Workplace Challenges

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SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 1 Workplace Challenges: A Review of Current Stressors, Anger Management, and the Developement of Coping Techniques Dwayne Adams Metropolitan Community College This paper was prepared for HMRL 1010 5B Human Relationship Skills Spring 2012-13 FORT OMAHA Campus Instructor, Melinda J. Classen, M. S. SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 2 Abstract

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Many nations and various groups compete and continuously reposition theirselves to gain international standing in the post modern world. 21st. Century America is no exeption and continues to remain one of the “standouts” of this global socio-economic matrix. To maintain this present leading position, one necessary method seems to be the development of ”Human Relations Skills” as a whole. One of the factors that influence this development is the understanding of stressors, and developing and improving coping strategies to effectively deal with them and how they relate to the workplace.

This paper suggests that to be successful in today’s competitive and diversified workplace, it has become increasingly important for any ambitious worker to understand any such stressors. It also examines these stressors, and typical reaction patterns. Additional queries investigate personal anger expression. Emphasis is given to various techniques to develop and improve stress and anger management strategies, and to effectively deal with change. The purpose is to achieve the improvements previously stated as necessary to remain competitive in the workplace.

SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 3 Workplace Challenges: A Review of Current Stressors, Anger Management, and Effective Strategy Development Discription of General Stressors As in most things that concern elements of the “human condition”, stress is unavoidable. Everyone is vulnerable to it, and the factors that contribute to it. It can affect the heart, weight, and the codition of the skin. It can cause headaches, cancer, and the general decline of health. The death of loved ones, divorce, and many other things can affect daily living.

Professionally, negative stress can be caused by job overload,, role conflict, and ambiguity. Adverse environmental conditions, and adverse interaction with customers, clients,and co-workers can affect job performance. According to the “Parade” magazine October 25, 2009 issue, Dr. Ranit Mishori writes in the StayHealthy Column, pp. 16-17, “Can Stress Make You Sick? ”, “that ongoing stress, the kind you might face when you’re experiencing marital, financial, or work-related problems or are caring for a sick relative, influences your abilty to function and may lower your immunity”

It is paramount to develop and impliment methods of maintaining a healthy balance of those unavoidable stresses and those things that act as a counter. Ignoring the existance of stress factors can be as destructive as professional incompetence. Many careers have been destroyed by a workers inability or unwillingness to change and adapt to the demands of the modern workplace. Successful management and elimination or modificaton of the stressors increase the opportunities for advancement in the workplace, by enabling one to manuever through continously changing environments.

As technology changes, and the economic needs of employers necessitate making the workforce more efficient and effective, employees with well honed human relations skill have the advantage. SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 4 Triggers Negative Stressors Setting Unrealistic Goals Anxiety over Personal Finances Consumption of High Fat and High Calorie Foods Low Self-esteem from Personal Perception of Physical Appearance, Education, Family Backgound, Job Skills, etc. Smoking, and Alcohol Use The results of procrastination Does the typical worker react in normal and predictable ways?

Do these reactions help, or hinder their job satisfaction and performance? A comprehensive review of the general causes is often beneficial to recognising and subsequently handling negative stressors. Once recognised, solutions are more readily found. One survey the “Holmes & Rahe Stress Test” evaluates ways to access stress by examining different life events, and how the frequency in which they happen effect the liklihood of suffering from stress. The thorough completion of this survey served as a tool to help me realize more accurately, certain warning signs that might make me more succeptable to stress.

This and other stress related surveys equipped me with ways to develop the proper reactions to the “life events”. Typical Reaction Patterns While past experience with stressors enjoy mixed results ranging from occassional mishandling certain things, to generally reacting well to other items, there have always been areas that I have sought improvement. Where I previously may have not noticed some negative reactions, the battery of surveys SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 5 given in this class has enlightened me to some personal shortcomings.

