Beating stress, creating calm



This course explores the basic concepts of stress – mental, emotional and physical – and its possible consequences if not dealt with promptly and effectively. It also covers ways of taking responsibility for and dealing with stress as and when it arises, from daily hassles to larger issues, and for avoiding creating unnecessary stress. These ideas will be put together during the workshop to create a ‘Calm’ action plan that the participants can begin to implement immediately.

Training objectives

This course will help participants understand:
  • What stress is and isn’t, when it’s useful and when it’s not
  • How we can use our in-built relaxation response to minimise and relieve stress and create calm
  • The layers of our mental, physical and emotional life and where we can intervene
  • The three main factors that affect our stress levels, why they do and what we can do about them
  • The three stages of stress and their signs and symptoms
  • The six main approaches to dealing with stress – their usefulness and risks
  • How ‘daily hassles’ left unresolved can affect our ability to cope with ‘big things’
  • Strategies for avoiding creating stressful situations and remaining calm
  • Strategies for taking responsibility and control and creating calm


The workshop is suitable for staff at all levels. It may be especially suitable for those who find work-life balance a little more difficult, those taking on more responsibility or experiencing some change in working conditions, those in a faster-paced environment or where issues and problems are less predictable and need rapid resolution.


The course is a positively focused one-day workshop. There will be a balanced mixture of high-quality presentation, exercises, personal reflection, and Q&A with the trainer. It is designed to be highly participative in nature, with plenty of opportunity for discussion and sharing experience. This will ensure that the participant’s varied learning preferences are met in full, and that they can take relevant and effective action in their own work environment and circumstances.

Special features

The participants will be provided with some brief pre-work as well as a course booklet containing the relevant presentation materials used by the trainer on the day. This will also include additional detailed information and space for their personal reflections and notes.

The expert trainer

Steve is a specialist in mindset, communications and performance and the links between the three. He has worked with small and large businesses and corporate, public sector and educational organisations, including The Mersey Partnership, Hill Dickinson Solicitors, Northwest Vision+Media, the NHS, Liverpool John Moores University, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Dufton Kellner, Kenyon Fraser, University of Chester School of Law, Northern Telecommunications, Bedford Borough Council, Document Direct, Salesout, Business Liverpool, Athlone Institute, Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College, Unilever, BIG Lottery Fund, NAVCA and Mouchel, amongst others. He also works with a wide range of private individuals and professional clients on a one-to-one basis in both therapeutic and coaching frameworks.

Steve is an accomplished academic who then progressed to a management career in the consumer goods industry before setting up his own company. He is an ABH-trained and certified hypnotherapist, an NLP Master, a trained NLP Coach and a fully accredited psychometric profiler for the MBTI Step 1 and 2 and Facet5 tools. He facilitates and presents in a confident yet easy-going style whilst helping participants to develop a practical understanding of the material that is immediately applicable. His in-depth knowledge of his field, along with his ability to present even the most complex of ideas in simple-to-grasp ways using metaphor and analogy, means he has achieved some truly remarkable results, with feedback such as:

‘Steve delivers value within minutes of first hearing him speak. He teaches you so much you didn’t know you didn’t know. But what makes it so worthwhile is that you can start applying his learning immediately with great results.’

‘Steve and I worked together as part of a core team delivering bespoke senior management training for a client over several months. Steve has a powerful insight into human communication and a widely varied field of experience to draw upon. Coupled with a personable delivery style, this meant for an engaging and impactful training program. I would highly recommend Steve to my contacts and be most pleased to collaborate with him again.’

‘I just wanted to pass on my thanks for the excellent seminar I attended recently. Clearly, communication is vital in all areas of our lives, and it’s amazing how little we consider the process. Having spent just half a day with you I learned so much. I now need to put it into practice and I know it will be of great benefit to me both in my business and my personal and family life. I found the seminar to be not only informative, but also most enjoyable and entertaining. I have two regrets. The first is that the session didn’t last long enough and the second is that I should have done this twenty years ago. Once again, many thanks for the information and inspiration.’

‘We thoroughly enjoyed Steve’s visits to Ireland as he is a very effective workshop facilitator, and his knowledge of the MBTI instrument and its application is very impressive. I have no hesitation in recommending Steve’s services to a prospective client as his approach, facilitation and knowledge are highly effective and professional.’

‘I can’t thank you enough for the help, advice and education that you gave me in your ‘Taxi..!’ [advanced communication skills] workshop. I was extremely nervous and worried about how to deliver a short presentation to an audience of 70 law firms, my target market. The techniques I learned from you helped me to prepare and rehearse my presentation which gave me the greatest confidence that what I was saying and how I was delivering it would get the message across. My nerves disappeared as my confidence grew, enabling me to deliver in the most natural and positive way I have ever done!’

Course outline

1     Introduction and course objectives
  • Personal and course objectives
  • Ground-rules for session, including willingness to listen to other opinions and experiences even if radically different from our own
  • Discussion of the varying ideas and beliefs about stress
2     What stress IS and ISN’T
  • Stress as a biological response mechanism for adapting, growing, learning and changing
  • Ancient v modern life in relation to stress
  • Useful v dangerous stress – ‘Stretched v Stressed’
  • The biological mechanisms triggered under stress and relaxation and their effects
3     The layers of life
  • A basic introduction to the ‘Logical Levels’ model
  • Discussion of a ‘Constrained’ v ‘Empowered’ approach to our inner and outer life
4     The THREE FACTORS that affect stress
  • How and why stressful situations are created and maintained at work
  • Introduction to the DEMAND – SUPPORT – CONTROL model of stress
  • Group discussion of how the three factors contribute in real-life example situations
  • Open discussion of how different people / personality types respond to stress in different ways
  • Discussion of strategies for re-balancing the three factors to minimise stress levels, and how to apply this to minimise future stresses – managing the risk of stress for yourself and others
  • Time for personal reflection on what’s been covered so far
5     The THREE STAGES of stress
  • Introduction to Hans Selye’s Alarm – Resistance – Exhaustion three-stage model of stress
  • Discussion of the signs of each stage
6     SIX Responses to initial Stress
  • Introduction to Fight, Flight, Freeze, Flock, Fade, Frolic – all seen in the animal kingdom and in humans alike
  • Discussion of what each response is designed to do – its usefulness and risks
  • Introduce the concept of personal control to fire the relaxation response
  • Discussion of ‘Caretaking’ v ‘Skill-based’ approaches to managing stress and the three key life ingredients that can help create calm – diet, sleep and exercise
  • Reinforcement of the fundamental truth that stress requires action to minimise or it will escalate
7     Putting it all together
  • Discussion of ‘daily hassles’ v ‘big things’ and our limited capacity to cope with unresolved matters
  • Personal reflection / small group discussion on ‘Stretched v Stressed – where’s the line..?’
  • Development of group’s own ‘Top Ten Positive Tips’ for managing and/or avoiding stress
  • Personal Action Planning – participants to write a list of their key learning points and prioritise the top three actions they will implement within the next week
  • Summary and close

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