The role of stress in developing leaders

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Today's leaders are required to operate in a substantially more volatile, uncertain and complex world.

Seasoned leaders are sought with 20/20 foresight, but they are wanted now; there is limited patience for the traditionally lengthy programmes and processes needed to develop them.

A pioneering research project that monitored changes in leaders’ heart rates in order to analyse their responses to stress and their perceived learning under pressure may offer some direction in this search.

The Ashridge Business School/University of Reading study found that experiential learning, or simulated experiences, effectively mimics the stress of leadership, and through building leaders' 'muscle memory' can help participants to feel better prepared for future critical incidents. The study also shows that well-designed experiential learning can result in learning that lasts.

Read more on the HR Most Influential website here.

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