How to Manage Stress as a Leader

How to Manage Stress as a Leader

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Being a leader is an incredible honour. This means you have been entrusted to guide a group of people toward success. Leaders are typically thought of as trustworthy, wise, and resilient. However, what most people tend to overlook is the heavy workload and stress associated with creating seamless authority and guidance.

Leaders typically suffer in silence when it comes to the stress of their position. These individuals know they are responsible for others and don’t want to appear as though they are wavering in their ability to lead. The reality of the situation is that leaders are not taking the proper steps to help alleviate their stressors, and instead take it out on their employees, families, or themselves. With a few simple corrections to their daily practices, leaders should find it easier to manage their stress and improve their ability to lead others.

Leaders Need to Be Organized

Not only does disorganization create a disastrous leader, but it creates a stressed leader as well. The most basic change a leader can make if he or she is trying to reduce the amount of stress associated with their work is to get themselves organized. Whether this means cleaning off their desk, tidying up their files, or even changing paper documents to digital files, keeping important information all in one place is essential to reduce stress. 

Whether a leader is running a company or has to report to someone in upper management, they’ll find it much easier to be effective when they have their materials organized. Nothing makes someone look like a poor leader more than not knowing where things are, or what stage an important project is in—which will cause stress for the leader and his or her team. For a simple fix, keep everything in a place where even if you don’t know the answer to a question off the top of your head, you know right where to look to find it. 


Leaders Should Over-Communicate

Stress is sure to arise when a leader fails to communicate with his or her teammates. When managing a group of people, leaders need to know what everyone is working on, what their goals are, and what they need help with on a regular basis. Effective leaders know what their teams need and where they are on their path to success. There is no way to know this without having regular, productive communication

Leaders should also be readily available to their team members at any given time during the workday. If a member has a question, needs to update their manager on the status of a project, or needs confirmation on a piece of information, they need to be able to reach the person who leads them. Employees and team members respect a leader they can talk to about anything without fear of being reprimanded or looked down upon. Being open to verbal and electronic communication at all times during the workday is essential if you want to be a strong and impactful leader.


Leaders Separate Work from Life

Just because someone is a leader or holds a position of authority does not mean they need to eat, sleep, and breathe their job 24/7, especially if their job is a significant source of stress in their life. It’s not healthy to be stressed out all the time, nor is it okay to only ever focus on work and put life on the back burner. Most people have friends, family, children, and hobbies to attend to when they aren’t at work. These areas of fulfilment can be easily neglected if leaders can’t find a separation between work and life. Leaders should feel confident that they have done everything they can for the given workday, and that is enough until the next day. Leaving work at the office will help to leave sources of stress behind at the end of the day, giving individuals a chance to unwind. 



Leaders Make Time for Themselves

Along with leaving work-related stress at the office and coming home to a peaceful environment after work, leaders should also make time to do something they enjoy every day. For some, this may be working out, meditating, or pampering oneself. Taking time to take care of yourself, whether that be keeping up a skincare routine using quality skincare products that help you feel confident, or putting on a quick guided yoga video for stress-relieving exercise, can help you focus your attention on relaxation. These practices are especially helpful to do before going to sleep, as they will help you wind down for a full night’s rest. Waking up from a quality sleep will help leaders feel rejuvenated and ready for the day.


Leaders Always Seek Improvement

Most leaders who create significant change and improvement for their company or organization are always trying to raise the bar. Whether they are looking to improve their own professional abilities or setting larger and higher goals for their teams, leaders know that success comes from constantly challenging oneself. A great source of stress can come from not knowing how to approach a new, challenging situation. Leaders can overcome this stress by being both strategic and organized. 

Those in authoritative positions with a larger skill set are less likely to be phased by a major obstacle in a project. This is why leaders should always work on expanding their knowledge of their organization, their team members, and their own professional abilities. This way, when challenges arise, leaders can properly allocate the people with relevant skill sets to tackle the job, share their own knowledge on the issue, or at the very least, know where to go to find someone with the experience to help. A calm and confident leader is the best leader of all. 


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