In a recent Discovery Event, participants discovered how being in a powerful position influences stress and behaviors in the workplace. While power reduces stress, a perceived threat to this power can have the opposite effect. This, in turn, can affect risk preferences, power sharing and how you inspire and motivate your team. Participants learned a few simple tools to identify stress triggers and manage their stress and energy levels to continue to lead effectively, even in challenging times.
Stress is recognized worldwide as a major challenge to workers’ health and well-being. In times of turbulence and uncertainty, this burden can be even more difficult to carry. Breaking the habitual responses to stress is not easy (and coffee or energy drinks are not much help!). However, a better understanding of how to protect yourself against the negative effects of stress is critical not only for yourself but also for your team. As we are going to discover, power and stress might be negatively affecting your behavior at work and, thus, your leadership.
What is power?
A common definition of power is the capacity to influence your environment and take decisions. From a broader perspective, power is measured as your control over valued outcomes or resources. As illustrated in Figure 1, power can be endowed by others (through networks, reputation, allies, etc.) or it can come from your expertise, your ability to punish and reward, your charisma.