then the importance of the event will fade into the background. Reducing the importance of the event is all about rationalizing the way you think about what's happening. Will you really remember what happened a day, week, or month from now? If not, why stress? Reducing your uncertainty Not knowing what is going to happen can be a source of stress. A lack of information or the actions of other people might negatively affect your ability to perform. The key to reducing stress in this instance is to find out what you can about the event so that you can prepare yourself adequately. To do this, you may need to ask colleagues or managers, or undertake research. If you can predict that you are going to suffer from stress, then you are halfway toward coping with it. If possible, use planning to avoid the stress altogether; or at least alleviate it by reducing your involvement in stressful activities, and having strategies in place to deal with the stress you feel. Think about what is causing the stress. Put the event into the context of your life and your goals. If you do not know what you are letting yourself in for, do your homework and find out. Knowing that stress is going to affect you cannot make the stress disappear, but if you can anticipate your reactions, you are in a far better position to control your feelings. 28. Recognizing Negative Thinking The language you use, either through the commentary going on in your head or when you are speaking out loud, reflects the nature of your thoughts and beliefs. If negative, this voice can add to your stress. If you can change it to a supportive voice, you will be on the way to coping more effectively with the stress you are feeling. The voice inside your head is known as your self-talk, and can direct the way you think and behave. Negative self-talk undermines you, and makes you believe that you cannot achieve, whereas positive self-talk gives you the confidence to take up new challenges, and believe that you can succeed. There are five distinct areas of negative thoughts that need to be overcome: 1. Focusing on the negative—This happens when you select a single negative aspect of an experience and focus entirely on that. This can also manifest itself in dismissing and devaluing positive experiences. Focusing on the negative and missing the positive makes you feel worse than you should. 2. All or nothing thinking—All or nothing thinking involves looking at things in black and white terms. Often, this will involve you having a perception about an event or people's reactions, which has no basis in fact. Most life experiences are neither all good nor all bad; they fall somewhere in between. If you think only in extremes, you will often feel bad for no real reason. 24 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  25. 25. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 3. Overgeneralization and labelling—When you do this, you see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. In its most extreme form, it involves attaching a negative label to yourself or others. For example, if a person makes one mistake, you may brand them a loser for ever more. 4. Jumping to conclusions—This is also known as mind reading and fortune telling. It involves imagining other people's negative reactions, and imagining negative outcomes with no basis. 5. Personalization and blame—This happens when you hold yourself, someone else, or something else entirely responsible for an event. This can also extend to making heavy or unrealistic demands on yourself and others. The voice inside your head can support you, or undermine you. If it is doing the latter, you need to take control, recognize your thoughts as negative, and reduce your stress by doing something about it. 29. Challenging Negative Thinking Negative self-talk is the voice inside your head that questions your ability and casts doubt on your actions. It can undermine your confidence and cause stress. To overcome these negative thoughts, you need to turn things around by emphasizing the positive and challenging your negative thinking. You can apply four simple techniques to help you overcome your negative self-talk. 1. Examining the evidence—Negative self-talk usually involves exaggeration of the negative, or imagining the worst. You need to look for the actual evidence of what happened, rather than simply assuming that your version of the events is the correct one. Get feedback from trusted colleagues, or review a report or schedule again. Look at the elements of the event or problem—did some things go better than others, or did everything really go wrong? 2. Befriending yourself—Negative self-talk turns you into your own worst enemy. Instead of beating yourself up, think about how you would react to a friend in a similar situation —you would certainly not be as harsh and judgmental. 3. Putting things in context—You should try to put your thoughts in the context of your life as a whole. This will help you to dismiss some of your most outrageous negative self-talk, and possibly see the extent to which you are exaggerating the problems you face. 4. Looking for the positive—Try to see the positive in any situation. Usually something will have gone well, however small. