Stress Management: Stress is obvious and employees have to adapt to stress in such a way that they are no longer aware of it. Companies can effectively manage stresses by removing the stressors that cause needless tension and job burnout. Other stress management strategies may keep employees “stress-fit,” but they don’t solve the fundamental causes of stress. Organizations manage stress by investigating the main causes of stress in their workplace. Another suggestion is to change the corporate culture and reward systems so they support a work-life balance and no longer reinforce dysfunctional workaholism. More generally, the most effective ways to remove workplace stressors is to empower employees so that they have more control over their work and work environment. Role-related stressors can be lessened by selecting and assigning employees to positions that match their capabilities. Noise and safety risks are stressful, so improving these conditions would minimize stress in the workplace. Workplace bullying can be minimized through clear guidelines of behaviour and feedback for those who infringe those standards.
Figure: Stress management strategies:
Mangers have important contribution in the identification and intervention of constant workplace stress. Lazarus (1991) has recognized three main strategies for reducing work-related stress. In the first strategy, managers can help their employees to cope up with workplace stress is changing the working conditions so that they are more favourable to effective coping. When barriers are removed such as work overload, environmental annoyances, isolation, and lack of autonomy, an environment is created in which an employee can perform better. The second strategy to reduce work-related stress is to facilitate the employee to improve his or her transaction with the environment. Managers should provide the worker with services such as an employee assistance program or links to stress management resources to help them work through the issues that hamper adequate appraisal of the situation. Moreover, such programs will teach the employee how to utilize behavioural skills such as implementing a new diet, meditation techniques, and relaxation techniques in order to relieve the physical and psychological effects of stress. Usually, these programs will involve cognitive behavioural interventions (Long, 1988). The third strategy is to assist the employee recognizes the stressful relationship between the individual or group and the work setting (Lazarus, 1991) and developing a strategy to help reduce the tension in that affiliation.
To summarize, Stress is an adaptive reaction to a threatening situation that is perceived by person in work setting or in his life. Stressors are the causes of stress and include any environmental conditions that place a physical or emotional demand on the person. Stressors are found in the physical work environment, the employee’s various life roles, interpersonal relations, and organizational activities and conditions. Conflicts between work and non-work obligations are a common source of worker stress. Workplace stress has dangerous consequences on the health of employees such as it can cause significant psychological and physiological problems. Workplace stress has been associated with the aetiology of physical disorders such as heart disease, hypoadrenia, immunosuppression, and chronic pain. Additionally, the psychological impact of workplace stress includes depression, persistent anxiety, pessimism, and resentment.
The impact of these symptoms on organizations is significant as these symptoms lead to antagonism in the workplace, low morale, interpersonal conflict, increased benefit expenses, decreased productivity, and increased absenteeism. To cope up with stressful situation, experts provide various stress management strategies. By providing the foundation for employees to prosper while also allowing employees to take responsibility for their stress related symptoms, organizations will find considerable improvement in productivity and an improved workplace dynamism. Some tactics directly remove superfluous stressors or remove employees from the stressful environment. Other strategies facilitate employees to modify their interpretation of the environment so that it is not viewed as a severe stressor. Wellness programs promote employees to develop better physical defences against stress experiences. Social support provides emotional, informational, and material resource support to safeguard the stress experience.
Detach Involvement Detachment is distancing oneself in order to gain perspective and to expand the context.
The degree of detachment or involvement which is most appropriate will vary during the coaching relationship. It will be for the coach to choose what is most appropriate.
Involvement is the ability to be both mentally and emotionally involved.
Mentally, to ascertain and clarify the facts presented by the client.
Emotionally, being aware of the client’s feelings, which enables empathy, but also to be in touch with his or her own feelings.
Together, they give the coach a fuller grasp of the client’s and their own reality.
A) The inter-personal relationship:
Detached involvement is an indispensable skill of in-depth coaching. It is a skill which can be learned and developed, both by the coach and the client.
Detached involvement ensures that the coach will be present to the client in the most effective way.
It facilitates non-attachment to outcome, which can be a challenging goal for many coaches.
When detached involvement is lacking, the coach’s tendency will be to become over-involved with the client’s story, perhaps lapse into mentoring, offering advice and strategies, and taking too much responsibility for the outcome.
B) The intra-personal relationship:
Who will be making this choice when you are the coach in question?
Where in your personality is your locus of decision-making, of making choices when you are coaching? Which part of you decides?
It is most likely to be the part or parts of you that normally run your life, known as your Primary Selves. Hal and Sidra Stone identified some of the selves in their book, “Embracing your Selves” (1988): the Pleaser, the Perfectionist, the Inner Critic and the Controller. We might add the Hard Worker and the Helper and the Victim to this list.
These sub-selves or sub-personalities sometimes act like the dominant members of a board of directors, who come to meetings with their own agenda and set of priorities based on their point of view. In such cases, the authority of the CEO may be absent or just ignored.
Another analogy would be a kingdom in which the rightful ruler is absent, and the kingdom is actually ruled by the barons. I call this situation the Empty Throne.
C) The inter-functional relationship:
To what extent is detached involvement applicable in the external coach’s relationship with the organisation which has engaged him?
Over-involvement might lead the coach to major on pleasing the coachee’s employer at the coachee’s expense and at the expense of the coach’s integrity.
Over-detachment might lead to the coach following their own agenda at the expense of their relationship with the corporate client.
So, which part of you will be making these choices?
Our sub-personalities come with their own perspectives, their own priorities and make their choices accordingly.
In order to practice detached involvement successfully, you will need to consciously rise above the level of your sub-personalities and attain your centre, your Conscious Self. If your sub-personalities are the musicians in the orchestra, your Conscious Self is the conductor of the orchestra.
In the previous three scenarios, the coach will need to discern from a clear and stable place.
So, what can we do to arrive at our centre, our Conscious Self?
The applied psychology of Psychosynthesis offers us a technique called the Dis-identifying and Identifying Exercise which helps us to disidentify from the contents of our personality and connect with our deeper centre of identity, our Conscious Self, also known as our “I”.
How do we know when we have attained our “I”?
We typically experience a greater calm, a degree of serenity and balance beyond the daily norm.
A place where clarity and sureness of choice is more available to us.
It is from this place that we can discern most clearly and choose the appropriate levels of detachment and involvement in all the interventions in our coaching practice.
When you practice detached involvement, you’re both a participant and an observer of your life at the same time. You see all experiences as part of life’s journey without judging them as being good or bad. You simply experience them and are in control of your responses to them. You’re fully involved, but detached from the allure of outcomes.
So, how do you learn to practice detached involvement?
- Take nothing personally
- Make no assumptions
- Make as few judgments as possible
- Let go of the need to be right
- Let go of the need to control
- Be passionate about all of life’s experiences, even the painful ones
- Give all you have, your true gifts, to whatever you’re doing
- Detach from future potential results