Stress Management For Leaders – The Cause & The Solution
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
When I am coaching a leader or facilitating a group session of leaders on the topic of Stress Management my clients often give me a list of issues that they believe cause them stress – things such as high expectations, overwork, pressing deadlines, unsatisfactory relationships (personal and business), work-life balance and health and fitness concerns. Yet none of these factors describe the actual cause of the stress and enable them to effectively implement stress management.
The true cause of stress is a leader’s personal reaction to these stressors. When we understand this point, stress management becomes much easier. An effective process of managing stress is as follows:
- The leader becomes aware of factors – issues which appear to cause them stress (self awareness)
- They acknowledge it is their reaction that causes the stress (not the stressor itself) and that they can choose how they respond
- They learn cognitive, emotional and personal management skills to make a more effective response
A common response when clients are under stress is a sense of powerlessness. By acknowledging that leaders choose (consciously or unconsciously) how they respond to the stressor, immediately removes the feeling of powerlessness. It puts the client in a position to effect stress management. It is a potent and critical step to a more effective and satisfying business life.