We often feel that everything at work has changed. There are times when an employee feels that she has to go through a series of new challenges. With the changing face of technology, keeping pace with the new form of science has become essential. People often feel that if they do not keep themselves updated about the latest inventions, they will lose in competition. Corporate executives are known to use their smartphones for office use and carry their laptops even on vacations. This is a sign that people are getting engrossed in competitive lifestyle. In this article, we will discuss about Toffler’s Stability Zones that say how a person can use stress management and coping strategies for overcoming stress related problems.
The idea of Stability Zones was presented by Alvin Toffler in a book written by him in 1971, "Future Shock." The theory was never accepted in the academic field, but it speaks about familiar grounds faced by employees in the twenty first century
People can build ‘Stability Zones’ to cope with the changing face of life. They often take resort to drinking a cup of coffee or going out with their young ones.
Zones of Stability
According to Toffler, Stability Zones are things or places that make a person feel relaxed and safe. These zones are a kind of barrier that helps in protecting people from the outside world.
Mentioned below is the list of Stability Zones.
The Stability Zone of ideas may vary from political ideologies to deep rooted religious beliefs. The value set of people also fall under the Idea Stability Zones. Protection of the rights of women is an example of values.
The Stability Zone of people offers an individual a relaxing atmosphere when she is with them. She feels comfortable with them because she does not have to pretend in front of them. These are people who accept her in her real characters. They have similar set of beliefs, have the same set of values and have similar preferences as the individual in concern. Person Stability Zones are generally parents, best friend, childhood friends, spouse, etc.
Things Stability Zones are generally things that a person likes and deems favorite. They can be anything from family heirloom to a favorite dress, a book, ornaments and even a mobile phone. These are possessions that comfort a person.
Place is a very common form of Stability Zone. People often go to a favorite spot where they feel safe from the clasps of work. If it is small in size, place stability zones can be a particular room, terrace, a park or even the seat at office. If it is big in size, it can be a village or a town that one loves to visit. People under pressure often go out on a trip to their childhood villages and towns.
Organizations are teams of people that an individual loves to visit when they are in stress. It can be a group of friends, ex-colleagues, a club, etc.
A team leader should be aware of the importance held by Stability Zones in the performance of her staffs. Transitional periods in companies are the time when employees need Stability Zones. For example, when a company is on the verge of being taken over, existing employees are stressed about the stability of their jobs. However, handling daily activities also require Stability Zones.
There are offices where seats are allotted to people only when they visit the office or only if there is requirement. Such offices have many employees and most of them work from home. In such a situation an employee cannot take resort to her own office seat. However, if she has a fixed seat, she can keep photographs and other insignias that remind her of her near ones besides rendering a personal touch.
Understanding Stability Zones
To identify Stability Zones that are suitable for her, an individual has to think of some options. Some of the options are mentioned below.
# Degree of stability
What is the extent of stability? For instance, if a colleague is listed as a Person Stability Zone, how sure is she that the co-worker will be there for all the time? If she listed a book store as a Place Stability Zone, is she sure that the store will stay for sometime? It is important to understand the fact that when searching for Stability Zones, one has to realize that these ideas, people or things should not change as quickly as the rest of the world. She should search Stability Zones that provide relaxation and a sense of reliability
# Controllable zones
How many Stability Zones can she influence? Are the zones under her control? If yes, how much can she control them?
# Invest on the zones
Does the individual cultivate these Stability Zones? She needs to cultivate the zones, specially the Stability Zone of people. If she does not nurture her comfort zones, she will not find them fruitful enough to sustain for a long time.
# Stay intact forever
Is she sure that the Stability Zones will remain intact forever? It is natural for things to change. Even people change and so can the individual who is looking for sustenance in Stability Zones. In course of time she might feel that the people with whom her wavelength used to match do not match her preferences any more.
Building Stability Zones for Team Members
If a team leader thinks that her team members are having problems coping with the change in the company, she should help them identify their Stability Zones in the following manner.
- She should make sure that her team members do not work on weekends.
- She should see to it that her team members do not skip lunch.
- She can boost her team members to make them participate in daily workouts.
- She should offer them training on delegation and leadership.
To Sum Up
From this article, it can be deduced that Toffler’s Stability Zones help in coping with stressful situations, especially when a company is going through crucial changes. The model helps in making people more confident and re-energized.