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Some people thrive on stressful situations,
while others are overwhelmed by them. What
is it that differentiates people in terms of their
ability to handle stress?
At least four variables — perception, job
experience, social support, and belief in
locus of control — have been found to be
• Job experience
• Social Support
• Belief in Locus of Control
The stress potential in environmental,
organizational, and individual factors doesn't
lie in their objective condition. Rather, it lies in
an employee's interpretation of those factors.
Experience is said to be a great teacher. It
can also be a great stress-reducer.
There is increasing evidence that social
support — that is, collegial relationships with
co-workers or supervisors — can buffer the
impact of stress.
Belief in Locus of Control
Those with an internal locus of control believe
they control their own destiny. Those with an
external locus believe their lives are
controlled by outside forces. Evidence
indicates that internals perceive their jobs to
be less stressful than do externals.
An understanding and utilization of
basic time management principles
can help individuals better cope
with job demands.
Noncompetitive physical exercise
such as aerobics, race walking,
jogging, swimming, and riding a
bicycle have long been
recommended by physicians as a
way to deal with excessive stress
Individuals can teach themselves to relax
through techniques such as meditation,
hypnosis, and biofeedback. The objective
is to reach a state of deep relaxation,
where one feels physically relaxed,
somewhat detached from the immediate
environment, and detached from body
Having friends, family, or work
colleagues to talk to provides an outlet
when stress levels become excessive.
Expanding your social support network,
therefore, can be a means for tension
Selection and Placement
Participative Decision Making
Selection & Placement
Individuals with little experience
or an external locus of control
tend to be more stress-prone.
Selection and placement decisions
should take these facts into
The use of goals can reduce stress as well
as provide motivation. Specific goals that
are perceived as attainable clarify
performance expectations. Additionally,
goal feedback reduces uncertainties as to
actual job performance. The result is less
employee frustration, role ambiguity,
Redesigning jobs to give employees
more responsibility, more meaningful
work, more autonomy, and increased
feedback can reduce stress, because
these factors give the employee greater
control over work activities and lessen
dependence on others.
Participative Decision Making
By giving these employees a voice in
decisions that directly affect their job
performances, management can
increase employee control and reduce
this role stress.
Given the importance that perceptions
play in moderating the stress-response
relationship, management can also use
effective communications as a means to
shape employee perceptions.
These programs focus on the
employee's total physical and mental
condition. For example, they typically
provide workshops to help people quit
smoking, control alcohol use, lose
weight, eat better, and develop a regular
Source of Reference:
Stephen Robbins, Organizational Behavior, Prentice Hall