Aim Higher: Leadership secrets of stress management

Manage Your Stress

 

Research: 8-out-of-10 people say that they experience stress regularly at work.

 

On this episode of “Aim Higher,” my panel of leadership experts discusses stress. Which, as we know, is itself a stressful subject. It’s an unpleasant fact of life, and in many cases, we’d just as soon ignore unpleasant things. But as with so many other challenges, ignoring stress only makes it worse.

As leaders, we don’t want our people to shy away from hard work. From taking chances and pushing themselves. We can’t always take the “safe path,” ourselves, and leadership often means just that: leading into new, sometimes scary situations.

 

 

So, what’s the difference between a team that’s excited about challenges, working harder than they thought possible to achieve big things… and a team that’s so stressed out they miss the mark, leave your organization, or suffer health problems?

Communication.

Of all the great ideas that came out in this week’s discussion, communication was really the key. Clear, consistent communication, my panelists agree, is often the treatment or even the cure for stress. Just think:

  • An empathetic leader who really listens heads off potential problems
  • Regular updates with realistic mid-points level-sets everyone’s expectations
  • Recognition of hard work under stress transforms resentment into victory
  • Allowing teams to express stress removes fear and gauges the need for pauses

This week’s panelists also have some great tips for how you can reduce your own stress, which is very important for leaders, as well. But in terms of managing your teams? Communication can flip the script and mean the difference between stress that leads to breakthroughs… instead of stress that leads to breakdowns.

Put on your headphones and listen to this week’s episode while you go for a walk outdoors. A change of scenery will clear your head, take you away from the constant pull of updates and news alerts. And, I predict, it will lower your stress.

 

“Empathy is so important for managers when helping teams process stress.” – Chip Nilges

 

“Sometimes what’s most stressful… is not being able to express your stress!” – Skip Prichard

 

“Stress can be a great motivator to drive positive change.” – Drew Bordas

 

“Sometimes we use stress as a badge of honor.” – Tammi Spayde

 

“Unrealistic expectations can be stressful but may be necessary for breakthroughs.” – Skip Prichard

 

 

 

Image Credit: Francisco Moreno

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