By Andre Sola
Last week I was at the client-site for a long-list presentation of a retainer in the technology environment. The search was difficult with the client-site based at a remote location in Germany.
Neither I nor the team as well as the client were happy with the results. This was the 2nd time in my career where this has occurred.
I knew that we will eventually manage to fulfil the position, but on this specific day, we were not where we wanted to be. My clients always give me a sterling rating for my commitment, endurance and results of a search – but on this day the results did not match my attitude and references. This resulted in high levels of stress!
I have recently participated in a training about stress management where I learnt about the following equation:
It may look easy but let us dig a bit deeper.
FORCE is a stimulus (or impulse) triggered by an event (e.g. an accident) or by a mismatch of expectations (like in my meeting) happening in a moment or over a longer period. Whilst time is a multiplier of the stimulus. That means the longer the period of a stimulus the larger the FORCE.
AREA is the resource where stress can “fall on”. The resources are either your internal/personal resources (attitude, discipline & health) or external resources (social nature – like good colleagues, organizational nature – like good organizational structure or material nature – like hardware/budget/salary). Different resources add up to the “AREA”.
Stress is natural and can not be avoided. You must be attentive that recreation outbalances (imagine a scale) your stress level. If you fail to manage this effectively, the long-term effects may result in health-issues or burn out.
If the stress can´t be outbalanced with a recreation you must start to think about the equation and start changing it actively through one or both mentioned variables. You could try to avoid the stimuli that influence you over a longer period (I. e. stop doing a job you don’t like or is in mismatch with your personal belief) or you could work on your personal or organizational resources (I. e. speak to your boss to change your working environment or work on your personal fitness).
My team and I learnt from our experience and we will ensure that we adjust the resources to improve the next search. I went for a long sport session at the end of the day to cycle away from the stress as I try to be mindful of my stress – recreation – level.
There are several articles covering this topic which I believe is worth investing time in which will help you to understand and manage the levels of stress experienced in life. At the end of the day, it is your health and it will pay off.