12 April 2016

There’s a problem. It’s a big one. As the leader of your business, what do you do?

Do you call everyone together and shout at the top of your voice? Do you point the finger?

Stress is contagious. It spreads through a team like wildfire, especially through the ranks of a traditional management structure.

We’ve all heard the old office jokes of managers delegating their stress to ‘lower ranks’ and it is those at the bottom who end up with the brunt of it.

To think that that could be the case with modern businesses is absurd. I believe that as a business leader, director or manager, it is your responsibility to be the calmest in the room. To set the example.

Yes, when things get tough, you need to drive the team and make sure that action is taken but is shouting at the team and raising the stress levels the right way to get the best result? I don’t think so.

It is easy to be caught up in a cycle of becoming more and more stressed, of getting caught up in the day-to-day hassles, of escalating a problem until it becomes unmanageable. It’s these times that are when, as a leader, as a manager, you need to stop. Take a step back. Take a breath.

This short pause gives you time to work out the best course of action, to ask who can help resolve an issue, how you can move forward.

As a leader, the team look to you to set the example. If you’re the aggressive, overbearing, bullish character, that is what will be replicated throughout the business. In my experience, these personalities, especially more than one of them, do not create a harmonious working environment or strong results.

A good leader doesn’t shout, a good leader reads the room, motivates a team and supports others; they’re more intelligent than shouting.

I’d love to hear your examples of good or bad leadership in a crisis, leave them in the comments below.

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