this influence.” 2 Examples of factors that
can help reduce stress in the workplace
include the following:
• Balance between work and family or
• A support network of friends and
• A relaxed and positive outlook
It’s impossible to control everything
in the work environment, but there are
things that can minimize the impact of
stress. To be sure job stress is a manage-
able state of affairs, the first step is to be
aware of the warning signs (Box 3).
When you sense the undercurrent of
work related stress, or any of the early
warning signs, there are several techniques that can remedy the situation,
including the following. 5
Identify Knee Jerk Responses
Identify knee jerk responses that can lead
Improve Emotional Intelligence
to anger or frustration. In many situations,
people react without thinking. Indeed,
by responding unconsciously to stimuli
that is perceived as negative, stressors are
being allowed to control the individual.
Between stimulus and response there is
a space and in that space is the power to
choose a response. In that response lies
growth and freedom. 6 In other words, if
people are aware of triggers from within
the environment, then they can choose
to stop for a moment and think before
reacting. In every moment, there could
be an infinite number of possibilities,
choices, and opportunities available. So
why should tired old scripts be repeated,
especially if they no longer serve? 7 The
radiology manager who willfully chooses
to evaluate potential stressors on the job
will experience a more satisfying and pro-
fessional career, one with less frustration,
less rage, and much less stress.
Reduce job stress by improving emo-
tional intelligence (EI). EI is defined as
the capacity to be aware of, control, and
express one’s emotions, and to handle
interpersonal relationships judiciously
and empathetically. If emotions can be
managed, then they can be utilized for
beneficial outcomes; this is perhaps
the secret to success and satisfaction.
EI in the workplace has four major
1. Self-awareness: The ability to recognize emotions and their impact while
using gut feelings to guide decisions.
Be “in the moment” when interacting with staff and co-workers. It is
important to visualize and acknowledge the potential influence of decisions on daily work life.
2. Self-management: The ability to
control emotions and behavior and
adapt to changing circumstances.
Train to recognize knee jerk reactions and respond in a meaningful,
3. Social awareness: The ability to sense,
understand, and react to others’ emotions and feel comfortable socially. In
order for a leader to promote a culture based upon delivering the best
care possible to the patients and to
create staff harmony, she must be
conscientious of the emotions of the
4. Relationship management: The ability to inspire, influence, and connect
to others and manage conflict. This
is the key to being a great leader.
Respect and value staff, listen to what
they are saying. The ability to manage
emotions can be the key to a successful management career.
With practice and introspection, these
concepts can be mastered. The result will
be better communication with others,
neutralized anxiety, and decreased stress.
On the path to enlightenment, there are
many road signs for recognizing and
dealing with job-related stress. Don’t try
to control the uncontrollable. At work, as
in the universe, many things are beyond
one’s control. This is especially true when
considering the actions of other people.
The best course of action is to focus on
the things that can be controlled. By
developing EI, how to react to problems
becomes a choice.
Box 3. Early Warning Signs of Job Stress
•;Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
•;Apathy, loss of interest in work
•;Fatigue and burn out
EI is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, and
express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal
relationships judiciously and empathetically.