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Stress Management
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Navy Counselor 1 & C (Recruiter) - Military manual for recruiting
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Premise Number Two
Goals The  very  idea  of  goals  causes  many  people  to  feel stressed. Having  a  written  goal  brings  about  the possibility of failure. It is that fear of failure that can lead to stress. Externalized Job Most of us in the Navy find a certain amount of comfort in working with other Navy members. Most young sailors have worked with other Navy personnel, socialized with other Navy personnel, and many times lived with or at least near other Navy personnel. Now we  tell  them  that  their  job  is  to  talk  to  civilian prospects,  educators,  parents,  community  leaders,  and so on. There is more stress when people must deal with  those  outside  of  their  organization. Less Control One of the most frequent causes of our stress on recruiting duty is the feeling that we have less control over  our  individual  success  than  we  would  like.  A technician  has  control  over  the  job  of  fixing  a component. As  long  as  the  tools  and  parts  are available,  it  is  totally  up  to  the  technician  to successfully complete the repair. Recruiters may feel the control of their job is shared by the applicant, the applicant’s  parents,  educators,  District  restrictions, medical,  and  other  factors. If  they  were  to  do everything  just  right,  they  still  might  not  write  a contract. This  feeling  of  less  control  contributes significantly to the level of stress, especially for type A personalities, which we will discuss later. THREE BASIC PREMISES OF STRESS An industrial psychologist working with the Naval Personnel  Research  and  Development  Center  based  his stress   management   presentation   on   three   basic premises.  These  premises  support  his  contention  that stress is the very thing that pushes us to successful performance   but   can   be   detrimental   if   not   well managed.  The  following  paragraphs  explain  these premises  and  their  relationship  to  job  performance. Premise Number One “Adrenaline is the best friend a high achiever has, provided  it  is  well  managed.”  Adrenaline  increases our  strength,  speed,  and  endurance.  People  naturally perform  better  when  they  get  that  extra  surge  of adrenaline. Athletes will beat their practice records when  they  enter  a  competition  because  of  the increased  stress  and  adrenaline.  It  has  even  been reported that a 100-pound woman lifted an automobile to  rescue  her  child. The  stress  of  the  situation triggered  extra  adrenaline  that  gave  her  physical capabilities  well  above  the  norm. RELATIONSHIP  BETWEEN  STRESS  AND PERFORMANCE. – We need to understand that stress is  a  necessary  ingredient  for  successful  performance. There is a definite relationship between stress and performance.    When  individuals  have  too  little  stress or arousal, they may be unmotivated. This state is often  referred  to  as  “rust-out.”  When  there  is  too much stress or arousal, the individual may become overwhelmed. This we call “bum-out.” Our job is to identify whether we need to increase the stress level or alleviate it to maximize our people’s performance. Figure  3-3  shows  the  relationship  between  stress  and performance. INDIVIDUAL   OPTIMAL   LEVELS.–   All individuals have their own optimal level of stress or arousal required for peak performance. It is important that  you  remember  that  people  require  different  levels. You  may  thrive  on  high  levels  of  stress.  Be understanding of the people who require very little stress to reach their optimal level. Saying, “If I can handle  it,  why  can’t  he,”  does  not  recognize  that there are differences among people. A major league ball team acknowledged these differences by providing two pre-game waiting areas. One was for those who needed  to  increase  their  arousal  levels  for  peak  game performance. They shouted, beat on lockers – anything to increase the adrenaline flow. The other area was Figure 3-3.–Relationship between stress and performance. 3-13

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