Stress in local government LO11475
Tue, 17 Dec 1996 11:14:13 -0500

Replying to LO11452 --

Arthur writes:

?The task is to produce something on managing/lessening stress, and there
IS a specific trigger: a court case brought against a local authority,
who were deemed to have failed in their duty of care towards a manager in
a Social Services dept who had two nervous breakdowns due to job-related
stress. But please note, the focus will NOT be purely on legal
responsibilities, it will also include more preventative, positive advice.

"I can't be specific because it is a proposal that has to be developed,
including the sort of research and consultation that will be used. The
outcome will be advice and information, delivered probably via a
publication [or series of pamphlets] and/or by seminars/training courses.

"Phew...that's stressed me out..I'll have to lie down in a darkened room
for a bit :-) And how do they do it in the Lone Star state, Lon?"

Actually the relationship of government entities in Texas is no less
puzzling and actually may be a bit more complicated than what you describe
for the UK. But dealing with stress often has less to do with the
silliness of our situations than it does with the strength within us.

Just as a suggestion, rather than enumerate the things you should do,
perhaps you can label some areas you can ignore or at least postpone.
This may help streamline the project and may prove beneficial when it
comes time to defend specific proposals.

Suggestion: There are 10,000 off -the -shelf training programs for
reducing stress. It may be cost efficient to use one or more of these
before constructing something new.

Suggestion: Use a balanced approach to reduce the effect of stress rather
than take on the probable root cause of organizational relationships. To
this end you might improve the individual problem solving skills of
individuals in the organization; improve the frequency and accuracy with
which affected organizations test for the presence of stress; measure and
double the number of people who will admit that they can do something to
decrease stress for another person (notice I did not say supervisors, I
said people); establish some method for people to confront and at least
complain about the things that bother them; and establish a modest reward
system for behaviors that reduce stress anywhere.


Lon Badgett

"The problem in dealing with stress is that eliminating or reducing it one place may only cause it to relocate in another. This is a zoning problem." Emil Gobersneke

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