Last week, Michelle McQuaid and her colleagues at The Wellbeing Lab released their latest community report, providing insights on how communities can increase the wellbeing of their members. The data confirmed that leaders have a big influence on the wellbeing of those who they lead. The interesting aspect was that the impact was actually greater on the leader themselves. There are two actions you, as a leader, can take on right away.
Taking lemons and making lemonade
The report showed that leaders who have the ability to see a positive potential outcome from a challenging situation have a positive impact on their team’s own perception of their wellbeing. This makes sense as possibility-thinking enhances efficacy – the belief that our effort makes a difference – and increases certainty in potentially uncertain times. So, as a leader, remember your words and action matter. If you reinforce the challenge of the situation, instead of the opportunities and possibilities, your words can lead to helplessness. Instead, not only focus on the possibilities, but encourage your entire team to look for possibilities, as well. One key method is to leverage success from the past, when the team overcame previous challenging situations.
If you want your team to care, care for your team
The study went on to show that, as a leader, when you express appreciation and care for your team members not only does that have a positive impact on their wellbeing, but their level of commitment and job satisfaction also improves. When you balance the task with relationships and treat your team with dignity and respect, it creates a culture of psychological safety that enables your team to flourish. The best part of this leadership focus is that the more you express gratitude and caring for your team members, the better your own wellbeing. In fact, the report showed that the leader actually benefits more than the team members.
So, as you Nurture Growth in your team through encouraging and providing possibility thinking, as well as expressing gratitude and that you care, not only are you positively impacting their wellbeing and performance, but you are also benefiting yourself.