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Impact of stress

Stress may lead to:

Impaired situational awareness

Impairments such as a narrow focus and becoming easily distracted may result in difficulties with scanning the scene. They may struggle to assimilate the information presented so they can understand the situation fully.

Impaired decision making

Failure to consider all of the relevant issues (due to tunnel vision) can lead to poor decisions being made.

Impaired communication

The negative behavioural and emotional effects of stress, such as anger and irritability, may make communicating clearly with others difficult.

Impaired teamwork

Poor communication is likely to impair teamwork, leading to a lack of shared understanding about the situation, objectives and plan. Team members may focus on specific tasks, rather than team objectives.

Impaired performance

Individual and team performance may decline due to stress, with an increased likelihood of errors being made.

Impaired leadership

Negative emotional responses are likely to be detected by others, and are known to elicit similar emotions. This can result in a breakdown of the relationship and confidence may be lost.