The impact of poor mental health on the workforce is significant and demonstrable. This year the World Economic Forum suggested that mental illness has a greater impact on economic output than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Leaders understand the importance of building a workplace that supports the mental health of its people.
When leaders can develop their own ‘presence’, and are able to communicate openly and clearly in a way that inspires others, they can better understand the emotional dimension of a business situation and how it impacts people on a personal level.
The competencies of Mental Toughness that leaders can start to develop today, include:
Self-Knowing: the ability to recognise how feelings and emotions impact on our opinions and decisions. Cultivating your emotional skills of self-knowing will help you to find the courage to act with authority and manage the attention flow in the business.
Self-Control: the ability to interrupt a knee-jerk reaction to think more rationally and broadly about possible outcomes in a calm and considered manner.
Self-Confidence: the ability to respect yourself and communicate the value you bring to others without manipulating them. Back your judgement and act with self-confidence to provide reassurance, maintain morale and author a powerful and influential leadership brand.
Self-Reliance: the ability to be independent and take the initiative, rising above your circumstances to plan and make decisions, and execute on them. When you can demonstrate self-reliance, you can take personal responsibility for decision-making.
Empathy: the ability to understand the thoughts of others and communicate that awareness of their feelings in a caring and authentic way. Foster trust by encouraging people to pay attention to their emotions and beliefs during this difficult period.
Relationship Skills: the ability to adapt a response to meet a person’s individual needs and gain their support. Provide opportunity for people to make choices and back their judgment.
Straightforwardness: the ability to deliver difficult messages openly and in a way that builds trust.
Optimism: the ability to see possibilities past the horizon and develop resilience in the face of setbacks. Cultivating optimism will help support a positive mood and encourage a broader more strategic perspective, along with maintaining resilience and morale.
Self-actualisation: the ability to find energy within to maintain a balance between work, personal and financial demands while gaining satisfaction from all you have achieved.
Adaptability: the ability to adapt thoughts, feelings and actions in response to changing circumstances. Maintaining adaptability will ensure a receptive mindset that fosters agile decision-making.
As a leader, every relationship you have in and around your business can be viewed as an asset and an investment. To build emotional wealth, leaders should begin by treating their people as investors because that is what they are – intellectual and emotional investors. Every day they bring their heads and hearts to work. And if they don’t… if they’re distracted by emotional ill health or lack of engagement… the business is likely unsustainable.
By contrast, according to research published by Forbes, organisations with an engaged workforce experience a 41% reduction in absenteeism, have 59% less staff turnover, are 21% more productive and 89% of employees are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work.
Protect your most valuable resources – your people.
Cultivate your relationship skills and demonstrate care and respect for each of your people.
Promote positive emotions by addressing people’s fundamental need for affiliation, involvement, recognition and accomplishment.
Treat people as partners in the business and create rewarding wins for them.
Demonstrate empathy by taking the time to gather a sense of what people may be feeling and experiencing, and show understandingDeploy Empathy to establish trust and create personal brand value and goodwill that leads to loyalty and greater discretionary effort to achieve business goals. Your capacity for empathy is most fundamental. A leader’s capacity for seeing or experiencing another’s situation from their perspective enables them to grasp the emotional dimension of a business situation.
Create opportunity for individuals and groups to contribute to defining and shaping a response to a task
Extra pressures call for extra support. Of course, traditional workplaces have always had the potential to be stressful places. But the global crisis and the shift to working from home has massively accelerated the process of change, as well as accentuated the blurred lines between professional and personal life.
Organisations are under pressure to ensure that their people have the resources they need to manage the increasing personal demands that their professional roles make on them.
For more information on Developing Mental Toughness for you and your team, contact [email protected]