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I am in the final subject of an MBA at UniSA and as a part of the subject we have been asked to keep a reflective journal. Reflecting about issues is a way to understand the situation better, take a longer view and to develop strategies about change. The headings of the journal following an academic pattern that helps to foster reflection. In this journal entry I talk about my own personal stress at work and what I hope to do as a result. Comments on reflective journals or how you have managed stress are welcome!
Reflection on Self
Over the past month or so I have been extremely busy at work. This has meant that I needed to work at nights, early in the morning and weekends. I have started to feel my stress levels increasing, meaning that I have been sharp with people and having a sense of being out of control.
How Did I Feel?
When I am under pressure I tend to avoid non-essential work or interruptions. I try to focus on what I need to achieve and the priorities that I need to do in order to achieve outcomes. This can lead to some avoidance from me to staff members and a tendency to not actively listen (Rogers & Farson, 1987, p.2).
I felt that I have let down my team by letting my workload get on top of my managerial duties.
What Do I Think?
I just completed a Carlopia test (2008, p. 158 & 222) and scored 49/72 which in the second quartile of stress management. This is a disappointed because 2 years ago I was at 55/72 – the top quartile. Due to the type of workload that I have at present I cannot use others to help achieve work tasks or to assist with deadlines and this is reducing my score.
When I am in these situations I tend not to actively listen (McShane & Travagilione, 2005, p.393), which is a referral to an old trait.
What Lessons Have I Learned?
- When I am feeling stress levels rising to alter the stressors by focusing on what I can achieve and taking time to evaluate the situation and how to gain an outcome that benefits everyone
- Don’t slip into old habits by ensuring that I actively listen, avoid distractions and give people my full attention (Yukl, 1998, p.97)
What Action Will I Take?
Be conscious of when I am under pressure and ensure that I work on what I can achieve and to still to take time to relax and refresh. Further, not to fall into the old habits of not actively listening through maintaining eye contact, having an alert posture and using facial expressions (Yukl, 1998, p.97).