In many ways the opposite of well-being is stress. Research shows that stress can have a significant negative effect on the body. But the impact goes far beyond the body. A work environment that doesn’t foster well-being generally prioritises output over people, deadlines over health, and shames those who need to rest or take sick days. It impacts team relations and the mental health of individuals. On the other hand, healthy workplaces that support well-being lead to flourishing and high-performing employees. Stress Tolerance, Empathy and Assertiveness are EQ skills that help to this. 

Stress Tolerance

Involves “coping with stressful or difficult situations and believing that one can manage or influence situations in a positive manner” (MHS, 2011). There are two key parts to developing this skill, namely having healthy, adaptive coping mechanisms and an internal locus of control. Adaptive coping is doing things that are constructive and have healthy outcomes such as turning to friends for social support, asking for help when we need it, eating healthily, getting proper sleep and exercising. People who choose adaptive coping mechanisms would do well in tolerating stress.  The second part of stress tolerance involves the belief that you can manage or influence situations in a positive manner. This is linked to a high sense of mastery, or internal locus of control, which is the belief that most circumstances in your life are under your personal control. So, in a stressful situation, someone would believe they have some control and could do something to make things better. 


Is “recognising, understanding, and appreciating how other people feel. Empathy involves being able to articulate your understanding of another’s perspective and behaving in a way that respects others’ feelings” (MHS, 2011). Everyone has their own story and unique journey. This applies to our backgrounds, health, personality, history and current life situations. Fostering empathy is all about getting into the shoes of others. Better understanding your team as individuals will in turn boost their well-being. You will have a greater appreciation for their uniqueness, as well as the struggles and challenges they are facing. Empathy also promotes a sense of community, togetherness and social sense of well-being, which acts as a preventative factor against stress.


Involves “communicating feelings, beliefs and thoughts openly, and defending personal rights and values in a socially acceptable, non-offensive, and non-destructive manner” (MHS, 2011). Poor boundaries and an inability to say “no” undermine well-being. They mean you are consistently stressed, stretched and operating beyond your capacity. Learning the skill of assertiveness equips you to know your limits and boundaries. And this leads to improved well-being.