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn, and every hurdle is a challenge to overcome. Self-talk is not always negative. If the voice in your head says, "You could have prepared better for that interview," or "You should not have been late," these are rational and useful comments, not harmful negative self-talk. Don't be tempted to challenge everything your inner voice tells you. Only challenge those things that are having a destructive influence on your state of mind. If you use the techniques effectively, you should be able to change your negative thinking tendencies to positive ones. The thing to remember is that your self-talk needs to be realistic—neither too negative, nor too positive. You will find your own way of dealing with negative self-talk, and some techniques work better for some people than others. What is important is that you use what is right for you, challenge your negative thinking, and beat stress. 25 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  26. 26. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 30. Negative Self-talk Use this SkillGuide to review the different types of negative self-talk. Negative self-talk Focusing on the negative Description This happens when you select a single negative aspect of an experience and focus entirely on that. This can also manifest itself in dismissing and devaluing positive experiences. Example Dismissing positive experiences: "We were just really lucky that things went well. And of course the rest of the team members deserve the credit, I didn't do much." Focusing on a single negative point: "Getting the colour wrong really let us down. There's always one thing." All or nothing thinking All or nothing thinking involves looking at "It's all a complete disaster." things in black and white terms. Oftentimes this will involve you having a perception about an event or people's reactions which has no basis in fact. Overgeneralization When you do this, you see a single negative "I'm an idiot. I can't do anything right." and labelling event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. In its most extreme form it involves attaching a negative label to yourself or others. Jumping to conclusions Personalization and blame This is also known as "mind reading" and "fortune-telling". Imagining other peoples negative reactions, and imagining negative outcomes with no basis. "Everyone's going to be saying how disappointed they are." This happens when you hold yourself, someone, or something else entirely responsible for an event. This can also extend to making heavy or unrealistic demands on yourself and others. "If Carrie had only done her bit, it would have been fine." "If I've got it wrong this time, there's no way it'll be OK next week." 31. How to Handle Criticism You cannot control what is said to you. You can only control how you respond. One of the most stressful communications to respond to is criticism, particularly when it does not appear to be constructive, or even justified. You can be responsible for increasing your own stress levels if you react negatively to criticism, regardless of whether it is justified or not. The key to rationalizing the criticism is to take three simple actions. These are: 1. Agree with the truth of the criticism. If there is truth in the criticism, acknowledge this when dealing with the critic. Do not dispute facts. Denying 26 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  27. 27. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge facts usually intensifies stress. For example, claiming you did something when it can be proved that you did not will simply extend the criticism. If there is no truth in the criticism, you need to decide whether you are going to stand and fight, or let it go and hopefully reduce your stress as a result. 2. Agree with the logic of the critic. You might feel that a critic is being unfair because she is looking at things differently than you. You must accept that the critic has a valid view, and that her suggestion might work, even if you do not adhere to her thinking. For example, if your critic says, "You are spending too much money on repairs. We should just dump this old copier," you can agree that you are spending too much money without necessarily committing to her solution. 3. Allow for the fact that improvement is possible. Don't try to deflect criticism by attacking. When your critic suggests that you could do better, it is tempting to claim that you cannot, or even to attack her own abilities. Instead, recognize that there is always room for improvement, but avoid committing to changes. Similarly, don't reverse the criticism by saying something like, "You would not have done better in the same situation." This serves only to invite the critic to try to prove you wrong. Criticism becomes productive when you accept that your behaviour can be changed, and you are willing to do so. It becomes unproductive when you are not open to change. Then the criticism process will simply repeat itself. Agreeing with the truth or logic of criticism is not a commitment to behaviour change. Neither is acknowledging that improvement is possible. These three approaches merely limit the potential conflict that could arise from your instinctive need to retaliate. Remember, you have control over how you react to others' comments—use that control to your advantage, and let it help you to cope with the stress you feel. 32. Understanding the ABC Method of Perception How you think about something influences how you feel about it. Your feelings then influence how you behave in response. Whether thoughts are generally empowering or undermining is largely a question of habit. If you are to develop long-term resilience to stress, one of the best ways is to change the way you perceive events, and as a result, prevent yourself from having negative thoughts in the first place. Albert Ellis devised the ABC model of emotional disturbance and change. You may find this helpful to understand the part played by your perceptions in experiencing stress. The ABC model comprises three distinct elements: 1. A is the Actual Event and represents what happens to you in life. 2. B is your Belief about what happened. 