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How to Manage Stress & Reduce Burnout as a Manager: Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Being a manager carries great responsibility, and with responsibilities comes great stress. So, I sat with the Marketing Manager of a global interior design company to discuss stress management and reducing burnout.

Stress management

Managers are a bridge between the top management and the employees completing tasks and operations whilst having duties of their own. As managers, keeping the employees happy and motivated to achieve the organizational goals and to report to the top management about the performance on strategic goals, can take a toll on the best of them.

On the subject of handling stress, I sat with Mr. Suleiman Kabbani, Marketing Manager at Algedra Interior Design, a global player in luxury interior decoration.

Thank you so much for taking the time out from your busy schedule, it’s a pleasure talking to you!   

Thanks for having me.

So, how’s everything?

Everything is good, the company is doing good. We’re operating in more markets than before, the work we are doing is the best in the market, so everything is great.

Dealing in a single market is tough, let alone multiple markets. Considering the competitiveness in the interior design industry, this all must be very exhaustive.

Yes, it is a very competitive market, with lots of established players and frequent new entrants. You have to be at your best to survive and thrive, I think it’s the same in any other industry.

On exhaustion, it’s very challenging to operate in multiple markets. Each market has its own challenges, with different customer needs, competitiveness and conditions. 

Plus, you have to maintain a diversified workforce suitable for each local market. This comes with the benefits and challenges of its own.

Yes, it can be very tiring to manage all of this and to ensure that you are achieving your goals.

By the sound of it, your work seems to entail a lot of stress.

Yes, absolutely! Especially when you are not achieving your goals or if the competition is getting ahead.

So, how do you manage stress?

Stress is a part and parcel of life, it cannot be totally avoided. 

I have found planning ahead useful in managing stress. Before starting the day, I make a plan and allot time, based on the priority of tasks or goals. For e.g., 9 – 10 am is for checking emails, 10 – 11 am for internal meetings and so on. Planning can be done for the day, a full week or the entire month.

Interesting, by planning for the day or week, you are reducing uncertainty, thus stress.

Exactly, because of planning ahead, I know what I will be doing on any given day or week. This also allows me to set aside time for things or events which are not in the plan and require urgent attention.

Any tips, you would like to give to other managers out there reading this to manage stress in their jobs?

Other than planning ahead, trusting in people is very important. No need to be too nosey after initial monitoring, this will make your life and those of your sub-ordinates easy. This also leads to a high motivation level, as there is a lot of room for your juniors to test, learn and grow.  

A good, healthy lifestyle is also very important to reduce burnouts. Eat good, exercise and give time to your loved ones; remember we are not machines.

One last thing is to identify what leads to stress in your work, some call it ‘stress triggers’. If you know what is causing you to be in stress then you can work on it, there’s nothing that cannot be done if you try to do it diligently.

Thank you so much for your time, this was very insightful.

I’m glad that I was of help. Thanks.

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