STRESS! It’s a part of life, especially if you like to live life on the edge! If you’ve chosen a life of leadership in tech, embrace stress as a part of the life you’ve chosen. Here are some thoughts on how to say address your stress head-on.
1. Get a broader perspective.
Do what you need to do to rise above and beyond your current reality. Who can mentor, guide, support and coach you through a difficult situation? Consulting with an outside party on the dynamics causing your stress will help you shift it from an emotional issue to a tactical problem to resolve.
2. Be analytical about the problem.
Drill down in the short-term and long-term causes of the problem, as well as the derivative causes and effects of the problem. Objectively, what are the options for solving the problem, what are the implications of these options, what is the best way to move things forward?
3. Identify the players and their motivations.
Have the org chart but consider the dotted line relationships as well as all the alliances and causes threading the players together. Lean on someone you trusted to help you ferret out the motivations of all the players involved.
4. Analyze the string of events which have led to the particular situation.
Look at the current situation and past similar situations, identify trends and themes and commonalities.
5. Reflect on your history with the type of stress you’re experiencing now.
Focus on your feelings around the stress. When did you feel similarly? What was the situation? Who were the players? What are the trends? What can you learn? How can you leverage your past successes and experience to deal with what’s in front of you now?
6. Tie into the resources that can support you in addressing the stressors – people, situational and environmental.
With the data from above, make a plan-ful approach for dealing with the current stresses, and consider what changes need to happen to help make sure that there are fewer causal factors for the stress in the future, and changes you can make in yourself so that you’re more resilient and more purposeful in dealing with the stress.
7. Choose your battles.
Is the underlying cause of your stress a battle worth waging? If so, do so plan-fully. If not, suck it up!
8. Create a new normal.
Accept that stress is a part of life. Learn to embrace low-level stress as a learning opportunity, and to nip high-risk stress in the bud through relationships and proactive choices.
9. Escape, but don’t give in, unless you consciously decide to do so.
If it’s a battle you choose, and you need a break emotionally, take one. Do what it takes to re-energize and refresh yourself. Don’t roll over, or you will invite a harsher battle.
10. Know when you consciously decide to do so.
If you elect to roll over, do it on your own terms, and know why you’re doing it, what’s next for you, and most of all, what you learned about yourself.
Best of luck to you, as you manage your stress. Squeeze all the pleasure from every stressful encounter you experience!