Good stress vs bad stress: How to get the balance right

Businesses that seek to entirely eliminate workplace stress could be undermining their productivity, a US business psychologist says.

Writing on, corporate well-being adviser Robert Rosen argues the most productive executives thrive on what he calls “healthy anxiety”.

Rosen says the right level of anxiety drives people forward without causing them to resist, become obsessive about work or try desperately to impose some control on their working lives in an effort to diminish their stress.

He provides five tips business managers can practice to try and get the balance right between good stress and bad stress:

  1. Practice non-attachment: Focus on the things you can change; distance yourself from those you can’t.
  1. Cultivate an open mind and heart: Understand that you have strengths and weaknesses, and you will mistakes. When you do, take them as opportunities for learning, not a sign of incompetence or failure.
  1. Balance realism and optimism: Distorting reality, either positively or negatively, can impede your ability to cope with change.
  1. Develop confident humility: If the task is yours, act decisively; if it has been delegated to others, trust them to perform them task without interfering. This leaves both manager and staff to worry about what they are working on and not what the other person is doing.

  1. Be constructive and impatient at the same time: Risk taking and urgency are important, but make sure staff feel safe when doing so by celebrating successes and dealing with failures constructively.


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