Six ways to beat stress and become a more effective leader

8 October 2013

Stress can impact your productivity profoundly. Whether you’re building up to an important business event at Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Hotel, or struggling with a down-turn in sales, how you manage stress can have a huge impact on both you and your team’s overall performance.

For many high achievers stress is part of life and they have coping strategies to ensure it doesn’t become debilitating.

Take up a hobby

cha cha cha
If cha cha cha doesn't take your mind off work, there's always the rhumba!

Too many managers take their work home with them. Although the crunch time for a big project may warrant longer hours in the office, the culture of constantly working late hours can be counterproductive and increase stress levels enormously.

By taking up a hobby, that has nothing to do with work, your mind is given a break from the day-to-day worries. It also frees your mind up to see the world from a different perspective. A new hobby requires you to think differently and your new view of the world will only benefit other aspects of your life – including work.

Be patient

Many people are impatient, they want everything and they want it now. A successful business is not built in six months, it takes time. A presentation cannot be mastered in a single night. By building patience into your mentality, your stress levels will decrease because you become planning focussed instead of being purely reactive.

Understand failure

Being afraid to fail often stops people from making decisions, and not making a decision can build up the stress levels. With the mindset that failure is possible, and creating a plan around that possibility, you can make scary decisions for yourself, and your team.


It’s the most difficult thing in the world to do for some people, but it can unlock time you really need to spend on a particular project. For example, if you are preparing for the big business conference of the year, make sure everyone is aware there are some tasks they’ll have to take on to assist you in making the event successful. And success for you and your team will lead to success for the whole company.

Share the problem

When you see sales dropping it can be a major stress inducer, especially if you try to solve the problem on your own. If you can bring together your team and analyse the drop together, you are more likely to find a solution. By drawing on their own experiences, each member can bring a new perspective to the situation. It may not be a problem with the sales team failing to sell because they aren’t trying hard enough, it could be a supply or product issue.

Know the signs of bad stress

Not all stress is a bad thing. You need a certain amount to simply turn up to work every day. But when it does get in the way, you have to be aware of the signs. Here’s four signs your stress levels are getting out of control:

  • You have trouble getting to sleep
  • You’re irritable with your work colleagues
  • You put off making even the smallest decisions
  • You have more headaches and begin to feel ill more frequently

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