Thriving at Work
Learning How to Cope with Stress More Effectively
The Thriving at Work training course is designed to help you and your staff develop a range of evidence-based coping skills and strategies for the stresses and strains of contemporary work environments.
A central tenet of the programme is that anybody can learn to make changes to their ‘thinking’ patterns in order to become more resilient to life’s problems and challenges.
This is achieved through:
(a) developing a degree of insight into our own particular ‘perceptual models’ that determine how we ultimately ‘feel’ about any given situation, and
(b) learning a range of tools and techniques to change any of those models that may not be particularly helpful in producing the outcomes that we want.
These perceptual models are known as ‘belief systems’ and we use them to make sense of events or experiences. These belief systems are either ’empowering’ or ‘limiting’ for the individual. Our Thriving at Work training is focused on helping people to identify any beliefs that are limiting and then changing them.
Its Not the Environment That Causes Stress!
One of the main ‘limiting beliefs‘ that people hold is that the way they ‘feel’ is determined by what is happening in the environment around them. Whilst this is a very commonly held belief, it is not based on fact!
Actually what is really happening is that a person ‘receives’ (or detects) various bits of sensory information from the local environment (such as sound, smells, taste, touch or ‘seeing’ something) and then attaches a particular meaning to that sensory information. The way that any given person ‘interprets’ the incoming sensory information is based on what they ‘believe’ that information means. This ‘belief’ about what the sensory information means is a combination of accumulated evidence and socially conditioned rules and regulations!
This may sound a rather unusual way of thinking about things, but if you consider it further, you’ll soon see it makes perfect sense.
Consider, for example, any stressful working environment. If the workplace demands are the direct cause of the Anxiety felt by a person experiencing work related stress, then it follows that everybody in that environment must feel the same way, ie. stressed. However, this is very rarely the case and in fact what is more normal in any given workplace is that some people are unable to cope with the stress, some people are just about able to ‘keep their heads above water‘ and some other people seem completely un-phased by the demands at all!
How can this be? Well, the very simple explanation is that each individual person ‘processes’ the demands in a way that is unique to them and therefore ‘interprets’ those demands as ‘dangerous’, ‘threatening’ or ‘absolutely no problem at all’ depending on what they believe.
This is known as ‘Resilience’ to stress (or other life problems).
Individual Resilience Levels
In this picture we can imagine that the level of stress is like the level of water in a swimming bath. Clearly some people are un-affected by the level of stress whilst others seem to be ‘drowning’ or barely have their heads above the water level!
What’s The Right Solution?
Much of the current strategic advice, for example from the Health & Safety Executive (the ‘Management Standards Model) suggests that business managers should focus on the level of demands (and other factors) that workers are exposed to, and try to reduce them.
Here at TranceForm Psychology we recognise the need to manage the work environment in ‘effective’ ways, but for most businesses and organisations, demanding environments are the norm.
This picture represents the HSE Management Standards solution to Work Related Stress. Investigate the principal causes of stress for the people and then introduce mechanisms to reduce or mitigate them completely. We consider this an ‘admirable’, if slightly unrealistic, solution in today’s highly demanding work environments.
Take Into Account Individual Resilience
We believe that the quickest, lowest overall cost and most effective solution to this problem is to ‘teach’ people how to develop a better range of ‘coping skills’ and ‘strategies’ so that people are able to ‘experience’ highly demanding environments without any negative health implications.
This is what we call ‘Thriving at Work‘.
Here we can see that the level of demands (the water level) is the same as the original image, but in this representation those people who were previously either ‘struggling’ or ‘drowning’ are now coping with the stress by virtue of the new ‘coping skills’ that they have learnt through following our programme.
Contact TranceForm Workplace Psychology
If you'd like to find out more about how we can help your business to manage mental health at work issues, or to discuss our training services, then please get in touch here.