Leadership and Stress

Hi everyone and welcome to another session of Sylvia says.

I’m Sylvia Lafair and what I’d like to talk about today is leadership and stress.

We all feel it. We all have it in some way. Each of us is a leader. So, this is probably for everybody, but I’m really focusing right now on what happens during these times that seem to just keep the roller coaster going, and every time it looks like some situation is handled, and you begin to take a deep breath. It starts again.

Well, we don’t know. We can’t predict where things are headed. We know we’re in a time of change and most of us kind of pull back from change but what I want to talk about is very basic stuff. When stress hits the hot button bingo. We all tend to react with certain types of patterns that we learned early in our lives, and we need to go back and really look at that right now.

So, whether you scream it out or stuff it down, stress hitting the hot button is really critical and where does it start? Well, I in all the work I’ve done over the years, I’ve come up with three places that are foundational, that we have to look at family culture and crises. So, family and family as a little kid, we learned how to look at things around, gossip and backbiting and the gotcha game. All of us, either in our family of origin or in our larger family or in the neighborhood or if we were raised in foster care that was still the concept of a family, but as a little kid, we looked around and we learned all about the basic ways that we behave, and then we grow up and we go into a work situation. We have a grown up family that we live with. We do very, very important things around. How do we handle conflict? What do we do when the stress is the hot button?

So, I’d like you to go back, and look what did you learn in your family. How did you learn How to handle stress? Where you sent to your room? Where you listen to? Where their family meetings? How was stress handled? Did your father handle it by being macho and strong? Did your mother handle it by going in the other room and maybe crying? I don’t want a stereotype, but these things have been around for a long time. So, go back and really look that one too.

Culture, we create definite norms in our culture. In how we behave. I mean, some is good. Some of it is good. You’re driving a car. Red light means stop. A green light means go, and it makes things flow easier if you can follow some rules. Some of the rules we’ve had are old and need to go away. About how women were trained and taught to behave and how men were trained and taught to behave. We’re in a time of such exciting evolutionary change. If you can see past the hurt and pain and fear of the day. So, culture, what have you learned in your culture about how to handle stress? What do you do when things don’t go your way? I’d like you to think about it and start journaling this on.

The third has to do with crises and a crisis is something that happens. It comes at you fast you don’t expect it and you inhale and forget to exhale. I call it hardening of the emotions. When we breathe in and we freeze, we don’t know how to react. So, there are many techniques and tools that are available to help with that but what I’d like you to do as a leader in times of stress is, begin to track back my Stress Buster’s program. It will be out in a week, and I really think it would be something that you can really grab onto to see about how to change. If you don’t like the way you handle stress. If you either scream it out or shut it down. Either way, doesn’t work. We want you in that. It’ll save stress.

So, have an excellent rest of the day. Pay attention. Get it observation of your behavior when stress hits the hot button, and as leaders we need to learn how to navigate and handle it.

So, we become models for others and they can handle it better

Thank you so much and I’ll talk to you soon.

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Sylvia Lafair