Personality and stress

We provide training courses for managing stress, handling stress, reducing stress, in fact all work related stress issues.  Over the years we have trained thousands of people to enable them to recognise stress symptoms and causes and have given them stress management tips and techniques to enable them to identify the signs of stress and to beat and avoid it.  Our courses have a proven track record in stress reduction and managing stress at work.

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” – Henry Kissinger

Many of us can empathise with this quote. We are all living and working in a fast-paced society and for many of us day-to-day work (and life stress) is quite normal. The reality is that every job comes with responsibilities, people are often competitive and pushy and jobs are no longer for life. No matter where you work and for whom, work can be stressful.

Pressure at work can be healthy. Feeling the excitement of new but reasonable demands helps motivation, as the adrenaline that stress produces pushes us to perform better. Overloading on the adrenalin, with your workload becoming excessive is when we cross the dividing line from ‘positive’ to ‘negative’ stress and start to feel out of control.

Personality and stress

Do you think that your personality can affect your degree of vulnerability to stress? Some people think that personality has a lot to do with stress, while others are sceptical of the generalisations which have to be made in order to classify personality types.

We feel that models of personality can be useful in identifying behaviour which can contribute to your stress. However, such models are usually extremes, and most people are a complex mixture of different personality types. So we invite you to draw your own conclusions about the usefulness of analyzing your personality.

Below is a list of statements describing different aspects of personality arranged in six groups. Each group represents a personality type. Work through the statements and tick those you think apply to you. Remember to tick the statements which reflect your actual behaviour, rather than what you would like your behaviour to be.

Then get a friend or colleague to answer the questions for you, and see how their answers compare with your own. Take a photocopy for your friend/colleague to fill in.

The two most commonly quoted personality types are Type A and Type B, originally identified from a survey of 1500 American men. Type A people are ambitious, always on the move, and impatient, whereas Type B people are calm and patient, with time to relax. Research in the 1950s suggested a correlation between Type A behaviour and coronary heart disease, but subsequent scientific efforts to prove this hypothesis have failed.

In her book Managing Stress (Pan Books Ltd, 1987), Jane Cranwell-Ward added the four further personality types (Types C—F) to produce the spectrum described below:

Preferred pressure level Vunerability to stress
The Ambitious Type (Type A) High High
The Calm Type (Type B) Med/Low Low
The Conscientious Type (Type C) Low/Med Mod
The Non-Assertive Type (Type D) Low Mod
The Lively Type (Type E) High Low
The Anxious Type (Type F) Low High


Each of these models has a preferred level of pressure: e.g. the Ambitious Type prefers a high level, whereas the Calm Type prefers a lower level. The Ambitious Type has a high vulnerability to stress – the constant activity, with little time for relaxation, means that the stress accumulates and chronic symptoms are likely to appear. On the other hand the Calm Type has a low vulnerability to stress because of a more relaxed lifestyle

Type A

  • Has a need to succeed
  •  Is active and energetic
  •  Is not prepared to waste time
  •  Allows work to take priority over home life
  •  Does several things at once
  •  Is aggressive and argumentative
  •  Finds it hard to accept failure
  •  Seldom finds time to relax

Type B

  •  Is tranquil and placid
  •  Is patient and unworried
  •  Has time to think and reflect
  •  Does not set impossible objectives
  •  Can give and receive affection and praise
  •  Is seldom irritated by others
  •  Has time for leisure and relaxation
  •  Keeps a balance between work and home

Type C

  •  Is meticulous about tasks
  •  Is very reliable
  •  Pays too much attention to detail
  •  Loses sight of long-term objectives
  •  Is easily thrown off balance by change
  •  Needs security
  •  Believes in authority and tradition
  •  Likes routines (at home and work)

Type D

  •  Has difficulty in standing up for self
  •  Is concerned to please others
  •  Runs away rather than confronts situations
  •  Avoids conflict
  •  Has difficulty saying ‘no’
  •  Does not express own needs
  •  Feels others are taking advantage
  •  Has difficulty with relationships

Type E

  •  Lives life to the full
  •  Needs variety
  •  Thrives on change
  •  Needs excitement and challenge
  •  Will take risks
  •  Gets bored by routine
  •  Acts impulsively
  •  Puts self under excessive pressure

Type F

  •  Worries about possible misfortune
  •  Finds it difficult to relax
  •  Is obsessed with doing things right
  •  Plans for all eventualities
  •  Panics often
  •  Thinks a lot about the future
  •  Is concerned with the judgment of other people
  •  Has low self-confidence

Course Dates

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Who will benefit from the course?

Our stress management training seminars enable delegates to understand the processes which will make them more effective and increase their confidence and sense of achievement. This course benefits anyone who needs to learn the fundamentals of dealing with the ‘stressor’ that affect our wellbeing and confidence. Senior/junior managers, directors, administrators, customer service professionals and technical staff have found the following benefits from attending our course:

  • reduced stress levels
  • felt more in control of their daily activities
  • increased confidence handling difficult behaviour in others
  • able to manage colleagues and friends effectively
  • enjoyed a more balanced lifestyle
  • increased work effectiveness and productivity
  • increased productivity through more effective communication

Total Success’ open and in-house courses are able to offer solutions to these and other problems affecting morale and effectiveness.

Our one day stress management course allows delegates to analyse their own responses to pressure and produce practical strategies to face daily challenges and become more effective.

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