How you handle stress talks a lot about your success. For a leader, tackling stressful situation is twice as hard as any other person. The total team's mood and productivity depends hugely on the mood of the leader. It is very critical that a leader should learn to tackle stress in a productive way.
Great leaders are often praised for remaining calm under pressure as if it is an innate talent that they are born with. A recent Harvard study suggested men with high levels of testosterone combined with low-levels of cortisol “may be especially likely to occupy high-status positions in social hierarchies”. Their rationale was that cortisol, what they call “the stress hormone”, inhibits the ability to make good decisions. Research shows that dealing effectively with stressful situations requires the ability to balance the chemicals in the best way, and there are skills that can easily be taught that do just that.
Here are some of the skills that a leader can practice to control his/ her stress:
*Stay calm, remain fearless:
Learn to see the situation as a challenge, not a crisis.
*Focus on the goal:
Ensure the organisation is aligned towards it. Often the stress overpowers the set goal. Do not let that happen.
*Keep it simple:
Find order in the chaos and maintain clarity of thought. Work on the things that really count. Don’t get emotional or defensive.
Multiple studies have shown that physical exercise not only reduces stress but also improve concentration by reducing anxiety, therefore leading to better decisions.
*Take controlled, considered action:
Taking the time to reflect will reduce stress, improve clarity and increase your likelihood of resolving the issue; the act of doing something to resolve it will also reduce the pressure.
*Demonstrate realistic optimism:
A positive mental attitude that is allied with a realism that sometimes things do go wrong. When they do, those setbacks should be dealt with and the lessons learned while maintaining the ability to stay upbeat about the future.
More than 90 percent of leaders cite they manage stress by temporarily removing themselves, either physically or mentally, from the source of their stress.
*Prepare for the unexpected:
You’re much less likely to be stressed about something if you were expecting it. The trick is not to worry about everything that might happen, but to be prepared for it if does.