Personal problems at work cause stress

John Kirwan was one of the most devastating wingers that New Zealand and world rugby had ever seen. A prominent and revered figure at the dawn of the professional age of rugby, he seemed to live a charmed life. But he did have personal problems at work.

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Angry customers - the unseen hazard

 On Monday 1st September 2014 an extremely distressed client walked into the Work and Income office in Ashburton, New Zealand, and shot two of the front line workers. 

All the staff at that office were working under stress and the client was even more stressed. None of them had the skills to manage his anger over time until he finally cracked and the results were tragic. While the harm done in this situation was clearly visible and extreme, there are many workplaces where the damage from stress is not so obvious, but can be nearly as destructive.

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Workplace stress - a health and safety issue

Health and safety - law and mental stress.

Laws tell us that we must keep workers safe and healthy at work, this includes avoiding mental stress. Managers can be proactive in reducing workplace stress through a well organised workplace, and by training themselves and their teams to communicate well when emotions are raised.

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Say 'NO' to zero tolerance in customer service

In a recent review of the TUF Online Training program the writer was pleased that I did not advocate zero tolerance: not letting customers swear or show any kind of aggression. Organisations with a zero tolerance policy towards customers tell people not to swear. If the customer persists in swearing they terminate the call or stop serving them and ask them to leave the premises.

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You don't have to fight!

The biggest challenge in dealing with difficult situations is to first of all manage your own emotional reactions to them. It is easy to see the other person as difficult and to blame them for your uncomfortable feelings. Acknowledging and accepting your own feelings to yourself is an important first step to making a positive response to someone who you find challenging.

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