J: Welcome to this episode of Shotcast, a bite-sized podcast that will feel like an espresso shot to your brain. I’m Jackie.
C: And I’m Courtney.
J: Something we’ve been thinking about is mental health. Everyone’s thinking about mental health these days but we’re specifically thinking about managers’ impact on the mental health of employees.
C: Yep, I wish people could see my face. It probably says more about this topic than anything.
J: Let me describe Courtney’s expression. It looks a little exhausted, is that what I’m picking up there?
C: Yes, I think it’s exhaustion.
J: Well, we need to talk to your manager.
J: We need to let our audience know that Courtney has no manager.
C: I’m the boss of me.
J: She is the boss of her so no wonder she’s exhausted. So Courtney, I know you read some stats lately about the impact of managers on the mental health of employees. You want to share those to kind of get the audience thinking about what we’re thinking about.
C: Yeah I didn’t write anything down, I thought you had the stats. Ok, the biggest… okay sweet there are quite a few articles floating around but when we took a look at and data a lot of interesting data they asked employees how do they feel about the managers and what’s your rate. The data is staggering. Your manager has more impact on how you feel on a daily basis than your spouse, than your therapist. They have a very big impact on these people that you would think play a critical role in your energy. It’s really about who you work for. And then the thing that makes my tired face, the data also says that the managers are struggling. Like 40% of c-suite Executives don’t expect to be able to take their job for like another year. This tapped out the data is aligned with what it feels like. We see people sort of overworked, over stressed and now that when they ask and actually pull and have data support it. I don’t think anyone looks at that is shocked, but it’s hard to look at just the same.
J: This is a situation of you know everybody is feeling stressed, so it’s not easy just to say well you know we got to look at managers and ask them to take care of their employees differently. Because they’re suffering too. One of the things that you know we’ve been thinking about is how do we help managers so not only can they serve employees better but also how does an approach to management, how can we help managers themselves to take a different approach to their job so they can increase their own well-being?
C: That’s where you have to help and think about helping. That’s the other thing that came out in the research is that they are struggling and they want their leader to do more. That is a fair expectation, right? I want my leader to help. But when the leader is struggling, the leader is also tired, the leader is also maybe not dealing with the full capacity they had about the joy of their job or the opportunities to have an impact and make a difference. All the stuff that makes it work great they don’t get to touch. How do we help if when you think about what you just said Jack about helping the leaders that’s where it’s got to go? They have an exponential impact. They have 10 people, 12, 8, 4 depending on your structure right depending on them, and looking for them to help. And it’s not an unfair expectation for employees to want more from their leader but the reality is the leader might not have a lot to give. Part of what employees are saying is I want help with what I actually need, not what you think I need. The feedback comes back in our language that they’re not being curious enough, and they’re not being empathetic. They don’t understand me. They don’t want to get to know me. They just assume that I need certain things and they’re not what I actually need so the need for curiosity for connection for conversation is really really important.
J: Absolutely one of the things that we teach when we talk to leaders is this idea of stepping back. As you just listen to those words and we, of course, talk a lot about what that means and we’ll just mention some of those things here you’ve already you know mentioned some of those things already Courtney. But stepping back, it just gives us you know the impression of just you know releasing a little bit of that you know that exhaustion that that stress. To us stepping back means – stop adding so much value. Leaders feel so much pressure to have all of the answers.
You know it involves obvious things like more delegating. We delegate things but then we do this thing we are saying around here is help is the sunny side of control. You delegate something but then you’re checking on it constantly and you tell yourself a story that you’re helping but what you’re really trying to do is to maintain control. So one of the biggest jobs for leaders to break this situation is to get really honest and serious about the act of stepping back. That’s when you find space for humility, which is just not thinking of yourself so often or just let some of that go. You don’t have to process everything through. What does this mean to me how do I answer this how does it how do I look good in this situation of just letting some of those thoughts you know sort of release them let them flow through and release them and turn your attention to your employees and think about them and this is where empathy then comes. A specific form of curiosity is empathy, which is thinking about other people what are they thinking and feeling and then just believing in others.
C: There is actually something very counterintuitive and disappointing when you realize that you’re working in an environment that is making you tired, wearing you out you’re overwhelmed you’re stressed out and it’s because of how like you’re creating that. By holding on to control having to have all the answers, believing you’re the only one that can do things, not really effectively delegating anything because of fear. You are creating your stress and you have to look at and say am I willing to choose curiosity, am I willing to choose a faith that other people am I what am I willing to let go of so that I can stop creating this like how much am I driving it that’s hard to look at. Yeah, but there’s a huge opportunity there.
J: There is a huge opportunity. We’re on a mission to end the Sunday Scaries and the TGIF’s So, let’s get busy cuz I know we can do this. That’s all for this episode of our Shotcast but we always have much more to say. If you want more drop us a line at slingshot25.com.