Workplace stress is a reality. But how leaders manage themselves in the middle of the storm is everything. These insights can help leaders—from CEOs to middle managers—successfully navigate the stressors of the modern work environment.
There’s no question about it: Today’s workplace can be stressful. The long work hours, the endless flow of information, the competing demands on our attention—all of these factors can make us feel perpetually overwhelmed and out of control if not managed well.
The best leaders learn to deal with the conditions and problems that lead to stress in a way that keeps everyone on track. How you behave when times are bad truly defines you as a leader and sets the tone for how others manage the situation. If you create a culture where people fall to pieces when things get tough, productivity will suffer.
Here are a few suggestions for managing yourself with grace under stress:
As with everything else, experience counts for a lot. The more seasoned leaders will be better at handling stress just because they have had so many years to learn to cope. They’ve seen what can happen when they don’t handle stress well, and they are more motivated to change. If you are a new leader, know that this is a skill you build just like everything else. Use these tools and tactics and see that it gets easier every day.
Quint Studer is the author of The Busy Leader’s Handbook (http://www.thebusyleadershandbook.com) and a lifelong student of leadership. He is also the founder of Vibrant Community Partners and Pensacola’s Studer Community Institute.
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