The Stress Management Facet in Leadership and Education

The Stress Management Facet in Leadership and Education

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8327-3.ch011

Abstract

This chapter elucidates how leaders promote the stress management facet in their leadership by delegating authority, decreasing stress, and tolerating anger/frustration. In addition, this chapter also depicts how educators promote the stress management facet in their classrooms by delegating authority, and embracing their roles as leaders in the classroom by decreasing stress, and tolerating anger/frustration. Finally, this chapter also illustrates the contentions of those scholars to oppose the promotion of the stress management facet in leadership and education.
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Introduction

I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much. -Mother Teresa

Good morning, let the stress begin, seems to be the unspoken maxim of the modern age, but why? It is not as if we have large animals trying to eat us as our ancestors had. No, we experience stress for a different reason—we are unable to unplug. This inability to unplug causes added stress because we check our work e-mail from home, we receive and sometimes respond to text messages at 4:30 in the morning, and laptops make it much easier to take our work home with us, when in previous decades, people would just camp out at the office. Yes, stress is inevitable in daily life, and therefore, it is of paramount importance that we are able to manage that stress, so that we do not fall victim to emotional hijacking, or an inability to regulate our emotions.

Petrides (2009a) defines the stress management facet as the capability of an individual to “handle pressure calmly and effectively because they have developed successful coping mechanisms” (p. 61). Petrides (2009a) states that individuals who promote the stress management facet of trait EI “more often than not, they are good at regulating their emotions, which helps them tackle stress” (p. 61). Avoiding every cause of stress in existence is impossible for leaders and educators alike, because both are inherently stressful positions because a single person is responsible for others, thereby increasing the stress factor. Therefore, since it is not possible to avoid stress, leaders and educators alike must be able to promote the stress management facet so that they do not snap and have a nervous breakdown.

Consequently, this chapter has he following objectives to help prevent stress-related nervous breakdowns:

  • Explicate the ways that leaders promote the stress management facet in their leadership by delegating authority, and decreasing stress/tolerating anger/frustration.

  • Discuss the promotion of the stress management in the classrooms of educators via their ability to delegate authority, and decrease stress/tolerate anger/frustration.

  • Assert the positions of those scholars who oppose the promotion of the stress management facet in leadership and education.

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Stress Management In Leadership

Stress, generally defined as an inability to relax, caused by worry or anxiety (Goleman, 2005), which triggers the fight, flight, or freeze response (Goleman, 2005; Powell & Kusuma-Powell, 2010), thereby preparing the body for immediate action. Stress can originate from physiology as “overwork, lack of rest, and poor diet” (Donovan & Kleiner, 1994, p. 31). Examples of physiological stress include not getting enough sleep, working 14 hours a day, not exercising or eating a healthy diet (Cericola, 2000). A second source of stress is psychological stress, which can include one’s “hopes, fears, and regrets from [their] day-to-day life” (Donovan & Kleiner, 1994, p. 31), examples of psychological stress include fear of failure, pressure to meet important deadlines, worry, and anxiety about the future, and regrets about past decisions. The third source of stress is situational stress, which originates from one’s “interaction with the outside world” (Donovan & Kleiner, 1994, p. 31); examples of situational stress include being angry with your computer for crashing, being stuck in traffic, having arguments with those close to you in your personal life, and losing your keys. The fourth and final source of stress is managerial stress (Smith & Cooper, 1994) which originates from one’s “relationships at work, with colleagues, subordinates, and bosses” (Smith & Cooper, 1994, p. 4).

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