It’s easy to assume that stress is always a bad thing.
However, the truth is that you need some level of stress in your life. Feelings of pressure can motivate us to accomplish incredible things. According to research, stress can even support the formulation of new brain cells that prepare you to tackle the challenges in your membership organisation.
Stress becomes a problem when you don’t know how to manage it. If your feelings of anxiety and frustration are getting the best of you, then it’s difficult to thrive in your role. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a specialist, a senior membership officer, or a marketing manager. Becoming more efficient at stress management may be the key to success.
TalentSmart suggests that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in stressful times. So, how do people stay calm under pressure?
1. They Know Their Triggers
Some things will make you feel more stressed than others. If you’re an introvert, being surrounded by too many people for long periods can lead to feelings of overwhelm. Alternatively, extroverts often feel uncomfortable during times of isolation.
Knowing your specific triggers will guide you towards planning effective ways of dealing with them. For instance:
- If there’s a particular part of your role that you hate, can you speak to your employer about taking on different responsibilities?
- Are their negative people in your membership organisation that always bring down your mood and leave you feeling anxious? Is there a way you can avoid them?
- Can you cut down on caffeine? Studies show that caffeine affects our brain and our mood. Although a cup of coffee can wake you up in the morning, too much Java might leave you on edge.
2. They Reframe Their Perspective
Often, instances of stress are fueled by a skewed perception of events. For example, you might be running late on a deadline for a member presentation. Telling yourself that you’re going to destroy the business and ruin your career by being late won’t make you more productive. Instead, it’s worth taking a minute to put the situation in perspective.
If you’re thinking sweeping statements like “Nothing can work out,” then you’re falling into a pit of despair. Force yourself to consider a different point of view, and you might come up with alternative solutions to your problem. For instance, maybe someone can help you to complete your project faster? Or perhaps you can ask for an extension on the deadline?
3. They Know When to Ask for Help
Once you’ve begun to look at your situation more realistically, and you understand what you’re up against, you can create a step-by-step plan to take control of your circumstances. For some people, this simply means pivoting to a different strategy or method. For others, it may mean that it’s time to seek out support from your network.
If you’re a leader in a membership organisation, like a head of marketing or PR, then you’ll have a team of people at your disposal to help you accomplish your goals. There’s also plenty of people around you that you can turn to for guidance and support. You may even have a professional mentor who can assist you in looking at your circumstances from a different perspective.
Identify the people in your life that you can turn to when stress is getting the best of you, and make sure that you know how to seek their insight when you need it.
4. They Mentally Prepare
When you’re searching for senior leadership talent, it’s worth looking for someone with mental toughness. These are the people who look at challenges as opportunities to grow and develop, rather than letting each issue get the best of them. People with a “growth” mindset, as Dr Carol Dweck calls it, are always prepared to tackle the next hurdle on the path to success.
They know that some projects are going to be tougher than others, but they mentally prepare themselves for these tests of character. Sometimes, this means researching the situation and learning new skills when necessary. Other times, it may mean simply knowing how to pause and breathe when things feel too stressful.
Breathing deeply so that your chest and stomach fill with air slows down the panic in your brain and eliminate the pressure of the “fight or flight” panic response.
5. They Look After Themselves
Finally, successful people know that they’ll never be able to work at their best if they’re not looking after themselves. Exhausted, sickly and malnourished people rarely deliver the best results in a membership organisation. Don’t forget about the essentials like a good diet, plenty of exercise, and even moments of meditation when necessary. Something as simple as a morning run and a breakfast that’s low on carbs can calm the mind.
When you take care of your body, you place your mind in a better position to handle stress and anxiety. One of the best things you can do is to make sure that you get plenty of sleep. Sleep helps you to shuffle through the activities of the day and learn from them. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This means that you’re more likely to react negatively to situations.
The membershipbespoke group remains the only specialist recruitment organisation in the UK, which offers a dedicated service tailored to the needs of Trade Associations, Unions, Professional and Regulatory Bodies.
We use our considerable expertise in successfully recruiting for positions across every department within a membership context. To find out more call us on 0203 4403653 or email us here.