Some were areas that I suspected or knew existed. Some were not previously known. They have forced some changes and given me additional tools by which success might be more easily achieved. Stress Coping Techniques How does one cope with stress in life? How does one respond to life events? Good physical and mental health can be maintained by learning to balance negative stressors agaist stress reduction techniques. Some Personal Stress Reducers in General Are: Proper Rest Proper Support Network of Co-workers, Friends, and Family

Prioritizing and Planning Daily Activities Practice of Relaxation Techniques Proper Diet Acceptance of Limitations Although there are far too many factors to adequately discuss in this paper, a review of the various stressors are a worthwhile activity. Candid and honest answers to certain questions can assist in techniques to allieviate stress. “How have I overcome stress in the past? ” ”How much of my stress is work related? ” “What characteristics do I tend to have when I am stressed? ” How can I impliment stress management strategies in oreder to balance my life? Currently, I am actively engaged in answering such questions and developing and improving copimg strategies. I have found much success in most circumstances. There exist some stress with respect to the volume of classwork given, but it is much less when compared to the esteem and feelings of self-efficacy gained. My current studies seems the have served as a major reducer of stress. There is however, much room for improvement. SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 6 Previous Expressions of Anger

Where personal past responses to negative input has met mixed results, I have, more time than I care to remember, responded in what was in effect unproductive ways, Although this has not been the norm, I have always “come to grips”with thought of, “How could I have handled that better. Through the exercises of the Human Relations Skills course, I have been able to revisit long held but subconcious thoughts of more effective conflict resolution. This analysis has further enabled me to handle the prospective needs of the modern workplace.

Anger Management and Coping Techniques Advancement and prospering in the workplace requires that one be able to master ones emotions in a wide array of situations and circumstances. Many people have ruined advancement prospectives by their inability to control them. Even well intentioned and effective workers have succombed to the pitfalls of spontaneous response. While it could be generally agreed opon that conflict is inevitable, successful and happy people must learn effective ways of handling it.

The general concensus is that facing conflict is prefered to ignoring or smoothing it over. Allowing room for compromise can be more useful than expressions of anger while negotiating unyielding postions. Many of the more successful techniques involve emphasizing collaborative efforts or win-win philosophies. Other useful methods include negotiating and bargaining tactics. Competition for Limited Resources Differences of Opinion on Work Related Issues and Rights Personsalitiy Clashes Aggresive Personalities, including Bullies Culturally Diverse Teams and Factional Groups

SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 7 Competing Work and Family Demands Cross-generational Conflict. Sexual Harassment All of the more effective methods seem to have common items amongst them. Included in this group are the attributes of being assertive yet not overbearing, developing protocols for disarming the opposition, and strategic appeals to third parties. There are some people in the workplace that have learned to create positive negotiating climates. These environs are constructed in ways that phrases demands in the context of requests for help.

The importance of improving listening skills can not be underestimated. Proper thought might tedt to enable the worker to realise that the inability to manage anger can damage professional careers, and personal lives. A person who has fully developed techniques in anger management and managing the anger of others has tooled theirself with skills that tend to assist advancement in the workplace. Sumary The modern worker should strive to develop good human relation skills that are needed to be successful in today’s varied and demanding workplace.

Building and maintaining good interpersonal skills are of immeasurable value Improving communications and workplace relationships, developing self awareness, and understanding the nature of diversity can drastically increase the development of effective stress and anger management.. SECTION C: WORKPLACE CHALLENGES 8 References Balancing Act, Worksheet 1(Exercise A), Managing Stress, 2nd Edition, CRM (619) 931-5792, no stated author Holmes and Rahe Stress Test2, copyright c Houghton Miffflin Company: 8/14/2003; www. ngelfire. com/ne/metsemakers/stress2. htm, no stated author Human Relation Skills, HRML 1010, Chapter 9 Stress, Chapter 10 Anger and Conflict Pearson Learning Solutions, 312-369 Mishori, Ranit, PhD, Can Stress Make You Sick,10/25/2009, StayHealthy, “Parade” magazine . p. 16 Checking Your Coping Style, Chapter 14, (class handout), author ; date unknown 50 Ways to Reduce Stress, (class handout), author ; date unknown How Vulnerable are you to Stress, (class handout), author ; date unknown Stress Discussion, (class handout), author ; date unknown

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