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The Hidden Cost of Worry

Navigating Leadership Stressors for Better Outcomes

· Leadership

Often, the toll of worry in the workplace isn't sufficiently recognized until it's too late, and the impact is felt on the leader and their team.

Worrying can drain energy, detract focus, and damage relationships - costs that can undermine your potential as a leader.

First, let's consider the personal costs. Worry can cause a slew of physical health issues including insomnia, heart problems, and impaired immune functioning.

On the mental health front, chronic worry can lead to burnout, depression, and other serious conditions.

It's also a major drain on cognitive resources, compromising your ability to concentrate, make decisions, and solve problems. 

Moving beyond the personal, worry affects the environment you create for your teams. Leaders who are visibly stressed can inadvertently foster a culture of worrying, making employees more likely to feel stressed themselves.

This emotional contagion can lead to lowered morale, decreased productivity, and increased staff turnover.

Moreover, if leaders are preoccupied with their worries, they may not be as responsive or empathetic to their team's needs, which can erode trust and damage relationships.

Then there are the strategic costs. Leaders who worry excessively often fall into the trap of over-controlling or micromanaging. They might struggle to delegate, stifle innovation, and hinder their team's development.

The constant anticipation of worst-case scenarios can also lead to risk aversion, potentially missing opportunities for growth and innovation.

In the Hot Seat today is a leader faced with impending layoffs for his team and the challenges that his worrying is costing him and his team. Learn the strategies he is using to overcome his worrying.

Who’s in the Hot Seat?

Coaching Client

Chris is the Chief Creative Officer at a prominent entertainment studio. In his role, he oversees the creative direction and strategic planning for a vast array of projects across film, television, and digital platforms. Chris supervises an eclectic team of writers, producers, directors, and artists.

Coaching Challenge

Due to a recent downturn in the industry, his company is facing the unenviable task of layoffs. The anticipation of these impending job losses is causing Chris immense worry. As a leader who has always prized his close-knit creative team, the prospect of letting valued team members go is weighing heavily on his conscience. At the same time, he is tasked with maintaining the studio's creative output and morale during these challenging times - a responsibility that only compounds his stress.

How to Manage Worry

During his coaching sessions, Chris is learning to better manage his worrying by focusing on the following strategies:

Recognizing the signs: Chris focused first on understanding his emotional and physiological responses to stress. Now that he knows the signs, he is ready to proactively manage his responses.

Practicing mindfulness: Chris is incorporating mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques into his daily routine to manage his worrying. Meditation and yoga are helping him to reduce stress and improve his clarity.

Fostering a positive culture: Chris is making a conscious effort to create an open, trusting, and positive culture. He is showing his team that it is okay to voice their concerns, with the expectation of receiving an empathetic and undistracted ear from him.

Seeking support: Chris is utilizing his own safe spaces to express his concerns, gain perspective, and strategize solutions. He continues to go to Executive Coaching and has reached out to a small circle of trusted friends and advisers for added support.

Maintaining balance: Chris takes time for relaxation, hobbies, and his family. He is maintaining good physical health, through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. He also received helpful strategies from a sleep specialist.

Developing resilient thinking: Chris is challenging himself to see the current challenges as opportunities, and is focusing on what he can control. He is viewing the stressful situation in a more balanced and less catastrophic light.

Chris learned that his goal is not to completely eliminate worry - that it can serve as a valuable signal that he needs to pay attention to something. He set the goal for worry to not to get in the way of his effectiveness and well-being.

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About Founder & Executive Coach Phyllis Reagin

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Introducing Phyllis, your go-to expert in leadership development and personal growth! With over two decades of experience in leadership development and a background in Psychology and Neuropsychology, Phyllis has the knowledge and skills to take your leadership skills to the next level.

As the founder of At the Coach's Table, a highly regarded leadership and team-building company, Phyllis has coached thousands of trailblazers to success in some of the biggest names in the entertainment and media industry, including ABC, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and ViacomCBS.

Phyllis and her team provide comprehensive services, including Executive Coaching, Leadership Development consulting, and facilitating leadership and team workshops, and leadership and company off-sites. With Phyllis as your coach, you'll benefit from her leadership experience with a major entertainment studio and deep knowledge of effective leadership practices.

Whether you're looking to develop your own leadership skills or build a stronger, more effective team, Phyllis has the expertise and proven track record to help you succeed.

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