How to Help your Team When They Are Stressed

This blog post is part of our Truity at Work series for those who are new to people management. In these posts, we’re creating useful content for managers and teams alike, helping you to understand personality, improve communication, and navigate conflict and change with ease. For an overview of the series, start with our introductory post here.

Everyone reacts to pressure a little differently. Some show few signs of stress and others react in more obvious ways. As a manager, there are many different ways to support your team members to manage the pressure and reduce their stress to a manageable level. But the most important is to acknowledge that you can see their behavior has changed and to talk about it. 

It takes time to learn what each person might need from you, but here are some suggestions based on their personality type.

Extraverts - Talk it out

Extraverted team members need to talk it out. Give them an opportunity to vent in private. If hesitant or dismissive, let them know your aim is to help them reduce their stress, not call out performance. Often, just by talking it out, Extraverts can see a solution they couldn't by stewing on it. 

Introverts - Schedule time for reflection

Introverted team members can feel obliged to be extraverted at work. Suggest they schedule some reflection time or withdraw to a more secluded space in the office or home. Ask how much time they need and discuss how to make it a more regular part of their work week. 

Sensors - Create certainty 

Sensors can struggle with prolonged uncertainty or having to rely on unproven facts. Help them get clear on what is known about the project, and what practical action they can take right now based on that information. 

Intuitives - See the big picture 

Intuitives can feel overwhelmed by too many details and facts. Assist them to refocus on the big picture and reconnect to the vision or goal. Then start to deal with the details in small chunks. 

Thinkers - Be objective

When stressed, Thinkers can double down on logic, dismissing their experience as  an expected outcome of the task or project. Approach them directly about your observations and acknowledge it's a logical outcome of the situation. Don’t dismiss the stress, acknowledge it, then work with them to analyze the source of the stress and learn how to reduce it.

Feelers - Provide Support

Feelers need positive feedback throughout a project to know they are aligned and on track with your expectations. If they are stressed, a key relationship might be out of alignment. Support them to discuss what they are experiencing and help to reconnect with the relevant person.

Judgers - Review the plan

Judgers struggle when external factors force them to shift their plans. To help them regain a sense of order and structure, review the plan with them. Identify the assumptions and expectations they are working to and what is within their control and what is not, helping them find a new sense of order and control. 

Perceivers - Remove restrictions 

Perceivers struggle when they experience too many restrictions or limitations. Work with the Perceiver to determine where they are feeling constrained. Then, prioritize the list, ordering the items from highest to lowest. (If the item is high on the list they need more freedom; if it’s lower they can accept some limitations.) Assist them to gain more freedom for the top two items on the list. 

What next?

Get to know what stress looks like in each of your team members. Aim to step in whenever you start to notice their behavior shifting. The more you know each of your staff, the more you can bring out the best in them. 

Want to learn more? The Truity at Work Platform has assessments tailored to the workplace – with in-depth analyses and reports that focus on core personality strengths and workplace skills for every member of your team. For deeper, custom training, click to book a virtual workshop at a time that suits you and your team.

Samantha Mackay

Samantha is the Lead Trainer at Truity and will shortly be a certified Enneagram Coach. She believes our personality is the key to navigating life's strangest hurdles. Despite her best efforts Samantha is an ENTP and Enneagram 7, who is always surrounded by a pile of books, a steaming cup of tea and a block of her favourite chocolate. Samantha is currently studying with Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes of CP Enneagram Academy undertaking their Professional Enneagram Certification. Currently located in Auckland, New Zealand. Find her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthamackay/. Check out her course "Unlocking the Power of Your Personality" at www.truity.com/training

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