How to Unleash the New HR: Healing and Renewal
“Lead people and manage energy by activating care, compassion, hope and mindfulness.” – Johann Gauthier (Tweet This)
The world is changing at a fast pace. Your leaders are used to being exposed to VUCA.
Everyone in your organization excels at delivering consistent high-quality products and services.
Stress and pressure to perform are high. Resources are limited and leaders manage the pace of work through constant short-term deadlines. Managers and employees are expected to collaborate and be agile and nimble.
A culture of high performance sets in supported by an increasingly diverse workforce. The ability to quickly achieve high-quality work is recognized and valued. High achievers are eager to get things done and many are promoted within managerial roles on the basis of their successes. As the months go by, the work atmosphere slowly deteriorates as more and more people get sick.
For the ones that show up at work every day, it’s business as usual. There’s work to be done, although some employees see their workload increase.
The organizational culture values performance and productivity. Some employees feel exhausted and tired, but largely keep their stories to themselves. In group meetings, people laugh and smile. In larger gatherings, there is some fake lightness in the air.
Healing and renewal
“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you” (Peter Drucker)
Great leaders create a space for their employees to constantly renew themselves. What gets valued: work well done and tending to people’s needs.
No leader can thrive in a working environment where there is a daily dose of high stress and pressure and little tending to personal and group emotional needs. People can be mobilized through fast-paced work and clear direction. But consider people’s emotional investment more closely.
Fast-pace work and a culture of doing neglects people’s personal space and the time needed to renew themselves. There is ample evidence from research on resonant leadership supporting this assertion.
Leaders tending to people’s needs tune into people’s state of mind, heart and body. They don’t focus on getting the job done while neglecting the impact of such pace of work on people’s health.
But there lies a key challenge of our modern society and workplaces. Performance and productivity are highly valued and people often get promoted because they’re highly performing.
So we’re taught in our families, at school and in college to be successful and to do what is needed to get the job done; leaving little room to complain or express how we feel.
When going through life, and getting to work, we are taught to leave part of our humanity behind us for fear of being judged. Some employers fail to recognize the emotional costs of not allowing their employees to fully be themselves; often resulting in unexpressed feelings and rising frustration and exhaustion.
A major cause of derailment for leaders is their inability to mobilize people through emotions or achieve results by tending to people’s emotional needs. Promoting leaders based on technical ability typically leads to failure of building high-quality connections at work. Because people won’t follow leaders that don’t inspire them to powerfully collaborate.
Managing emotions, achieving better results
The better organizations lead change by managing emotions and by creating high-quality connections founded on enthusiasm and passion.
Leading change, therefore, starts within. The better leaders are able to tune into their state of mind, heart and body. They are also supported in renewing themselves during work hours and outside of work.
A very easy and effective way to raise our self-awareness is to schedule three 5-minute stops during each workday. During each stop, engage in a sitting practice and focus on your breathing. Notice your thoughts and how you feel.
When activating worries, we mostly occupy a space in our heads, which is disconnecting us from the wisdom of our hearts and body. Tending to your self-care and self-compassion creates a space for possibilities to emerge.
Certain jobs naturally come with high levels of stress and pressure. But leaders displaying compassion and empathy create resonance and contribute to augmenting team care and resilience. In a way, resonant leaders help people slow down. When slowing down, we are able to renew ourselves and generate faster forward momentum.
I urge you to simply notice how you and other leaders are showing up at work. Notice where the energy is going and take care of yourselves. Life is precious, so are you.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.