The emotional and relational wellbeing of authority figures in the workplace can have a significant impact on how they interact with their team members. That is why it makes sense for leaders to periodically ask this simple question: “To what extent does our mood affect team members?” Most of the time, team members’ behavior — how they perform their job tasks or interact with their coworkers — is an accurate reflection of organizational leadership. It is therefore important for leaders who care about their employees to undertake a serious self-inventory exercise. There are three practical ways that people in a position of authority can determine their wellbeing in order to ensure a healthy environment for their team members. When these three areas are in check, leaders stand a much better chance of maintaining strong working relationships.

Love Yourself Properly

It is difficult to understand how to love ourselves properly without feeling guilty, especially when we consider how busy we are on a daily basis. Loving ourselves properly involves self-care. It is critical to remember that our body, mind and soul should be in sound condition if we are expected to effectively execute our responsibilities. If we feel somewhat out of balance, it’s important to identify the cause. We can begin by asking ourselves how much sleep we’ve had, what we’ve been eating and drinking, who we’ve had conversations with, who may have irritated us and what is dominating our thoughts. Taking a self-inventory may help to pinpoint the cause of our physical and spiritual malaise.

As people in positions of authority, if we do not take care of ourselves by being mindful of our daily activities, the spillover effect may compromise those strong relationships we’ve built with team members. In other words, we may find ourselves being unnecessarily rude or unreasonable to people around us. To make matters worse, we may find ourselves justifying our rudeness. If the situation is not addressed immediately, it could result in hours, days and weeks of resentment, thereby causing emotional toxicity in ourselves and everyone around us.

Declutter Your Emotions

If an authority figure allows emotionally-charged activities to occur in the workplace without resolving them, over time, emotional clutter can intensify. Carrying around toxic emotions as an authority figure may affect our decision-making abilities. Holding grudges or always trying to be right are not healthy ways of practicing leadership.

To avoid emotional clutter, it is important to carefully examine our thought process before we speak. Sometimes, the method we’ve typically relied upon to communicate may not be the best choice in a given situation. As decision makers, we must practice responding to situations as opposed to simply reacting to events without conscious planning. Sometimes, our emotions can get in the way of how we practice leadership. That is why it is important to surround ourselves with people who can hold us accountable. Leaders who are vulnerable enough to allow their subordinates or peers to do so are bound to positively influence their team members. That is why it is necessary to maintain healthy relationships with all staff members.

Embrace Relational Wealth

The practice of leadership is structured in such a way that no leader can thrive alone without any assistance. We are social creatures who love to experience a sense of belonging, and we also enjoy receiving praise. For these reasons, leadership is all about relationships. Establishing a relationship, however, requires action: It is difficult for leaders who are struggling with relational bankruptcy to connect with their team members. Not only is it unhealthy — it also robs us of the wealth of knowledge we could have gained from people with whom we come in contact.

When a leader is relationally bankrupt, it may become infectious and eventually prove detrimental to organizational and employee growth. For the work environment to flourish, there must be a communion between team members and the leadership of an organization. Once both parties understand the necessity of working in harmony, the work environment can be perceived as worthy of the hours put into it in exchange for an income.

The practice of leadership tests our courage in challenging times. If we don’t love ourselves properly, carefully declutter our emotions and strategically cultivate healthy relationships, we may end up circulating toxic emotions in the workplace. Simply put, a workplace is a reflection of the people who work in it. We can transform our workplace by translating what we know into what we do and live by.

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