Here are some discussion questions to use when facilitating a session on stress management:
1. When you say “I’m stressed out” or “I’m under a great deal of stress”, what do you mean? What is the difference between stress and a stressor?
2. Is stress always a negative thing? Name some of the positive aspects of stress.
3. Describe your own personality. Do you recognize characteristics in yourself that cause you undue anxiety such as perfectionism, obsessiveness, competitiveness, fear of failure, etc.? How do you deal with these anxieties? Is there a way to channel these personality traits into positive action?
4. What jobs do you think are the most stressful? The least stressful? Why?
5. Think of one or two situations that have recently occurred in which you felt “stressed out”. Was it the situation or your own personality traits that caused the stressful situation? Analyze if it was worth getting upset about, or if there was another way to react to the event.
6. Are you able to control the pace of your work and choose how you will approach your tasks? What steps can you take to bring more control to your job? If you’re not able to change your job situation, what steps can you take to cope more positively with the inevitable stress? (Time management, communication, assertiveness techniques, etc.) Have you used these techniques or others to manage your stress level?
7. Think about a situation when you were so fearful of the consequence that you were unable to act–missing a deadline to make your project better, changing your job, discussing a problem with the boss. Then make a list of the worst possible scenarios that might have occurred.
8. Have your multiple roles at work and home increased your stress level? How might you resolve this conflict?
9. Evaluate your style as a manager. Examine the way you communicate, the demands you make, the expectations you convey, the nature of your criticism, the tasks you delegate. Do any of these create stressful situations for your subordinates or fellow team members? If so, what can you do to reduce the stressors in their work lives? (Regular meetings, more realistic deadlines, role clarifications, support system, etc.?)
Excerpted from the Leader’s Guide for the CRM Learning video, Managing Stress.
Training Resource: If you want to help employees make stress management a lifelong habit, the Stress Management Series will get them started in the right direction. Comprised of 5 programs, including Recognizing Stress and Resilience: Mastering Stress.