A recent study showed 57 percent of employees quit because of their boss. Another 14 percent have left multiple jobs because of their managers and an additional 32 percent have seriously considered leaving because of their manager. “This suggests companies could be looking in the wrong place as they search for opportunities to attract, retain and grow talent,” says Carina Parisella, Workforce Tribe Leader at ANZ.
Parisella cites a Google study, Project Aristotle, on building the perfect team that proved human bonds matter as much at work as anywhere else. “The behaviors that create psychological safety — conversational turn-taking and empathy — are part of the same unwritten rules we often turn to as individuals when we need to establish a bond,” the study found. “And those human bonds matter as much at work as anywhere else. In fact, they sometimes matter more.”
While some may think an empathic, approachable leader cannot be strong and bold, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in her book Leading With Empathy, emphasizes her desire to lead with kindness: “I think one of the sad things that I’ve seen in political leadership is – because we’ve placed over time so much emphasis on notions of assertiveness and strength – that we probably have assumed that it means you can’t have those other qualities of kindness and empathy. And yet, when you think about all the big challenges that we face in the world, that’s probably the quality we need the most.”
The same holds true for business leaders. “Work is a big part of our lives [and] being happy and whole at work means I am truly living”, says Parisella. “If you can spread a bit of kindness and joy at work, then do it – the evidence tells us that performance and productivity will only increase.”
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Do you try to avoid arguing with your partner? If so you are hardly alone. Many couples go out of their way to avoid quarrels. But Janice Webb, PhD., a therapist writing in Psychology Today shares research suggesting that this avoidance can be a self-defeating strategy. “Suppressed feelings of frustration, annoyance, anger, or hurt may build up enough to cause a major eruption or lie under the surface for decades, driving a couple farther and farther apart.”
Webb compares healthy arguing to a bolt of lightning: “Just like lightning crystallizes the electric charge and clears it from the air during a storm, fights can calm relationships by crystallizing and clearing the negative emotion between the partners.”
There is a natural cycle that characterizes a healthy relationship, says the author: harmony (which cannot last forever) rupture (the challenging part), and repair. The repair process strengthens a relationship in three ways:
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For a leader who wants to inspire, few things are more important than communicating with employees in a positive way. Writing in Inc., Marcel Schwantes, founder and Chief Human officer of Leadership From the Core, says “there are certain undeniable phrases that, if we use them more often with team members, will result in an increase in trust and loyalty.”
Schwantes offers five examples of what great leaders will genuinely put into words to engage minds and hearts:
When was the last time you used one of these phrases, or heard your manager use one? What was the impact? To join the conversation, click "comments" above (just below the picture). We would really to hear your feedback.
During conflict, it’s typical to move into a “flight or fight response.” Our brain is ‘hijacked’ by our amygdala, seat of fear and anxiety, and we may lose access to rational thinking. Our face may redden and our speech quicken — and because of “mirror neurons” the person to whom we are speaking may become agitated as well. However, writing in the Harvard Business Review, Amy Gallo, author of The HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, says, “It’s possible to interrupt this physical response, manage your emotions, and clear the way for a productive discussion.”
Here are some tips for calming yourself down once you’ve gotten worked up:
How did you handle the last conversation you had when you were “worked up” and what do you wish you might have done differently? To join the conversation, click "comments" above (just below the picture). We would really like to hear your feedback.
Remote workforces present unique challenges. So leaders must be more intentional than ever in promoting engagement and the productivity that increases as a result.
Managing a fully remote company, Lou Elliott-Cysewski, co-founder and CEO of Coolperx, a net climate-neutral merchandising company, shares the lessons she has learned in Inc.:
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