Leaders experience continuous pressure due to the sheer volume of organizational tasks, from ensuring that their teams are all pulling in the same direction to ensuring that they are emotionally healthy while keeping their core competencies up-to-date. Furthermore, superiors’ demands to get things done and subordinates’ opinions and needs heard may pressure leaders.
Consistent exposure to such stresses can increase anxiety and strain a person’s mental health. Excessive contemplation, for example, raises adrenaline and cortisol hormones, which are detrimental to health and reduce productivity. In addition, leaders are often known for their poor emotional control. They are continually evaluated based on how well they can work together with others and maintain calm under pressure.
Thus, every leader should handle stress mindfully to enhance their own and team’s morale and productivity. The best strategy is to get out of the bind and restart. Let’s take a look at how stress affects leaders and their behavior.
How Does Stress Affect Leadership Behavior and Well-Being?
It is widely accepted that stress harms employees’ well-being and productivity. Leadership is never easy to work, but in these unsettling times, it seems weightier. The following are some ways leadership stress may have a detrimental effect on a leader’s health and ability to get things done.
A leader’s physical and mental well-being will be negatively impacted by lack of sleep, making it difficult for leaders to function at their best. Lack of sleep causes a dramatic shift in a leader’s personality, making them less collaborative and more self-centered. This can erode a leader’s confidence and ruin their relationships.
Leaders with positive attitudes and calm demeanors can help their teams succeed positively. When leaders’ stress levels aren’t properly handled, it may cause them to lose control and become irritable, which in turn causes their colleagues to lose faith in them. A person’s emotional state can be infectious, similar to a virus. A leader’s frequent mood swings impact the rest of the team’s dynamics.
Bad Decision Making
Leaders under a lot of stress and time constraint are less likely to think about the larger picture and are more likely to make hasty judgments to find a solution to the current crisis. In times of high pressure, leaders of organizations are less likely to take risks and adapt to new circumstances because they don’t have the mental energy to do so.
Leaders under stress might act impatiently and abruptly in front of their teams, damaging their reputation with the team. If a leader or management exclusively follows their advice and never considers alternatives, that person’s access to advice and counsel will be severely limited.
According to Health and Wellbeing at Work 2022 survey, management style remains among the most common causes of stress at work.
Leaders who can determine the origin of their stress are better equipped to address the problem at its source and reduce its negative impacts. Here are 5 ways to develop leadership that doesn’t cause stress.
6 Effective Stress Management Techniques for Leaders
An individual in a leadership position should prepare for temporary stress because it is expected. Managers and leaders should be concerned about the ongoing pressure that might harm their personal and professional lives. The time has come for leaders to act and take the necessary steps to reduce their anxiety.
Pay Attention to The Physical Warning Signs of Stress
The human body is the most intelligent machine in the world; it stimulates physical changes to anything extra within the body, even if it is something extra on someone’s mind. Leaders are recommended to pay attention to the warning signals their bodies produce due to high-stress levels. Stiff muscles, stomachaches, teeth grinding, and regular headaches are the causes of high-stress levels. Leaders should consider these symptoms and take time out for self-care.
Practice Pause and Mindfulness
Leaders are inevitably juggling several tasks at once. That implies their mind is frequently in work mode, juggling many critical responsibilities simultaneously. It is advised that leaders take a 5 to 10-minute break every hour to refocus and respond more rationally and effectively. To speak with calm certainty, leaders should take a moment to collect their thoughts, take a few deep breaths, and plan their next steps.
Don’t Focus on Being Perfect
Leaders should not strive for perfection; instead provide their teams with breathing room. Let others on the team make mistakes so they can learn from them. Don’t stress over doing things perfectly, especially if they’re unimportant. It’s easy to get caught up in striving for perfection at the expense of producing enough decent work.
Acknowledge Both Small and Big Successes
Leadership can make a difference and build trust and a sense of togetherness by recognizing and applauding modest successes. Leaders and their teams may benefit from increased adaptability, openness to new ideas, and positivity just by taking the time to acknowledge the good work that’s already happening. Acts like these, carried out in the face of adversity, are therefore indicative of a strong leader and a team.
Look for Help and Support
Admitting you don’t know everything and might need some advice while in a leadership position can be difficult. It’s okay to ask for help when needed. Still, asking for help when needed is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of resilience. A good leader recognizes the need for assistance and support from time to time.
Practice Meditation and Yoga
Meditation and yoga are the most useful practices for improving one’s mental and physical capabilities. The calming effects of meditation and yoga are beneficial for leaders. In this way, those in positions of authority will be better able to carry out the tasks set before them.
5 Stress Management Benefits for Leaders
The stress-free leadership approaches listed above benefit both leaders and their team members. Below are the benefits of stress management for leaders:
- Leaders who have figured out how to cope with stress effectively are more likely to inspire their staff to perform at high levels. Excellent outcomes may be expected from a highly motivated and morale team.
- Leaders who keep their cool under pressure can see possible complications coming and take rapid, calculated actions to mitigate them. They may also be better positioned to effectively manage unethical team member behavior rather than taking it personally or overreacting.
- Less tense leaders are more likely to have productive meetings with their subordinates and superiors, which can have a ripple effect across the office. Workplace morale and open dialogue will both benefit from this.
- It has been observed that leaders who treat their teams well will have fewer team members who want to leave. The most productive and upbeat workplaces include leaders who make their teams relaxed and enjoy their jobs.
- Leaders may improve their performance and save time and effort by reducing their stress levels to make more objective and speedy assessments of their team’s work.
High-stress levels might have a devastating impact on a leader’s capacity to lead and perform. Leaders are urged to be aware of stress indicators and take preventative measures.
Ready to take the next steps?
We recently hosted a webinar on Stress Management for Leaders. The keynote speaker, Dan Rust, VP-Leadership & OD Practice at Infopro Learning, discussed the signs and symptoms of stress in the workplace, the causes of stress, and effective strategies for reducing stress and improving employee morale.
Doesn’t that pique your curiosity? If you want to get the leadership expert’s insights from the session, drop a comment below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.