The Stress Arc

Dr Sonya Wallbank shares ‘The Stress Arc’ tool to help teams and individuals identify where they find themselves and how they manoeuvre through the different zones within the Arc.


So this is just one tool that I use as a consistent one for understanding how I’m heading towards a difficult zone. The red area is the area that we would want to avoid, but a little bit like trying to avoid chocolate. Sometimes we just have to go there. Our work at the moment is requiring us all to work over and above consistently. And so we may find ourselves in the red zone more than we would like to. The longer time we spend there, the more likely we are to be paddling towards a burnout state. And so avoiding going on holiday in that red state, but actually putting in practical resilience techniques for yourself and your team. And when I use the word resilience, I don’t just mean you have to be harder, faster, stronger. What I mean is resilience comes from working in teams. It comes from the culture of your organisation. It comes from allowing yourself time and space to process what it is that you’re experiencing. It’s not just about being hard on yourself.

Why not take some time to reflect on:

Where in the ‘Stress Arc’ you’ve spent your time this week?

What one choice you’ve made to reduce your own stress?

As a leader, what one thing you can do to avoid team burnout?

What do you and your team need to keep going… what small step you and your team can take to avoid the ‘red zone’?

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