SWOT Analysis is a useful technique used
for understanding an organization’s
strategic position. It is routinely used
to identify and summarize:
The capabilities, resources and
advantages of an organization.
- Weaknesses: Things
the organization is not good at, areas
of resource scarcity and areas where the
organization is vulnerable.
- Opportunities: The
good opportunities open to the organization,
which perhaps exploit its strengths or
eliminate its weaknesses.
- Threats: Things that
can damage the organization, perhaps as
people exploit its limitations or as its
The Stress SWOT tool is a variant
of this technique, focused on helping you
to understand your unique strengths and
weaknesses in the way you manage stress.
It also helps you to identify the resources
you have available to you, and points out
the consequences of managing stress poorly.
Using the Tool:
Microsoft Excel template to help you
use this tool.
To use the tool, start by listing your strengths.
- Your personal strengths – things
you are good at and people respect you
for, your areas of good experience, etc.;
- Your support network – family,
friends, professional or other networks,
government services, powerful contacts,
co-workers, your team, etc.; and
- The resources you can draw on –
money, assets, power, etc.
Next, work through your stress
diary and look at the times where you
managed stress well. Write down the practical
skills you used to do this – these
are likely to be your stress management
Finally, look back into the past, and think
about times when you handled intense stress
successfully. Again, write down how you
Next, list your personal weaknesses and
the limitations in your position. Write
- Personal weaknesses – areas where
you are aware that you are not strong,
or things that people fairly criticize
- Lack of resources – where other
people at your level have access to these
resources, or where the absence of resources
is impacting your situation; and
- Bad situations – where you are
experiencing problems with your job or
relationships, or where you have a poor
living or working environment.
Challenge these weaknesses rationally to
ensure that they are fair and genuine, and
that you are not being excessively harsh
and self-critical. At the same time, challenge
whether you could realistically expect more
resources to be available.
Then work through the stress diary again,
looking at the times where you did not handle
stress well. Identify where you have problems
managing stress. Again, look into your past
at stressful situations. Where you think
you handled stress poorly, write down why
you think this was the case.
By cataloging all of these, you are identifying
possible areas of change in your life, and
are spotting where you need to develop new
skills. In the next section, we will bring
these into your Stress Management Plan.
In the Opportunities section, brainstorm
the opportunities you have available to
First, work your way through the strengths
you have identified. Ask yourself how you
can draw on these strengths to help you
manage stress. For example, are there people
whose job it is to help you? Are there people
whose help you could call on? Could you
pay people to take on tasks you do not have
time for? Are you fully using the tools
or assets you have available? Could you
use your skills and strengths in one area
to help yourself in another area?
Second, work through the weaknesses you
have identified. These are opportunities
for positive change and for development
of new skills.
Finally, consider the real world, practical
opportunities that would be open to you
if you took advantage of these opportunities
to improve your stress management.
In the threats section, consider the consequences
of leaving your weaknesses uncovered. Consider
the damage to relationships, career and
happiness that would come from failing to
Use this consideration of the downside
as a spur to ensure that you take stress
A Stress SWOT Analysis helps you to understand
your unique position with respect to stress
By looking at strengths, you ensure that
you recognize all of the personal strengths,
skills, resources and social networks that
can help you manage stress. By looking at
your weaknesses, you identify areas you
need to change in your life, including new
skills that you need to acquire.
By looking at opportunities, you should
be able to better see how you can take advantage
of your strengths to help manage the stress
in your life. You should also understand
the rewards of good stress management. By
looking at threats, you should recognize
the negative consequences of managing stress
poorly, and this should be a potent source
article gives you a quick tool finder
for dealing with these sources of stress...