Images of stressed and cranky leaders are commonly portrayed in most dramas and comedies. Leaders are often overwhelmed by heavy demands at the workplace, and research has proved that the emotions of leaders in the workplace tend to impact employees too.

When leaders are unable to manage stress or have a negative attitude, they will be seen as irrelevant or harmful to organisational performance. The employees in this situation are more likely to reduce performance effectiveness, and could even cease to be highly engaged.

Training leaders to get back on track

Leaders need to be trained on approaches to take in order to manage stress, people and work in general in order to reduce the cycle of stress and underperformance. The following are a few tips that can help leaders reduce stress and its effects:

1. Leaders should use priority lists instead of job checklists

Most job checklists in the workplace contain too many tasks, resulting in stress when one is unable to accomplish them. This should be swapped with a priority list containing tasks with immense professional or personal impact. The rest of the tasks should be delegated, delayed or even dropped. Leaders need to recognise that this role does not require one to do everything, but one has to decide what needs to be done, how and when.

2. Leaders should also be advised on sharing responsibilities

Most individuals in leadership believe they have total responsibility for providing every idea and directive when trying to accomplish business activities. These micro-management activities could result in frustrations for both the employees and leaders. Leaders need to understand their role in facilitating the productivity and creativity of their workforce, taking a step back when necessary. By doing this, their stress will be reduced and they will have a more satisfied and empowered team.

3. Leaders need to be trained on how to set boundaries

The greedy nature of most firms means they demand the absolute maximum from their employees, but this exposes their employees to extreme pressure, leading to stress. For long-term sustainability in terms of responsiveness, workloads and deadlines, leaders need to set boundaries for all. It is also important for leaders to negotiate timelines effectively, request for more resources, share work amongst employees and apply various workload management techniques to reduce stress.

The above most crucial leadership techniques, among others, help in reducing stress and enhance management skills. Leaders who follow these simple tips do not only improve the success of their companies but it also helps them in achieving their personal goals easily.