Reduce Stress with Leadership Rhythm: An Emerging Leaders Episode
When we are in a support role as individual contributors, we all experience stress at a certain level. We need to accomplish, work through, and overcome any number of tasks throughout our days and weeks. Those stressors are real and extremely impactful in our lives, primarily because we have little control over what we are being asked to do by those who lead us. We are asked to do something, so we do it. Whether we want to or not.
Something changes, however, when we become emerging leaders, those who take their first steps as a supervisor of others. Many decisions become our own, resulting in those decisions creating our own stress… and the stress of others. These stressors can be rooted in our own professional Knowledge Gaps, where inexperience rears its ugly head. This inexperience drives fear and caution, often leaving us spinning in a whirlwind of confusion and lost direction. We see and feel it each time we face a new unknown obstacle; believe me, our teams also see and feel it.
Remember that chaos drives stress. You need to be predictable around the things that matter. Creating intentional methods around your highest 3-5 expectations, where you communicate, measure, and post results in a regular cadence demonstrates to your team what you have set as the most important parts of the business and their roles. Establish your rhythm for weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly timeframes. Plan it out and communicate it to your team. What you say matters, but what you do matters even more. And that is even true when you don’t say or do anything. Your team is looking to you for consistency they can count on… so be predictable!
So what do we do? Certainly, with competence comes confidence, so gaining experience over time will help, but what can we do now to reduce stress while gaining that competence?
I suggest leveraging the power of establishing a clear Leadership Rhythm, one that you can lean on to guide your days and weeks and one your team can confidently count on seeing displayed through your actions.
Here are some steps that we recommend following to create a clear Leadership Rhythm:
Create a predictable development process for your team. Your team should know how you will help them learn and grow. Creating a teaching organization through a formalized, structured process shows that you believe in them and want them to excel.
Create predictable communication methods for your team. Your team should know when, how, and what will be communicated. Meetings, conference calls, or Zoom video calls should be formalized with clear agendas. They should know you are focused on setting expectations, answering questions, and discussing concerns. Clarity of communication is a top method for preventing or relieving stress.
Create a predictable analysis process for your team. Your team should know that you look at their results and analyze the behaviors they exhibited to drive those data points. This cadence should be done weekly without exception. Your weekly analysis will also create insight into monthly, quarterly, and yearly reviews. Your team should be able to easily access and reference a scorecard that displays the results they created.
Create a predictable recognition process for your team. From your regular analysis, recognition opportunities will present themselves. The team should know that their hard work and engagement will be rewarded. A formalized process for celebrating your team helps create momentum around top behaviors and helps to drive retention.
Create a predictable coaching process for your team. The team should also know that any less-than-expected behaviors will be coached. Their stumbles should be immediately caught and corrected to prevent them from repeating, improving performance quickly. This also demonstrates to those performing at the higher levels that you have one standard, excellence.
There are many benefits to establishing a clear Leadership Rhythm. Consistency, time management, and an established, observable cadence are some. It also reduces stress in your team and yourself by building a process of uniformity that everyone can learn, practice, and leverage. In this consistent lifestyle will come confidence, competence, and an overall rhythm of success.
*Also, listen to our full discussion on this topic on our podcast. https://www.gapology.org/podcast