Tips on managing anger and stress for satisfying relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Are you balancing the positive and negative features of being an entrepreneur?
Research published in the Journal of Business Venturing suggests that entrepreneurs have a Type A personality and share certain characteristics which have both positive and negative features.
Preference for autonomy
Enjoy risk Taking
Low Need for Support
Discomfort with uncertainty
Self-blame and criticism
The negative features are usually out of immediate awareness, get pushed away and the result is STRESS .
Assuming many roles creates ambiguity leading to stress
Type A personality stress is rampant in entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. The most common source of stress that entrepreneurs face is role stress.
The many different roles that you take on and manage simultaneously are not always compatible with one another and require different skills, pacing and levels of creativity versus structured thought and planning.
You are faced with many competing demands.
Competing demands set up conflicts that aren’t speedily or easily resolved.
Unresolved conflicts creates an intolerance for ambiguity.
Intolerance for ambiguity leads to stress.
Stress robs you of being an effective entrepreneur
Left unacknowledged, stress will
1. reduce attention and focus on specific problems and tasks.
2. cloud your judgment.
3. interfere with your memory.
4. compromise your immune system.
5. make you less effective at the multitude of tasks an entrepreneur does on a daily basis.
Are you getting the balance right between effort and reward?
In January 2010 the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine distinguished between four elements of type A personalities, of which only one protected against stress.
Four elements of Type A personalities
Extra energy fueling an eagerness to succeed
Hard-driving attitude, aggressiveness and having endless energy born from an eagerness to succeed all led to stress. That is because these factors led to an imbalance of effort and reward.
What is the best type A personality antidote to stress?
The one factor that protected against stress was LEADERSHIP. The protective factor in leadership is that there is a sense of managing the ratio of effort you put in to the rewards you reap. It isn’t just putting in the time, energy and eagerness, but carving out a sense of control using leadership strategies.
HOW TO USE LEADERSHIP TO MANAGE STRESS
1. Create a daily plan of activities in blocks of two to three hours for a single project.
Benefit: Leaders make operational, strategic and visionary decisions. You are in charge of your agenda and time.
2.Prioritize in a flexible manner and be open to switching the items around.
Benefit: leaders see the big picture and amend plans as necessary. You can stay on task but respond to immediate needs such as delays out of your control, customer complaints, software malfunctions, merchandise flaws, order deadlines etc.
3. Break large goals into bite size pieces.
Benefit: leaders judge success in a step-wise direction. Every step is a positive move towards the ultimate goal. The completion of each step allows for review, adaptation and improvement.
4. Focus on one bite at a time per project.
Benefit: leaders have an order and method that provides the foundation for goal achievement. Each stage of the process merits focused attention without distraction, while keeping the final outcome in mind. Rewards are evident all along the way, while creativity and new information influence the pathway towards the goal. Evolution drives the engine, powering the effort with novelty, stimulation and a sense of risk taking that entrepreneurs enjoy.
5.Have a list of contingencies prepared for unpredictable circumstances.
Benefit: leaders are prepared for many outcomes and create strategies for dealing with obstacles toward the desired result. You can act immediately to take care of an emergency without having to think, plan and organize at this critical juncture. Energy and focus remain on the essential parts of the job rather than get used up in wasteful activities that create stress.