Stress Management: Best Practices

Stress in inevitable. Regardless of how calm and collected you aim to be in the workplace, there will always be moments of frustration, anxiety, and anger.  

So, what can you do?  

Although you cannot completely avoid stress altogether, there are several things you can do to reduce your stress in the moment and even cut back on it significantly overall.  

Managing your stress: 

  1. The most important thing you can do is identify what factors generally cause you stress. Does a loud, open office space overwhelm you? Do rigid timelines and structured processes cause demotivation? Does blunt, straightforward feedback leave you feeling undervalued? By determining what environment you need and how you need to be treated by others, you can start to become your own advocate. Politely tell the people around you what you need to be successful, and work to create an environment that will support your productivity. 

If you need help determining your needs, we can help! Email [email protected] to set up a Communications Review with one of our coaches.  

  1. Recognize your stress responses. As a leader, it is incredibly important that you are self-aware. If you find yourself distracted, snapping at employees, yelling in meetings, or shutting down you will not only harm your productivity, but you will negatively impact everyone else around you. One upset leader can easily derail an otherwise happy, engaged workforce. It is your responsibility to check in with yourself regularly. If you find yourself too stressed to have a productive conversation with an employee, tell him/her that you need time to gather your thoughts and will check in with him/her later. Preserving relationships is key.  
  1. Write down something positive. When you’re stressed, it is incredibly beneficial to take some quiet time to write down something you are grateful for or a good thing that happened during your day. By focusing on the good, you are giving your mind time to refocus on the positive.  

Managing your team’s stress: 

  1. Pay attention to their needs. Just as you identified your workplace needs, it is crucial that you are aware of what motivates your team. Find out who works best in a structured environment or who needs time to make difficult decisions. You want your team to flourish, and that is unlikely if you do not prioritize their happiness and success as well.  
  1. Recognize their unproductive behavior. If team members are tense, snappy, and frustrated, then it’s time for an intervention. Find out what is not going well and what support you can provide. Sometimes, just a quick check in and a short mindfulness exercise can help everyone get back on track. 
  1. Over communicate. Your team deserves to be kept in the loop about how they are doing and what is going on in the company, especially if there are any upcoming changesMake sure to check in with everyone individually and collectively as often as you can.