[YS Learn] Here’s how leaders can manage their own stress in times of crisis

While it is important for leaders to manage the stress of their team members, it is also imperative that they manage their own stress for improved productivity, says Sarbvir Singh, CEO of PolicyBazaar.

“You definitely should take your work seriously, but you also should take the rest of your life seriously,” says Sarbvir Singh, CEO of PolicyBazaar in a masterclass with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory

The entrepreneur advises leaders to spend time with their families and also focus on their personal lives. 

Finding a balance

Balance is extremely important, says Sarbvir. “It isn’t about how many hours you work, but what is the output. All of us do what we have to do but there is no need to prove anything by setting up 10 pm calls. You need to focus on doing what is required. Be available to the team. Keep it real. Let them also be and do things with their families as well,” he adds. 

This, says the CEO, happens only when you value your own personal life. Sarbvir uses Volvo as an example. In summers the Swedish manufacturing company works four days in a week, and yet produces great vehicles and large numbers. Hence, the output should matter more than the input. 

“Sometimes, we over focus on the amount of hours instead of the output,” he adds.  Sarbvir says one needs to take personal time and step away — even while working from home. 

Build connection and a support system

It is important to connect with people on a human level. Sarbvir says that at PolicyBazaar, the team works on different initiatives and reward mechanisms.  There are live events online and conversations that help keep the team motivated and engaged.

He advises that one should take time to focus on exercising, and giving themselves a mental and physical break. 

It is also important to build a support system outside work — friends and family. Sometimes, it can also help to find that one person at work who you can be friends with. Work towards building a trusted network of family, friends, and colleagues. 

Even while being available for your team, managers need to set boundaries. Everyone, including managers, is working from home, and many may feel that the boundaries are diminishing. 

Hence, it makes sense to set boundaries, timetables, and be realistic about what you can do. When you are real with yourself, you can do so with others. 

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta