Saturday, April 3, 2010
Stress and Burnout
Project managers are subject to stress due to different facets of their jobs:
Being Tired. Being tired is a result of being drained of strength and energy, perhaps through physical exertion, boredom, or impatience.
• Typical causes : meetings, report writing, and other forms of document preparation.
Feeling depressed. Feeling depressed is an emotional condition due to discouragement or a feeling of inadequacy.
• It is usually the result of a situation that is beyond the control or capabilities of the project manager.
• Management or client considers your report unacceptable, you are unable to get timely resources, the technology is not available, or the constraints of the project are unrealistic and may not be met.
Feeling rejected. Feeling rejected can be the result of a poor working relationship with executives, line managers, or clients.
• Rejection occurs when people with authority feel that their options or opinions are better than those of the project manager.
Feeling worthless. Feeling worthless implies that one is without worth, that is valueless.
• This situation occurs when project mangers feel that they are managing project beneath their dignity.
Feeling trapped. The most common situation where project manager feel trapped is when they have no control over the assigned resources on the project and feel as if they are at the mercy of line managers.
• Employees favor the manager with reward power, and that is usually line manger.
• Remedy is to provide project manager with reward power.
Being physically and emotionally exhausted. Project mangers are both managers and doers. It is quite common for project managers to perform a great deal of the work themselves.
• The most common cause of emotional exhaustion is report writing.
Burned out. Being burned out implies that one is totally exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and that rest, recuperation, or vacation time may not remedy the situation.
• The most common cause is prolonged overtime, or inability to work under continuous pressure and stress.
Stress is not always negative, however. Without certain amounts of stress, reports would never get written, deadlines would never be met, and no one would even get to work on time.
But stress can result in illness and even disease, and must be managed if it is to be controlled and utilized for constructive purposes.
Stress become detrimental when it is prolonged beyond what an individual can comfortably handle.