3. C is the Consequence of the event on mood and behaviour. 27 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  28. 28. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge The originality of this model is that it explains that it is your belief about the event, rather than the event itself, that causes the consequence. Individuals' reactions to the same event will vary based on how they perceive the event. To change the emotional consequences of an event or set of circumstances, you need to examine the beliefs that you have about that event. How belief causes the consequence Imagine you and your colleague, Inez, walk into your office and say, "Good morning," to the receptionist but get no response. You might get angry and think that the receptionist is rude, or that she does not like you for some reason; while Inez might react with indifference because she believes that the receptionist simply did not hear. The event is the same, but you and Inez may react with different emotions because you formed different beliefs about it. Inez's belief about the event was the most rational explanation of what happened. Examining your belief If you are feeling emotionally distressed, take time to acknowledge that feeling and recognize your right to have it. But recognize that the feeling is based on your thinking, and that sometimes there is a way to think about the situation that is more realistic, more accurate, and fairer to yourself. If you can rationalize your beliefs about an event, you can change your perceptions, and limit the emotional consequences. It is not the event itself that makes you feel a certain way, it is what you believe. When you understand how you are creating self-induced stress, you can take steps to change your unhelpful thoughts and beliefs to beliefs that empower and support you. 33. Relaxation Techniques Principles Achieving success over stress can involve making some major changes in your life. It can also mean taking small actions every day that will refresh and re-energize you, and keep you performing well. There are some relaxation strategies that can only be used at home or outside the office, such as taking a bath, or taking a walk. However, you can also use strategies literally anywhere. These strategies include:     Abdominal breathing—Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth: your stomach moves up and out, and then down and in. When you start, be careful as you can get dizzy if your body is not used to the oxygen. Positive points—Apply pressure between your eyebrows with both hands, and then shut your eyes while breathing deeply. This is very useful if you are feeling overwhelmed, or if you do not know what to do next. Relax your eyes —This involves massaging from above the eyes to just under the cheekbone. You then cup your palms over your closed eyes, and concentrate on the blackness for two minutes. Peripheral vision—This involves focusing on a single point above eye level, and then increasing your field of vision to the things on the periphery without moving your eyes. Try to imagine the full 360 degrees, and hold for a couple of minutes. You will be amazed how much your breathing has slowed. You may find that you prefer some of these techniques over others, but whichever you use, you will begin to feel an immediate benefit. You do not have to have a lot of time to plan and prepare to relax. All you need is ten minutes to recharge your batteries. A little relaxation each day will help you to beat your stress and feel on top of the world. 28 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  29. 29. Study Notes 29 | P a g e http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  30. 30. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 34. Relaxation Techniques at home, at work Use this SkillGuide to learn how to use relaxation techniques at home, or at work. Relaxation Technique Abdominal breathing Method Sit (or if you are able lie on your back with your knees bent and your heels against your bottom, your feet flat on the floor.) Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Your stomach moves out/up as you breathe in and in/down as you breathe out. Place your hands on your stomach to feel the movement. Start with just a few breaths at first to prevent dizziness if your body is not used to this amount of oxygen. Positive points Place the first three fingers of each hand on your forehead midway between your eyebrows and hairline. Apply gentle pressure for a couple of minutes. Shut your eyes and breathe deeply at the same time. Relax your eyes Gently massage from just above the eyebrow to the hairline, just below the eyebrow, each side of the bridge of the nose, just below the eyes (being very gently) and just under the cheekbone. Then rub your palms together briskly to warm them up, and cup them over your closed eyes. Find a way to deepen the blackness you see by imagining thick black velvet or oily black paint, whatever image works best for you. Leave your hands over your eyes for 2 minutes whilst concentrating on making the blackness blacker. Peripheral vision Focus on a point just above eye level. Without moving your eyes, broaden out your field of vision until you are paying attention to what you can see out of the corners of each eye. Now, extend your awareness even further out beyond the edges of your vision. All the way round 360 degrees. Hold this for a couple of minutes. When you come back, notice how relaxed you are and how much your breathing has slowed down. 30 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  31. 31. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge 35. Anti-stress Day Use this SkillGuide to plan an anti-stress day away from work. Although taking time to relax each day is important, you must also prioritize taking time-off from work and your hectic schedule and take a day to recharge your depleted batteries. One of the best ways to do this is to plan an antistress day. To plan your anti-stress day you need to ensure that you are as free as possible from constraints and problems--so if you have children see if you can arrange for them to stay with relatives, or plan them into your day too. For your day to be truly "stress-free" make sure you plan well in advance. You should divide your day in four parts, shown below, and plan activities for each part of the day. Planning in advance will remove the stress you might feel as a result of having to make a decision about what to do. Morning Ensure that you wake naturally. Drink a glass of water and do some stretching exercises before having a light breakfast of your favourite things. Take some time to use abdominal breathing, or other relaxation techniques. Afternoon Choose an activity that you find relaxing and fun but that is non-competitive. Some people might enjoy an afternoon on a sailboat. Others might enjoy pampering at a salon, cycling, shopping, walking, or using public transportation. Evening Try and take time to kick back, read a book, watch a video, listen to music or maybe head for the movies. Night Have a relaxing bath, maybe go out for a special meal with a loved one, and when you get home drink herbal tea and maybe use some relaxation techniques such as peripheral vision before you drift off to sleep. H. Success over Stress - Glossary ABC model Albert Ellis devised the ABC model of emotional disturbance and change. It states that there is a clear relationship between A--the actual event, B--an individual's beliefs about that event, and C--the emotional consequences that result. Behavioural signs of stress Behavioural signs and symptoms of stress relate to how an individual behaves. They often involve an individual seeking temporary relief by indulging in excessive eating, drinking (alcoholic drinks or stimulants, such as caffeinated beverages), smoking, or spending money. Environmental stressors Environmental stressors are unpleasant or dangerous working conditions that can lead not only to emotional stress, but can also result in physical injury. Organizational stressors These exist because of the way an organization operates. These are often related to management style, poor communication, and lack of consultation. Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for advancement are also organizational stressors. 31 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  32. 32. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge People-related stressors In any role, you have to work with other people. If your working environment does not support healthy relationships with others, or you are poorly supported by colleagues and supervisors, this can cause stress. Physiological signs of stress Physiological signs of stress affect physical well-being. They include nausea, breathlessness, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, loss of appetite, and more severe conditions, such as high blood pressure, and heart disease. Pressure A force which motivates and challenges individuals, urging them to progress, and succeed. Psychological signs of stress Psychological signs of stress relate to emotional well-being. They include feeling angry or over-emotional, loss of interest in other people or activities once enjoyed, sadness, guilt, apathy, loss of confidence, memory loss, and poor concentration. Self-talk Self-talk is an internal voice that can direct the way you think and behave. Negative self-talk undermines you, and makes you believe that you can't achieve, whereas positive self-talk gives you the confidence to take up new challenges, and believe that you can succeed. Stress A comprehensive definition of stress is given by R. S. Lazarus and S. Folkman in "Stress, Appraisal and Coping," as "Stress is the psychological, physiological, and behavioural response by an individual when they perceive a lack of equilibrium between the demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands, which, over a period of