What four-letter word helps reduce stress?

But stress isn't isolated to customer service positions. On-the job stress lurks elsewhere in the workplace as well. According to the American Psychological Association, 62 percent of Americans say work has a significant impact on stress levels.

Stress can cause all kinds of problems. Three out of five doctor visits are for a stress-related problem says the Foundation for Integrated Research in Mental Health. And let's face it. Stress has been known to induce so much anger that workers have "gone postal," an expression stemming from a 1986 incident at an Oklahoma post office in which 14 postal workers were shot to death by a co-worker before he turned a gun on himself.

Okay, that's a little extreme and, for that matter, comparatively rare. I admit that. But anger leading to foul language? That's quite common. It's inappropriate in the workplace, of course, but frankly, I can hardly blame many workers for muttering an occasional four-letter word now and then.

There's a four-letter word that can help you reduce stress that no one will mind, however. That word is this: talk.

Now stay with me. Before deciding that "talking" as a stress reducer is too simple to be successful, look at the management practices that help reduce stress:

Of these, which does NOT involve talking?

Right, they all do. All four emphasize communication, or its companion, talking.

Some will argue that there's too much talking on the job already. But in my experience, talking of all kinds must occur throughout the workday for employees to understand their job and perform it well.

That said, talking must have a purpose to be effective. So we need to use what works and eliminate what does not.

To that end, try these ideas:

In a nutshell: If you want to reduce stress at work, talk. Remember, stress is merely a six-letter word. Neglect allows it to grow.

Frazzled? Six Ways to Reduce Stress

Few of us live stress-free lives. Especially in today's economy. If you're job hunting, you're under stress. If you have a job, you may be worrying about keeping it. Or, maybe your company has downsized, and you're doing the job of three people.

So how do we get out from under this stress?

We give stress power when we allow on-the-job problems to control our lives. This causes poor health, overblown drama in the office and relationship problems at home.

Joking about not having a life outside of work is fine if it is just a joke — but not if we mean it. Healthy people know they must balance work with the rest of their lives to maintain good health.

Are you frazzled by unrelenting stress? You can keep work issues in perspective, manage your life and take back the power stress has robbed from you with these simple six steps:

Bottom line: You are the only person who controls your attitude. When you think you have little control, take a deep breath. Adopting a calm, thoughtful approach will sustain you much better than tears, hand waving and yelling.

Solution Toolbox: Help to avoid stress in your workplace

Measuring What Matters

Poor job fit also can lead to stress.

If someone isn't suited to a job, he won't be happy in it. He may not do the job well, and he may leave his position at the first opportunity to do something he's more fitted to do.

So how do you ensure a good job fit? Consider ProfileXT™ and Profile"s Workforce Compatibility.

Organizations use ProfileXT™ as a pre-hire tool to match a candidate to a particular job. ProfileXT™ helps managers interview and select people who have the highest probability of achieving success in a given role.

Organizations use Profiles Workforce Compatibility to improve relationships in their workforce. The tool measures critical workplace compatibility information between managers and their employees. It combines insight into the unique working characteristics that can impact the employee/manager relationship with actionable information on how an employee and manager can work together.

Both ProfileXT™ and Profile"s Workforce Compatibility provide useful information quickly, and they are easy to access. If you are interested in learning more about them, please send me an email (mgorski@mgassessments.com) or give me a call (952-322-3330).

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