Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are frequently provided by good employers to help with, amongst other things, workplace stress. EAPs often offer counselling for stressed employees. Some employers (and employees) still think that there is a stigma attached to counselling. Coaching has a more positive association though.
Coaching for workplace stress takes one of three forms:
- Tackling perceptions and coping mechanisms for the stressed individual
- Coaching to uncover organisational stresses
- Skills coaching to help minimise stress points
I’ll give a brief overview of the three forms to help you decide which would work best in your situation.
Workplace Stress: Internal Coping
Why do some people get stressed whilst others in a comparable situation do not? Internal perceptions of how you think you will cope with the pressure come into play. The belief you will cope, or not, is the main differentiator. This is often made up of several different core beliefs that will be identified and worked with to relieve the internal pressure and build resilience.
Workplace Stress: Organisational
If an organisation is experiencing a higher level of stress than expected, then there is likely a root cause within the organisation. It may be a management style, an unrealistic expectation upon people or a particular process that causes the stress. Pockets of stress in discreet areas will give clues too. In this instance, the coaching is directed at finding out what the common causes may be. The coach will work with individuals or teams. Once identified the coach can work with leaders to resolve underlying issues.
Workplace Stress: Indirect
Sometimes people are not given the tools they need to do the job. Not having the correct spanner, the right software or the appropriate skills will add stress. Although coaching can help with a range of skills some of the work-related skills that lend themselves particularly well to coaching are those related to personal organisation, decision making and planning. The basics of these skills can be delivered by training. Following up with coaching to apply the skills in real life helps develop the skill more fully.
Deciding on your needs
When engaging a coach, you would do well to consider which of the three forms of coaching is the most appropriate. This helps the coach and the coachee define the coaching relationship and deliver the best results.
A good coach, engaged by supportive leaders, works with all three forms of coaching. You enjoy the full power of coaching by defining the aims of the engagement up-front.
As an Individual
When engaging a coach directly, to help solve your own workplace stress, only engage one to help with internal coping strategies or to help with skills coaching. You will still benefit even if there is an organisational problem.
If you find yourself, or your organisation, in one of the situations described then get in touch for a free, no obligation strategy discussion. You will find that sharing the problems with me will start you on the road to recovery.