time, leads to ill-health." Stressor A stressor is something that causes stress. Task-related stressors There are two types of task-related stressors: poor task design; and work role. Poor task design happens when your job is badly structured, you have an excessive workload with few breaks, and you have little control over your time. Work role is a stressor when you aren't sure what your job role is, and how it relates to those you work with. Type A personality Type A people tend to have a lot of stress in their lives, and often suffer from more stress-related illnesses than others. Type A people tend to be high achievers who are very competitive, and work quickly. They can be impatient and aggressive in their dealings with others. They are often driven by acute feelings of insecurity, and feel that by achieving their goals, they will gain the control they need. Type B personality Type B people have less stress in their lives, and are far less likely to suffer from stress-related illnesses than Type As. In general, Type B people are laid-back individuals who work steadily to get the job done, but are able to get it done within the required time frames, without overwhelming effort. Although Type B people can be ambitious, they aren't preoccupied with achieving. 32 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  33. 33. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Strategies for Better Balance I. Making Changes 36. Behaviour Options In situations where people have opposed points of view or are pursuing different outcomes, there is always a potential for conflict and damaging emotion. This is particularly true and noticeable in face-to-face encounters. Whether or not you get the outcome you want, or are entitled to, is likely to depend very much on the behaviour you choose in the situation. There are three fundamentally different behaviour options. Passive behaviour Passive behaviour entails giving in to avoid arguing. When people are passive they adopt an apologetic or selfeffacing manner. Aggressive behaviour This means trying to dominate a situation because you are determined to get your way. It is often demonstrated by anger, rudeness, and a raised voice. Assertive behaviour If you adopt assertive behaviour you use rational behaviour to pursue your rights—you try not to alienate the other party. The assertive approach is characterized by a clear explanation of the facts in a respectful and quiet manner that avoids introducing negative emotion. Being able to distinguish between passive, aggressive, and assertive behaviours is important. It will enable you to interact successfully with people in situations where you are seeking to restore an acceptable balance to your life. 37. Defining Boundaries Assertively When your life feels full to the brim because of all the demands that people make on you, you have to do something about it. You have to define the limits of what you will accept or tolerate. But you must choose the right approach if you are to be successful. Being passive—accepting excessive demands in order to avoid argument—is not helpful. Nor is being aggressive. The third, and correct, alternative is to say what you want to happen in an assertive way. Assertiveness Assertiveness is the rational response. It assumes, correctly, that mostly people are prepared to listen and be reasonable if you speak to them in the right way. Behaving assertively is a way of pursuing your own legitimate selfinterest. It gives you the best chance to achieve the result that you want and are entitled to. When you have a clear sense that your boundaries are not being respected, the assertive way of seeking what you are entitled to requires you to discuss reasonably with the "invader" to try to get her to commit to show respect in the future. You need to discuss in a way that commands attention and invites a positive response. Assertiveness techniques Resist excessive demands by employing assertiveness techniques. 33 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  34. 34. Study Notes     http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge Pick the right time—Deal with the issue at a time when the other person is not busy. In other words, choose a convenient time. Do not choose a time when you are feeling angry or irritated—wait until you feel calm. Explain the problem—Explain your problem factually, avoiding language that is critical or accusatory. Offer something to the other person—for example, a concession or some praise—to show that you are being reasonable. Ask for help—You can signal that you would like help in the form of a proposal, by simply pausing or looking expectantly at the other person. Or you can signal through language. You might say, "Is there anything you could do about this?" Recycle—If you don't get a helpful reaction, you will need to explain the problem again. This "recycling" of the problem is a way of indicating that you are not simply prepared to concede. You may make a firm proposal yourself. For example, you might say, "I'd appreciate it if you would..." You are entitled to insist on having your boundaries respected. Behaving in a way that commands attention and invites a positive response doesn't guarantee that you'll always achieve your objective. But it's likely that you will, and it is certainly the approach that gives you the best chance. 