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From investing time and money to having the final word on all major decisions, running a business is no easy task.

Life as a business leader can be intense. No matter how organised an individual is, how much they prepare, and how much effort they place into their role, plans go wrong, people let you down and the unexpected is bound to happen.

This invariably has an impact on an individual’s emotions. After all, CEOs and managers are not robots, and they too will have good days and bad days. Left unchecked, trudging ahead in an emotional state can lead to rushed and reactionary decisions, that can often hinder a business’ operations.

There is a direct link between a business leader’s mental state and the performance of a business, and their ability to manage their feelings will have an impact.

While there are some who are naturally calm, there are many who have to keep their emotions under control. Here are five ways business leaders can do so effectively without having a negative effect on their company.

1) Tackle stress before addressing problems

Whenever we are faced with adversity, our initial instinct is to tackle the problem, seeking relief.

However, when one is stressed out, their brain function is impaired, leading to decisions that either fail to efficiently resolve the situation, or make it worse.

Certain decisions may need to be taken urgently, but business leaders have to find ways to calm down first to avoid make rash choices. They need to clear their head first and take a moment to reset themselves. One has to avoid acting until they are calm.

2) Focus on the present

Planning for the future is an essential element of running a business, as a long-term plan has to be in place to operate sustainably.

Despite this, business leaders still have to prioritise the present, as a lot can happen from one day to the next, making it difficult to predict the future.

The present is the time where business leaders have the most control, so the problems in front of them have to be tackled first. Time should be dedicated to focusing on the future, yet first and foremost, it is all about getting through today, and then doing it again tomorrow.

3) Plan things out in writing

Business leaders are constantly generating new ideas and ways to go about running their business.

Therefore, it is vital for them to take note of their ideas in order to visualise everything more clearly, allowing them to see what works for the business and what doesn’t.

Ideas and problems are easier to manage on paper, either in the form of diagrams, bullet points or checklists. Journal entries also present business leaders with a chance to note down their concerns, possible solutions, and conclusions.

4) Be careful of optimism

Negativity can be destructive within a business, but so can positivity.

Basing decisions solely on hope and optimism is not an effective way to run a business.

Faith will not reduce a company’s expenses, nor will it bring in more customers, but having an objective understanding of what is happening will.

Having a clear understanding of the business is much more beneficial than approaching things completely positively or negatively. Decisions have to be grounded on data and research, not on feeling optimistic that things will change for the better.

5) Reach out for outside feedback

Seeking assistance from other people who are not as emotionally invested in the situation can be instrumental for business leaders.

Emotions can blind business leaders from seeing things clearly, and thus, the perspective of someone from outside of the business, whether a qualified consultant or advisor, or a close friend or family member, can be helpful to have a better understanding of issues or opportunities one might have missed.


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