Leadership When You Are Stressed: Don’t Take It Out On Others!

Imagine one of the worst days for you as a manager. It’s one of those problems only you can handle, and it is taking a toll on you. You walk into the office and notice the same aura that you’re carrying. Does your team know? Yes. Is it affecting them? Yes. When you are stressed as a leader, it can radiate on your team. 

Your team members or employees see stress as unusual or erratic behavior. They have no idea what you are thinking or planning, and it freaks them out! Obviously, it’s not what you wanted to happen. And you still need to be a leader of your team. 

So, how do you do that while managing that issue and making sure that your mental health is not at stake? That’s a lot to unpack, I know. But there is hope! Keep reading to learn more about stress in leadership and how you can avoid taking it out on your team. 

You Can’t Escape Leadership Stress

Leadership stress is like a rollercoaster; it can be exciting and scary. On the good side, stress can help you grow and improve at solving problems.

There is only progress with challenges! Whenever you handle stressful situations well, it improves your confidence and shows your team you can handle anything! 

But nobody wants to deal with stress because there’s a bad side. Too much stress can become overwhelming and lead to burnout. Picture trying to juggle while riding a bike – it might be fun at first, but it quickly becomes too much.

As a leader, you must make tough decisions and look after your team. It sounds like two things, but we both know it involves much more. It’s a stressful job; over time, this stress can lead to feeling anxious and worn out.

What started as an exciting challenge with a great salary can become a heavy burden that not even money can’t ease if you don’t manage it well.

Leaders who learn to manage their stress can inspire their teams. By recognizing when stress is getting too much and finding ways to deal with it, you can keep the benefits of stress without letting it take over and affect others. This balance is necessary, so learn how to lead a team when you are stressed.

Practical Strategies for Leading When You Are Stressed

Mindfulness and Self-awareness

One of the best ways to lead when you are stressed is by being aware of your own feelings. You are stressed, and no amount of pretending will make it go away. Stop fighting it and pay attention to the present moment without judging it. 

Another part of mindfulness is being aware of your emotions. Sometimes, just naming what you’re feeling can make a big difference. If you’re feeling stressed, admit it to yourself: “I’m feeling really stressed right now.” It helps create a little distance between you and the stress.

It’s like seeing a thunderstorm and saying, “Oh, it’s raining,” instead of getting caught in the rain without an umbrella. Sometimes, I need a good cry when I’m going through something. I often fight back, but eventually, I always burst into tears. Then I feel better. But I waste a lot of time fighting back against my feelings—and so you do.

Effective Stress Management Techniques

Leading when you are stressed means working hard to manage your stress. Effective stress management involves practical techniques like exercise, meditation, and making time to relax. Think of it like recharging your phone—you must keep your energy up to function well.

Start with exercise; it is one of the best stress management methods. Pick up a sport or workout you enjoy and run with it. Variation is good because it ensures you don’t get bored. So throw in some yoga, skipping, swimming, and even trampolining into the mix.

And one more thing: meditation and other quiet activities can be great for managing stress. So watch a YouTube video about meditating and try to follow along—anything that can get that gloomy expression off your face!

Decision-Making Under Pressure

Making decisions when you’re stressed can be hard. It’s like trying to solve a puzzle with a time limit ticking down. But with a strategy, you can make better choices even when the pressure is on.

The first step is not to panic—but if you are like me, you never listen to this tip. So, move on to the next step—develop a plan. A good plan can help you find the best people for the job and the best route to take. In addition, it will help your team understand what’s expected of them, minimizing panic. 

When this doesn’t work, take a step back. Sometimes, when you’re too close to a problem, it’s hard to see the best solution. So, take a quick walk or grab a drink of water when you feel stuck. This short break allows your brain to reset, and the solution becomes clearer.

When everything fails, there is one last secret that’s quite obvious—ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask your mentor or even team members for advice and options.

It will give you new ideas and also show your team that you value their input. By using these strategies, you show that even when you are stressed, good decision-making is possible with the right approach.

Leading Like A Boss Even When You Feel Like A Mess

Ultimately, reducing stress as a leader is about creating a sustainable balance. It’s like tending to a garden —you need to water it regularly, pull out the weeds, and sometimes sit back and enjoy the flowers.

By building a support network and keeping your priorities in check, you can manage your stress in the long run and lead your team confidently and calmly.

Remember, a less stressed leader is a more effective leader. But there will be days when you have to lead when you are stressed out. Be patient with yourself on those days— like you would be with a friend. 

About Author
About Author

Waithira Njagi is a seasoned wellness and relationship content writer with nearly a decade of experience. Her passion for helping others navigate the complexities of personal growth and connection shines through in her engaging and insightful writing.
With a knack for distilling complex topics into easily digestible pieces, Waithira's work is geared toward readers seeking guidance and inspiration on their journey to holistic well-being.
When she's not crafting engaging articles, you can find Waithira curled up with a stack of romance novels– always rooting for love to win– or enjoying quality time with her beloved family. Her dedication to spreading love and positivity is evident in everything she creates.

Waithira is here to remind you that life, much like their stories, is a tapestry of connections - to loved ones, and the endless adventures found in books.

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