Stress creates many complications. It can affect your health in dangerous ways. It is most often a negative force.
Studies show that prolonged stress over a period of time can become chronic.
The American Institute for Stress says workplace stress is by far the major source of stress for adults, and it has increased at a rapid rate in the last few decades.
These increased stress levels are associated with increased heart attacks rates, increased cases of hypertension (high blood pressure) and other disorders.
The CDC says that nearly 40% of workers feel stress at their workplace. Plus, work stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than other stressors such as divorce or financial problems.
If you are one of the millions of people suffering from job stress, this article is for you. We’re going to look at how to deal with the stress of being a team leader.
Manage Yourself First
The first step in dealing with the stress of being a team leader is managing yourself. This not only reduces your overall stress level, but gives you coping tools for dealing with on-the-job stress.
- Take responsibility for yourself. Improve your physical and emotional well-being by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and taking some time to do something you enjoy.
- Avoid negative attitudes. As humans, our first reaction is often a negative one. When underlings cause stress, the natural reaction is fight or flight. Avoid these pitfalls and manage the negative by looking for the positive.
- Hone your communication skills. This will help you improve your relationship with your team.
By learning how to manage your own life and take care of yourself, you’ll be better able to lead your team and cope with the ensuing stress.
As a busy team leader, preventing stress does sound like a daunting task, and it’s not always possible.
But, with proper planning, you can prevent some of it.
For example, when going into a stressful meeting, plan for the unexpected and make notes of possible solutions. Be prepared for the meeting to go in several ways and be prepared to rebound.
Taking care of yourself also helps prevent stress.
Many leaders have a hard time with delegation, and you may be tempted to “just do the work” yourself. Resist this natural urge.
As team leader, it’s up to you to model delegation. Keep what you must do yourself, but hand other responsibilities to team members.
You’ll not only relieve your own stress, but you’ll empower them by trusting them to do the work.
Energize your team members so they have the knowledge, skill, desire, and the opportunity to succeed.
Keep It Simple
According to Forbes, “keeping it simple doesn’t mean you’re stupid.”
In the same article, they quote C.W. Ceran who said, “Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.”
By keeping things simple and not overcomplicating them, you can deal with the stress of being a team leader.
Work on the things that count in the moment, and worry about the rest later.
Prioritize and Organize
Another way to deal with stress is to get organized and prioritize your work.
Create a schedule of your daily tasks and try to stick to it. Find a balance between your work schedule and your family life.
Don’t overcommit yourself. Overscheduling and over-committing are sure-fire ways to create stress.
Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Take this time to organize your day and make a plan for increased productivity.
Use Online Tools
Lastly, make use of online tools to streamline your work. One way to eliminate stress is to use an online scheduling tool.
Creating and managing your employees’ schedule requests and work days can be a huge stressor for team leaders. Don't let all these scheduling responsbilities fall on your shoulders. Our relational employee schedule formula guide will give you a bunch of ideas for how to make the schedule an enjoyable process for you and your team.
This frees up some of your time for other tasks and eliminates the hassle of multiple forms.
Another digital tool is Google Docs. You can use it for creating, sharing and collaborating on documents with your team. Make changes on the fly and in real time – even during your meetings.
It’s good to remember that some stress can be good for you. It can keep you on track and help you meet a deadline. It can also be a positive force, motivating you to perform at a higher level.
Stress can be the little prompt you need to deal with a troublesome situation. It helps banish procrastination.
But, all too often, stress is a negative. Too much stress for a prolonged period of time can cause major health issues. It’s important to manage the stress of being a team leader. Do what you need to do for yourself to reduce your dangerous stress levels.
Maintain a positive attitude, eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, find a mentor and take time for yourself.
Finally, recognize the symptoms of stress and do what you can to eliminate or manage them so you don’t end up with stress-related health issues. Here are a few of the signs of stress:
- Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
- Feeling apathetic
- Sleep problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Headaches and stomach problems
By using the tips we’ve mentioned here today, and recognizing the signs of stress, you’ll be better able to deal with the stress of being a team leader.
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