Articles on Organizational TA

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Managing Stress

Stress can be caused by two things - the organization we work in and ourselves. Any discussion about stress therefore needs to be put in a context. Too many stress management processes look only at the individual, which ignores the context.

Organizations can cause stress by putting pressure on the workforce to undertake more and more. Today, when jobs are not for life, it is all to easy to believe that we have to work late and get in early just to keep pace with the job. To go along with such cultures courts disaster at the political, social and individual levels. At the political level the recognition that the job really needs two people, at the social level we lose any balance in our lives which can affect relationships, and at the individual level we become burnt out. This can be rectified by realistic appraisal of posts, positions, work levels and structures and systems.
Even where the organization is protective of its workforce and the culture of healthy individuals can still become stressed. The reasons for this are of course many and varied. Here I will cover just one aspect - our styles and beliefs. There are five different styles that stem from our beliefs.

For example, I have to be perfect then I will be okay. People with Be Perfect as a style go all out for perfection. We are great at producing accurate, reliable work. Each piece of work can take us a long time as keep correcting and going over and over things. Our desk or the office have to be neat and tidy without a thing out of place and perhaps with everything colour co-ordinated. We can make our own stress by not meeting our own expectations and by making a mistake. When this happens we beat up on ourselves and feel really bad. Of course we may believe that others have to be perfect too and that can cause stress when they don't come up to scratch either.

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