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Man questioning employee

3 signs that bad behaviour is caused by stress

It can be hard as a manager, leader or HR professional when people do behaviour that is troublesome or difficult to know how best to handle it. We usually suggest that you spend some time trying to ascertain what’s behind the behaviour before deciding, but this can be easier said than done ...

One of the most common dilemmas is if you suspect that the person’s behaviour is caused by stress. How can you support that person and still address the behaviour? Your approach will surely be different in that situation? Here are the top signs that bad behaviour has stress lurking behind it:

You know that person has had changes or troubles in life contexts outside of work
Most people can cope fairly well with stress in one life context, as long as other aren’t affected.

The behaviour marks a change for that person’s normal way of operating
If they are normally calm and considered and have become more irritable or inconsistent either suddenly or over time, this can be a sign of sudden stress or a build up of it. Find out more about the prevention of burnout in this blog post.

The behaviour is triggered by something consistent
When people are stressed they live on a hair trigger. Therefore you can observe that similar things seem to set that behaviour off.

Stress can creep up on people so rather than ask them outright, it’s often best to address the undesirable behaviour but in a much more sensitive way than you would if you suspected it was intentional. You can read the full Great Minds Think Differently article here.


How emotionally regulated are you? Find out in our online quiz.

How healthy is your workplace? Find out in this short assessment.

For simple strategies to improve employee wellbeing download our free guide.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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