The stakes are high, the pressures are intense. People are maxing out their energy, everyone is feeling the heat and tempers are starting to flare. Stress is starting to get the better of you and your people.

But you know things won’t be pretty if the situation continues this way. What can you do?

Start with You

When you are fuming, you are not likely to inspire or motivate anyone. So let’s first look at how you deal with pressure yourself. Do you take the time (and exercise your responsibility as the leader) to renew yourself, take better care of yourself, and enhance your own capacity to deal with stress and control your own emotions?

Take time for breaks, self-reflection, exercise, sleep, deep-breathe. They are known to help with your ability to maintain composure during stressful times.

Work with Everyone

Have an open conversation about how everyone is dealing with the pressures. Acknowledging that there is a problem to be dealt with proactively, is a itself a good pressure release.

Empahsise the importance of supporting others in being accountable, ask how everyone can contribute towards working smarter as a team, and leave blame out of the discussion.

Connect the Team

Talk about how each individual contributes to the whole. Connect them with why they are doing what they are doing, and how their efforts matter to others, be it to the client, the company, the society or even the community.

This helps set a positive and motivating tone to inspire the team to work through good times and the bad.

Throw some Surprises

Doing things out of the norm can generate pleasant surprises when everyone’s grinding it out day-in, day-out. Call in a masseuse to do shoulder massages, get the team out for a spontaneous lunch session outside, or set up a play corner with Lego. Then watch the stresses melt away.