Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stress and Leadership

Stress is part of any job, and being in a position of leadership can add a certain level of constant pressure. Negative external stressors like the economy and even positive stressors like rapid growth can significantly add to the stress level in a leader’s life.  And while some level of stress is normal, too much stress can cause irritability, poor decision-making and even take a toll on your health.

During stressful times in an organization, a leader’s role becomes even more important.  Some leaders are naturally calm in the face of stress. Others may withdraw. Some exhibit extreme emotion.
Everyone has a different style of leadership, and each person reacts in a different way when faced with stress.  By examining our natural reaction to stress and how it manifests itself in our leadership style, we can equip ourselves with leadership qualities that are essential in stressful situations. This ability to adapt our leadership style to exemplify stability, control, and transparency will aid in successfully leading through stress.

Being able to manage through stress is so important in today’s workplace that leadership training organizations are beginning to build programs to help people learn to more effectively deal with stress in the work environment. Corporations are  developing employee wellness programs centered around both physical and emotional health.
Most experts agree that the best ways to deal with stress include:
  • First, identifying that you ARE under stress
  • Becoming better at planning and managing your time
  • Exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep
  • Having a relaxation program that might include massage, meditation or reading
*What have you noticed about your own reaction to stress?
*How do others tend to react when you are dealing with a stressful situation?
*What tools or techniques have you found to be effective in managing stress?

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