Is your boss bad for your health?

Mark Shields Takes a Closer Look

As we progress on through the worse economic crisis since the 1930s many relationships are suffering under the stress and pressure of it all. One of the most important relationships affecting many of us is the relationship we have with our boss.

This relationship can always be a difficult one, however tighter budgets, higher demands, increasing attrition rates and with the competition for jobs increasing, the boss / subordinate relationship is under as much pressure as it’s ever been.

A recent study looking into the impact of a manager’s behaviour on his direct reports initiated the following

Study Results

Source = Swedish psychologist, Anna Nyberg, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm 2008, reported that

  1. Workers saddled for four years with managers who were inconsiderate and uncommunicative, were about 60 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac condition.
  2. Bad Bosses have a greater negative effect than if the employee smoked, didn’t get enough exercise or was overweight, or had high cholesterol. .
  3. There is an “undisputed” relationship between a manager’s leadership style and workers’ productivity and mental health.

Obviously all bosses are different and some are very competent however the results below suggest, often it’s the things we would naturally assume bosses would do and know that cause relationship problems with their member of staff.

 Survey Results Top 3 General

 Moving the Goal Posts          52%

Impossible deadlines            17%

Unachievable targets           31%

Survey Results Top 3 Behaviour

 No Staff Development          40%

Lack of support                   30%

Poor Communication            30%

How much Stress can be caused by the Boss?

 75% of bosses misunderstand their employees on some level and cause some form of stress

50% have staff with long term stress issues or long term sick

15% of staff are forced to change their job due to stress at work.

Most staff working within a tense relationship with their boss feel constantly de-motivated, uninspired, and constantly stressed.

Why do Bosses behave in this Way?

 Inexperience leads them to Micro Manage as they can’t delegate.

Lack of Proper training and ongoing development

Understand the principle not the practical

No personal motivation

More all round pressure being put on Bosses. The Everest effect. Pass it on down the line to the employees.

 The Key Big 5 Solutions to Help.

 1       Update your CV

 Make sure this is really good if an opportunity reveals itself to you. By engaging in this task, it will confirm to you of your skills and successes and certainly remind you how good you really are. Great for a major confidence boost.

2       Self evaluation

Have a good look at your own behavior.

The first solution is an honest analysis of your actions and behavior. How have you been handling yourself in your job?

3       Try Talking to your boss.

Compile a list of bad boss behaviors Make a list of all the things that your boss does that drive you nuts. Next, rank the list from most annoying to least annoying.

Once you feel comfortable that your suggestions are positive and helpful, consider scheduling a meeting with your boss to discuss. Perhaps suggest meeting outside the office for breakfast or lunch.

Leave your emotions at the door, but be prepared for your boss to have an emotional reaction. It’s possible that your boss is unaware of his/her actions, and this meeting could be very positive for all involved

4      Find a mentor with the company

If you love the company but hate the boss, another solution is to develop a mentoring relationship with a boss/supervisor in another part of the company. Mentoring is a fantastic strategy that you should consider even if you have a good boss because a mentor is someone who can help you in many ways, from offering advice to suggesting you for a promotion.

5       Embark on Stress Management Program.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet help combat stress. Exercise produces the body’s natural opiates endorphins which directly combat stress hormones

Mark Shields

Managing Director Life Practice Group

Coach, Author, National Media Coach

Tel: 01462 451473

Sunday Night Syndrome

It is Sunday night and you should be relaxing, but instead of enjoying a warm cosy Sunday evening with the family your mind is somewhere else. Somewhere it shouldn’t be, you are thinking and worrying about work tomorrow.

 Even though you understand how important balance is in your life, do you find yourself worrying about that Monday morning client as you tuck into Sunday lunch with your family.  If so, you may be joining the millions who find themselves suffering with The Secret Sunday Night Syndrome.

For as long as I can remember Sunday evenings have always seemed dull and an evening of preparation for the looming Monday mornings. As a child, a bath and an early night is something we can all recall. “It’s Sunday night you have school in the morning, you need an early night”. Does that sound familiar? So, from as long ago as our school days we have been programming ourselves that Sunday is the day before tomorrow, the day before school, or in adult life the day before going back to work.

What is Sunday Night Syndrome?

A neurological pathway is created through habit and repetition. If we do or think something enough times, direct associations are made and a connection is formed. Therefore many of us will have formed firm views about Sundays from early childhood and still connect them in the same way to Monday mornings; the first day of school or the first day of work.

With things getting tougher in the workplace a leading psychiatrist was recently quoted as saying he was seeing three times as many workers with work related stress and depression than he was a year before.

Sunday Night Syndrome is a name I have given to a common set of feelings normally associated with the outset of stress or worry before returning to work on a Monday morning. Similar to the famous Monday morning blues but more unique as it seems quite natural to feel a little low on a Monday morning.


Symptoms are very common, and include agitation, insomnia, anxiety, and a feeling of unexplained nervousness or worry.

Some people can begin to feel low, and can lack motivation and energy on a Sunday, with thoughts constantly focused on work, or work related worries and problems.

Top NLP Solutions to help you beat Sunday Night Syndrome

  • It is common to believe the job has changed when in fact the people directly around you such as your boss, clients or a member of staff are the ones that may have changed. Once you realise this the problem immediately appears to reduce in size, as a relationship is far easier to put right than the whole business.
  • Measure your success by what you learn at work rather than what you achieve. Unconsciously this puts you as the benefactor of being at work rather than the company.
  • Stress affects our levels of confidence and self-esteem. A way of combating this is to ensure you have appropriate goals and strategies in place to further your own personal development and knowledge
  • Mentally start your weekends early. Think of Thursday night as the beginning of the weekend and ensure you go out or do something different.
  • Don’t lose sight of the fact that Sunday Night Syndrome is simply a slow build up of stress, so ensure you implement a stress program with regular exercise and a balanced diet.
  • Stress is a feeling of being out of control or overwhelmed. Once you have a strategy to overcome your feelings of stress you are halfway there. Having a strategy and plan gives you back control and puts you in charge.
  • Try a great strategy that I have used in the past which is known as “The Red Book Plan”. As part of your strategy write down what your ideas are and who you need to contact and what you need to do to bring your business alive. Make progress entries everyday. Record conversations and plans. Remember you can’t achieve everything all at once, as long as you are making progress this will give you momentum and ultimately help you succeed.
  • Do not be afraid to employ your own coach or mentor to help you with your own stress and challenges.


Never lose sight of the fact that Sunday Night Syndrome is simply a slow build up of stress and worry. Recognise the symptoms and implement the plan.

Remember symptoms of stress and anxiety are directly linked to feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Once you have a plan and strategy you are automatically taking back control and working within parameters appropriate for you.

Never forget at the end of the day, you can only do your best, focus on the important things in life and ensure you have some fun along the way.