How Managers Lower Stress and Enjoy Work

Stress is a thistle patch. 

Stress is a magnifying glass. 

Stress is a straw. 


Top 4 external stress points for managers:

  1. People problems.
  2. Delivering more results with fewer resources and people.
  3. Conflicting expectations between upper management and direct reports.
  4. Customer expectations.

From one perspective, all stress is internal.

Top 7 self-inflicted stress points for managers:

  1. Saying yes when you should say no.
  2. Trying to control things you can’t control.
  3. Creating complexity by solving too many issues at once.
  4. Isolation as a form of self-protection.
  5. Refusing to turn off and disconnect.
  6. Lack of exercise and poor diet.
  7. Losing yourself to the expectations – whether real or imagined – of others.

Trying to overcome stress is problem-centric living.

Less stress – more enjoyment:

I felt the stress go out of a coaching client when he reconnected with his authentic voice.

It happened when, in simple language, he said what he really wanted. He had lost his authentic voice under expectations, frustrations, urgencies, and problems.

A manager’s authentic voice is forward-looking and uncomplicated.

The process of uncovering your authentic voice includes looking under anger, fear, or doubt. The courage and vulnerability to say what you really want – instead of what you don’t want – takes the fangs out of stress.

Decrease stress by embracing forwarding-facing behaviors that move you toward what you really want.

4 stress tips for managers:

  1. Connect with someone who helps you find your way forward, not theirs. Stress decreases as you move toward authenticity.
  2. Focus on positive intentions. It’s more stressful to prevent imagined problems than it is to work toward a preferred future.
  3. Let others take responsibility for their behaviors.
  4. Stop fixing things for people. Work with them instead.

The opposite of stress is stepping into the extent and limits of your power.

What are the top stressors for managers/leaders?

How might managers lower their stress levels and increase their enjoyment levels?

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