It doesn’t matter what field you are in, management can take an emotional toll. True, management is generally a desired position because most people would prefer being the boss as opposed to being bossed around. But you can probably be forgiven if, on at least a couple occasions, you wish you could just go back to the simplicity of a job on the bottom of the corporate ladder.
When to Relax
In many instances it seems that most stress relief tips simply amount to the advice, “just relax.” It also seems that in many instances that type of advice just makes you more frustrated. The truth is that for those in a management position you can’t always “just relax” because things need to get done and decisions need to be made. If you don’t do your job, the progress of the company can begin to unravel very quickly. It’s also true, however, that at some times the advice to “just relax” might be worth heeding. The real challenge comes in knowing when to relax and let things go and when you need to be proactive about taking care of a situation.
A Good Manager
As a manager you are evaluated largely by the behavior of those that you manage. If your team is producing the desired results then logic follows that you are doing your job. If they aren’t, then you’re not. The problem with this thinking is that it is not always true. Of course, a good manager should produce good results but in many cases even a well-managed group can choose not to follow the lead of the manager. (The flipside is true as well—a team can sometimes succeed even without effective management.) This is often the primary source of stress for a manager—worrying about how the decisions of employees on his or her team will reflect on his or her performance as a manager.
Knowing Your Boundaries
The key for a manager is to focus on the things that can be controlled and forget about the things that can’t. This applies to the behavior of specific employees, the outcomes of specific strategies, and any number of other factors that simply can’t be controlled. You can only do as much as possible to train and direct employees, beyond that things are out of your control. If you’ve done your job to effectively communicate procedures, motivations and protocols then you should feel good about your effort. If a situation does arise in which an employee (or the team as a whole) under your jurisdiction behaves contrary to what is expected you may face some scrutiny from your superiors. Rest assured, however, that in most cases your superiors will be able to discern where the blame lies. They have most likely been in your position before and will be able to understand what is and is not in your control. And if they can’t, well, that’s out of your control too and as the saying goes, “All worrying does is waste time.”
You will find that you are much happier and will be much more effective as a manager if you maintain focus on handling those things that are actually in your control. It is much easier said than done but the real key to stress relief as a manager is the ability to discern between what can be controlled, what can’t be controlled and then only spending your energy on the former.
About the Author
Robert Cordray is a freelance writer for noomii.com. Noomii provides career coaching
for all interested across the country. You can find great advice/tips/help for all your needs through noomii.