Stress Management Monthly Newsletter

1. Quote of the Month

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2. Stress Management Video

"Steps To Overcome Stress, Depression, And Fear"

If you look underneath depression, you will find anger. Look under anger, and you will discover sadness. Analyze sadness, and you will find the root of all that is masquerading for depression—fear! Watch the video below.

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3. Parenting Without Stress

When you have the temptation to tell (which is our usual habit), ask yourself, “Will the results be better if I ask a reflective question?”

Remember that "telling" has an inference that "what you are doing is not good enough and you need to change/improve." No one likes to hear this message. Telling is interpreted as being coercive and negative. In contrast, asking a reflective question is inquisitive and clarifying.

4. Discipline Without Stress


The only discipline program that I know of that refers to "elicited" consequences is Marvin Marshall's Raise Responsibility System. Can you explain what he means by “elicited” consequences?

RESPONSE from a user of the system:

According to the dictionary, "elicit" means "to draw out." Elicited consequences are consequences that are "drawn out" FROM the person. Dr. Marshall's third and final phase of the Raise Responsibility System  (RRS) is "Guided Choices." This phase is used only when a person CONTINUES to misbehave AFTER clearly understanding that the behavior is unacceptable.

In a discipline situation, where the adult feels that a consequence is necessary, Marshall suggests that the adult will be most effective by ELICITING a consequence FROM the person, as opposed to IMPOSING a consequence ON the person. He suggests using a "guiding" process because some people (especially young ones) may need some guidance in finding a suitable consequence for their behavior—hence the term, “Guided Choices.”

To be most effective, Dr. Marshall suggests that an elicited consequence should be agreeable to the adult and should also fulfill the following three requirements:

  1. The consequence should be related to the incident.
  2. The consequence should be reasonable.
  3. The consequence should be related to growth. (In other words, it should be something that will help the person learn or become more mature in some way.)

5. Living Without Stress Tip

There is no discounting the significance that external motivation has on our lives. Humans are social beings and have an inborn desire to be liked by others and fit in with others. The easiest way to accomplish this is to be like others and do what others do.

It starts at young ages, and here is how it works. A young person likes a group, all of whose members smoke. The person wants to be like the others so the person starts to smoke. No one from the smoking group prompted or told the person to start smoking. The person started to smoke because the unspoken influence from others prompted the person to smoke.

You notice that a close friend has lost weight and you comment on it. Your friend shares with you his new eating and exercising routine. The next time you look in the mirror you decide to join your friend in his health routine; this external influence prompted you to act. This is a variation of “keeping up with the Joneses.” We see other examples of external motivation when viewing television news as crowds act with a “herd mentality” in a mob aggression.

A simple approach to resist any temptation to needlessly go along with others is to become more intrinsically motivated. You can do this and reduce stress by learning the Hierarchy of Social Development.

6. Improving Relationships

Are you focused on controlling or influencing? If you experience much stress when interacting with others, chances are that you are aiming to control. People being controlled have low motivation to carry out decisions IMPOSED on them. As scores of researches have documented, enforcement is both difficult and time-consuming.

Aiming at controlling people is really focusing on controlling the body and hoping the brain follows. In contrast, influencing people, whereby you aim at the brain and have the body follow, is less stressful and far more effective.

Controlling people aims at obedience. Except where the relationship is so strong that the person being controlled feels that the control is in his or her own best interest, control rarely brings either desire or commitment.

Control is only temporary. In contrast, influence is long lasting. In the final analysis, people change themselves. Therefore, the most effective way to actuate change in others is through noncoercive influence, rather than coercive control. 

Successful influencers empower; they do not overpower. They are positive—not negative. They encourage others by sharing expectations, rather than telling others what to do.

7. Increasing Effectiveness

W. Edwards Deming is the American who was the major influence in raising Japanese products from "junk" before WWII to the world's quality products after the war. Chances are that you own at least one product manufactured by a Japanese company, and the reason you purchased it was for its quality.

Dr. Deming developed 14 points to achieve quality. Following are some of them.

  • Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. (Instead, build quality into the product by giving personal responsibility to teams.)
  • Drive out fear.
  • Break down barriers between staff areas.
  • Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce.
  • Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.
  • Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.
  • Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.

8. Promoting Responsibility

At the heart of the word responsibility lies the concept of the ability to respond: RESPONS-ABILITY.

Although we think we give responsibility, responsibility is only effective when it is taken.

Therefore, by its very nature responsibility between people is mutual—as are all successful attachments.

Responsibility has a counterpart of accountability. One reason that people resist imposed accountability is that the people in superior positions tell others what they are accountable for but not what they, themselves, are accountable for.

If you expect someone to be responsible and would like optimal performance, then share how you will be accountable.

As long as you are positioning yourself to influence others, you are in a leadership role. An effective approach is to simply explain that you are also accountable. This seems rather obvious but, when articulated, relationships improve.

To put the concept in easy-to-remember terms, collaboration is more effective than domination. By definition, collaboration is mutual, so it naturally creates improved relationships.

I am reminded of the wife who said to her husband, "You never tell me you love me." The husband responded, "I told you I love you when we were married ten years ago." Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. People need to be reminded.

9. Promoting Learning

Shared from a reading teacher:

I had a first grade student who, when he came to a word he did not know, would flip out. He'd pound the book with his fists, stamp his feet wildly, and yell, punctuating each word with a pound and a stamp, "I DON'T KNOW THAT WORD!

This kind of behavior always got a lot of attention (as you might imagine) from the classroom teacher. At home, his mom would just let him stop whatever it was that he didn't want to do. I lost my patience with him a few times before I thought of a better approach. During his meltdown, I pretended to be doing some paper work, totally unconcerned. That in itself was pretty intriguing to him. He became quiet and watched me. I said, "Did that help you figure out the word?" When he said "no," I said that I could help him learn some strategies that would be more effective when he came to tricky words.

He had a few more incidents in which I was always involved in paperwork. Once he said, in disbelief, "Didn't you see me getting mad?"

I placed him in a reading group and used the levels (of the Hierarchy of Social Development). It's amazing how fast young people understand and can identify the levels of social development. I no longer make the mistake of lecturing and nagging. I just have the students reflect on the level they are choosing from the hierarchy.

10. Resources

Learn that you ALWAYS stay in authority WITHOUT using bribes to control, threats, imposing punishments, or any other coercive or EXTERNAL motivational approach at

11. What People Say

"For the first time in many years, we had advice we could walk back into the classroom and actually use the next day.  You helped us realize the importance of using discipline as a learning tool rather than as a purely punitive measure."

Gretchen Fleming, Principal, Pattonville High School, Maryland Heights, MO

Speaking and Presenting

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Dr. Marvin Marshall

PO Box 11
Cypress, CA


Phone: 1.714.220.1882