It’s a common misconception that business leaders are somehow programmed to be able to effectively deal with stress, and believe it or not, this isn’t always the case. However, a good method of leadership is to try and find ways of dealing with stress that can be used to your advantage.

Using stress for success

We automatically perceive stress to be a bad thing, but what if it could bring about success? Almost every achievement will have originated from some form of stress, even if this is a simple willingness to succeed. This is potentially thanks to the concept that is pressure, which, despite its reputation, does not do inherently bad things. Pressure may lead to stress, but it also leads to challenge, which is integral for anyone hoping to succeed.

Remaining calm under pressure

One of the main things that great leaders are praised for is their ability to remain calm under pressure. No matter how much stress you may be under, it is your job as a good leader to appear undeterred. Research has shown that to do this, your brain needs to be able to balance its chemicals in a certain way, which is a skill which can be learned.

In a stressful situation, we tend to opt for fight or flight, neither of which are particularly appropriate for a business leader. Instead, leaders have to find other ways of dealing with stress so to it can be used as a positive force, rather than a negative one.

Here are some that you may be able to incorporate into your business philosophy or routine:

• Develop techniques to remain calm at all times and regard a stressful situation as a challenge rather than a crisis.
• Focus on a goal and ensure that your organisation is aligned towards this goal.
• Keep things simple and attempt to find order amongst the chaos. Maintaining clarity of your thoughts should allow you to look at the bigger picture and fix the specific issue.
• Exercise away from work. Studies have shown time and time again that people who exercise can optimise concentration, and are able to reduce their stress levels in order to keep a level head in the workplace.
• Take your time and consider the best course of action, as jumping into a rash decision can make the situation worse.
• Have a positive mental attitude and demonstrate optimism to your team. Consider any setbacks as something to learn from for the future.
• Find balance by removing yourself from the source of the stress for a short period of time.
• Be prepared for the unexpected. Anyone working in business knows that the job can be unpredictable, so it’s better to come to terms with that before you are caught off guard.

For further help or advice, don’t hesitate to contact Tony Gregg.