Stress awareness to prevent a bore-out

Published on: 10 January 2018

Mathieu Lourenco, a Career Coach at Select, put together a programme, based on his expertise, in which stress can be dealt with in the early stages. Thanks to this Stress Awareness Programme, a bore-out or a burn-out can be prevented. After all, the two are very closely related because they are both the result of chronic stress, as you could read in our previous article. The Stress Awareness programme consists of recognising the five stress drivers: perfectionism, not being able to say 'no', managing on one's own, always wanting to be involved, and always being in a hurry. When one of these drivers is present at an unacceptable level, the stress level will be too high. If a coach can intervene in time, a complete absence due to illness can be avoided.

The programme also focuses on the pillars of behaviour and surroundings. Based on questionnaires and discussions, the stress drivers are defined and context-related factors that have caused the increased level of stress are mapped out. The basic principle is that signals are picked up by, for example, the employee's manager. Actions for implementing change are defined based on an analysis of the behaviour and the surroundings.

AVOIDING A BORE-OUT ON TIME

"In a specific case, a management assistant, who had previously worked very closely with just one board member, started having a hard time when she had to start working for other board members too." The HR department brought in Select to assist with the situation because the woman concerned was regularly absent for short periods of time and the quality of her work had decreased. This was not the case before the change.

Mathieu explains, "We met with this woman, as well as the managers and the HR department. The management assistant was being confronted with an increased level of stress because she was getting jobs from the new board members that were too easy, and started to experience the early signs of a bore-out. There was also little direct contact and the physical distance between her and the board members was problematic." By making a few changes, both personally and to her surroundings, her level of stress was brought back down to a manageable intensity. "Communication was more open, the management style became more focused on the person, they started sitting physically closer to one another, and the assistant was given more stimulating work. This thus prevented both a bore-out and a complete absence due to illness."

SMALL CHANGES ARE OFTEN ENOUGH

This is precisely why the Stress Awareness Programme is so valuable. Stress can be more efficiently dealt with, thus preventing a burn-out or bore-out. So, you work preventatively, instead of curatively. "Unsuitable contextual aspects can be detected by asking questions about someone's natural behavioural styles and motivators, for instance," states Mathieu. These can sometimes be small things; someone who prefers to work in a consulting context or someone who works better in enclosed spaces. "When these people are put in a different setting, this can cause stress. A small change can have a major positive impact on the level of stress. A simple solution could be putting a desk in another room, for instance. Naturally, the person must also work on changing his or her behaviour so that these kinds of issues can be broached."

To encourage someone to change, the career coach has a specially adapted set of tools and asks targeted questions. Select offers personal coaching that focuses on customisation and people. In addition to the Stress Awareness Programme and personal coaching, Select also offers workshops and info sessions on burn-outs and bore-outs.

For more information, please contact Mathieu Lourenco

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