Is your leadership style causing stress?

Leaders have an impact on the stress levels and work life balance of those they lead and, depending on the style of leadership, that impact can be either positive or negative.

Autocratic or over-domineering leadership tends to breed fear, insecurity and political behaviour in an organisation. This of itself will cause increased and unnecessary stress. Even mild autocracy can result in people feeling de-motivated and unfulfilled.

Management by exception also has an impact. As a management philosophy it was designed to reduce the reporting by only concentrating on significant deviations from plan.  In practice it means that people only hear from their bosses when something is wrong. This lack of positive feedback also tends to increase background stress and de-motivation.

At the other end of the scale of leadership styles, being too consultative and not clear also has negative side effects. People end up confused, without clear direction and frustrated. 

So what are the leadership qualities and behaviours that have a positive impact, that reduce unnecessary stress and help improve motivation and consequentially work life balance?

It actually comes down to a simple fact – people are motivated, experience less stress and will give more of their best when they feel valued.

If you really value your people, make sure that you take the time to let them know, involve them in decision-making, thank them for good work, encourage them to use their initiative and support them to the hilt.  If you’re doing this already – great!  If not, you should ask yourself whether you really do value your team.

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