38. Defining Your Boundaries Use this SkillGuide to help you to set your boundaries assertively. The key to defining your boundaries successfully is to behave assertively. You have one point of view, but someone else may see things differently--this provides a potential for conflict. However, conflict can be avoided and you have an excellent chance of obtaining the outcome you want, and feel justified in asking for, if you set and maintain the cooperative and reasonable atmosphere that is at the heart of assertiveness. Go through the following process: Choose a good time A good time is when there are no--or the minimum possible--distractions. So, try to pick a time to talk when the other person is not busy. This will make it easier to command his attention. If you are angry or emotionally overwrought, this is a distraction to you. It may prevent you from explaining the issue clearly. It is better to wait until you are calm. Explain the problem Explaining the problem does not mean using a lot of emotional language to tell the other person what you think of him for invading your boundaries--this will only antagonize him. Instead, explain the facts of the case calmly and clearly. You should also try to see things from the other person's point of view and indicate that you are doing so by making some concession to him. If you are finding it difficult to concentrate because of a noisy meeting on the other side of the office, it would help in explaining this, if you recognize that it is impossible to talk without making a noise, and say that you will be sure to keep your door closed. Ask for help Once you have explained the problem, stop talking and look expectantly at the other person. You need to respect him by giving him some time to try to be helpful by proposing a solution that respects your boundaries. If a proposal is not put forward, try to prompt one by asking if there is anything he can suggest that would be helpful. Do not simply dictate a solution. Again, this would be antagonizing. Recycle your message If a helpful proposal is put forward, be appreciative of the fact. Otherwise, you have to be willing to briefly remind the person of the problem. In other words, recycle the facts--probably in summary form. If that does not work, propose your own solution and invite the other person to go along with it. So, for example, you explain to your partner that you do all of the shopping right now, but she does not suggest any change to this situation even after 34 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life
  35. 35. Study Notes http://SlideShare.net/OxfordCambridge recycling. You then propose that you share the chore, taking alternate weeks, and ask her to accept the arrangement. 39. Releasing Time by Delegating When you have too much to do and feel that you are not in charge of your life, the solution is to liberate time. An important strategy for releasing time is delegation. There is usually an opportunity for you to delegate work, and this is something you should aim to do. Essentially, it involves identifying an appropriate task, identifying an appropriate person to accept the task, and delegating the task to that person. The three elements of the delegation process are simple to understand. Employing the strategy successfully depends on how you interpret these elements in practice. Identifying an appropriate task You can delegate any job if there is a more urgent or better use of your time. In other words, low priority tasks should be delegated so that you can concentrate on high priority jobs and jobs that no one else can do. Some tasks may be so trivial, or of such little value, that they are a waste of anyone's time. Do not identify someone to delegate such a task to. If it has no importance, dump it. Identifying an appropriate person Delegate to an expert or to someone who will benefit from the task. You can only ask someone to take over the task you would like to delegate directly if you have authority over that person. Express a direct delegation as a polite instruction, perhaps phrased as a question. Where the person you would like to delegate to is on the same or a higher level than yourself, you will have to try to persuade them to accept the work. In other words, you'll have to employ an indirect approach. Express an indirect delegation as a very polite request, indicating strong appreciation. Look for delegation opportunities at home as well as work. Delegation will reduce the time you spend on tasks that do not require your attention and leave you more time for those that do. 40. Pursuing Your Vision If you are unhappy, you may want to make a change in your life. But it is unwise to introduce significant changes in your life based on no more than how you happen to be feeling at a given time. You need a clearly focused strategy for realizing a vision of your ideal future so that you can make changes with confidence. The determined pursuit of your vision will provide you with direction and inspiration. It will help you to achieve the best balance possible in your life. Pursuing a vision requires four things. You have to state, imagine, plan, and review your vision. State your vision Express to yourself, in a single sentence, the professional and personal life you want to be leading and know 35 | P a g e Win Over Stress: in Work & Life

×