Redirection, Control + Recovery: A Compass to Guide Healthy Behavior
This is the last part of our October “Compass” series to guide healthy behaviors. Today, we review some consequence strategies.
Consequence Hacks (reduce stress-related behaviors after an event occurs)
Response interruption and redirection is an evidence-based practice in behavior analysis to decrease interfering behaviors. We propose using this strategy in the workplace by recognizing when stress-based responses arise, such as sweating and tensing muscles in the neck and jaw. Upon noticing these nonfunctional stress behaviors, redirect yourself to engaging in behaviors that don’t work against you. One study suggests problem-focused coping strategies are less associated with burnout.
Believe it or not, some research suggests stress is needed in life to learn and improve performance. The trick is to find a balance that fuels and sustains motivation, and behavior analysts refer to it as an intermittent schedule of reinforcement. To create a sustainable balance, reflect on the job responsibilities that are motivating to accomplish and think of ways to hack your job to encounter those same tasks more frequently. Each person is unique in what motivates them, but let’s say you enjoy leading and mentoring staff. Potential hacks can include taking phone calls after office hours, creating an open-door policy that allows staff to chat (if you don’t have an office door then a ‘proverbial’ open-door policy), or discussing a position change to a job that aligns with personal motivations. Thinking of ways to encourage yourself to increase discretionary effort in a few key areas can sustain motivation while learning and improving performance, and, who knows, maybe the boss will reinforce exceptional efforts.
After enduring a stressful day, go home and stop engaging in work-related behaviors, such as checking emails. Use the response interruption and redirection strategy mentioned. Finding a relaxing, low-effort activity can help you achieve pre-stress levels.
W3RKWELL sincerely hopes these strategies helps navigate and orient individuals in the modern-day workplace. Now, get out there and seize the day. Or, before conquering the day, leave us a comment about how you manage work-related stressors.
Demerouti, E. (2015). Strategies used by individuals to prevent burnout. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 45(10), 1106-1112. doi:10.1111/eci.12494
Lepine, J. A., Lepine, M. A., & Jackson, C. L. (2004). Challenge and Hindrance Stress: Relationships With Exhaustion, Motivation to Learn, and Learning Performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(5), 883-891. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.89.5.883