For example, imagine that the meeting you're in suddenly dissolves into a shouting match between team members. Your automatic response is to feel a surge of anxiety. Your stomach knots and feels bloated. You withdraw into yourself and, if someone asks for your input, you have a difficult time knowing what to say. Conflict is a major source of situational stress. Everyone reacts to situational stress differently, and it's essential that you understand both the physical and emotional symptoms of this stress, so that you can manage them appropriately.
If your natural response is to get angry and shout, then learn how to manage your emotions. Encounter stress revolves around people. You experience encounter stress when you worry about interacting with a certain person or group of people — you may not like them, or you might think that they're unpredictable. Encounter stress can also occur if your role involves a lot of personal interactions with customers or clients, especially if those groups are in distress.
For instance, physicians and social workers have high rates of encounter stress, because the people they work with routinely don't feel well, or are deeply upset. This type of stress also occurs from "contact overload": when you feel overwhelmed or drained from interacting with too many people. Because encounter stress is focused entirely on people, you'll manage this type of stress better by working on your people skills.
A good place to start is to develop greater emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize the emotions, wants, and needs of yourself and of others. This is an important skill in interacting with others and in building good relationships. It's also important to know when you're about to reach your limit for interactions in the day.
Everyone has different symptoms for encounter stress, but a common one is withdrawing psychologically from others and working mechanically. Another common symptom is getting cranky, cold, or impersonal with others in your interactions. When you start to experience these symptoms, do whatever you can to take a break. Go for a walk, drink water, and practice deep breathing exercises. This gives you greater understanding and helps you to structure your communications so that you address the other person's feelings, wants, and needs.
Crankiness and remoteness can also be symptoms of burnout. If you're an enthusiastic, hard-working, committed person, make sure that you monitor yourself for this, and that you take action to avoid it. Stress can cause severe health problems and, in extreme cases, death. While these stress management techniques have been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress, they are for guidance only, and readers should take the advice of suitably qualified health professionals if they have any concerns over stress-related illnesses or if stress is causing significant or persistent unhappiness.
Health professionals should also be consulted before any major change in diet or levels of exercise. Dr Karl Albrecht published his model of the four common types of stress in his book, "Stress and the Manager. While everyone experiences different physical and emotional symptoms of stress, it's important to understand how you respond to each one.
When you can recognize the type of stress you're experiencing, you can take steps to manage it more effectively. This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Subscribe to our free newsletter , or join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career!
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Quizzes Templates and Worksheets Videos. For Your Organization. By the Mind Tools Content Team. Finding This Article Useful? Yearnings and fears are impatient and bad at seeing the big picture. Many of the people who have done wonders to make the world better got there on a path that started with selfish motives like wealth or personal fulfillment—motives their moral tentacle probably hated at first.
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The Want Box deals with what you find desirable. The Reality Box is the same deal. The goal of self-reflection is to bring both of these boxes as close to accuracy as possible. For our Want Box audit, we looked under the hood of the Want Box and found its settings—your yearnings and fears. When we open the hood of your Reality Box, we see a group of beliefs.
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For a career option to qualify for your Reality Box, your potential in that career area has to measure up to the objective difficulty of achieving success in that area. There are traditional careers—stuff like medicine or law or teaching or a corporate ladder, etc. Then there are less traditional careers—the arts, entrepreneurship, non-profit work, politics, etc. These are perfectly reasonable assumptions—if you live in A general conception, a common opinion, an oft-cited statistic 7 —none of which have actually been verified by you, but all of which are treated as gospel by society.
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These problems then extend to how we view our own potential. These are only a few examples of the slew of delusions and misconceptions we tend to have about how great careers happen. I have no idea, mostly. And I think most people have no idea. Things are just changing too quickly. If you can figure out how to get a reasonably accurate picture of the real career landscape out there, you have a massive edge over everyone else, most of whom will be using conventional wisdom as their instruction booklet.
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A career path is like a game board. This is promising news. If you simply understand what the game board really looks like and play by modern rules, you have a huge advantage. And this brings us to you and your particular strengths. With enough time, could you get good enough at this game to potentially reach whatever your definition of success is in that career?
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The distance starts with where you are now—point A—and ends with you reaching your definition of success, which we can draw with a star. The length of the distance depends on where point A is how far along you are at the current moment and where the star is how lofty your definition of success is. But the game boards in less traditional careers often involve many more factors. Acting ability is only one piece of that puzzle—you also need a knack for getting yourself in front of people with power, a shrewdness for personal branding, an insane amount of optimism, a ridiculous amount of hustle and persistence, etc.
If you get good enough at that whole game—every component of it—your chances of becoming an A-list movie star are actually pretty high. So how do you figure out your chances of getting to any particular star? What makes someone slower or faster at improving at a career game? Your level of chefness.
Careers are complex games that almost everyone starts off bad at—then the chefs improve rapidly through a continual loop…. Your work ethic. This one is obvious. Someone who works on their career 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, is going to move down the path almost four times faster than someone who works 20 hours a week, 40 weeks a year. Someone who chooses a balanced lifestyle will move slower than a single-minded workaholic.
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Someone who frequently breaks from work to daydream or pick up their phone is going to get less done in each work hour than someone who practices deep focus. Your natural abilities. Talent does matter. Smarter, more talented people will improve at a game at a faster rate than less naturally gifted people. But intelligence and talent are only two types of natural ability that come into play here. Depending on the type of career, social skills can be critically important as well. In many careers, likable or subtly manipulative people have a big advantage over less likable people—and those who enjoy socializing will put in more people hours over time, and build deeper relationships, than antisocial types.
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