Should managers be bullet proof?
Updated: Aug 8
There has been a recurrent theme in trainings I’ve delivered over the last few months.
“But I’m the manager, I should be able to handle it”, “I’m paid to get the job done, so I just plough through”, “I can’t tell anyone I’m struggling, they will think I’m not up to the job”
What do you think? Is it the role of managers just to keep going no matter what, are we paid to be bullet proof?
In my experience it’s a difficult balance and in the past, I have got this balance wrong. Pushing through the limits of my own mental and physical capabilities to “get the job done” has had a number of consequences.
On some of these occasions I have “got the job done” but the cost to my mental and physical health has been high. Sleepless nights, health problems, relationship issues, general lower quality of life and on one occasion total burn out.
But there have been occasions when the cost to the company has been pretty high too. Poor decision making, deterioration in relationships with colleagues and partners and most importantly, perpetuating an unhealthy wellbeing culture in the work place.
Thank goodness, over the years, I have learnt what my limits are!
How can employers get the balance right?
Managers, by the nature of their role, do need to go the extra mile. But when the “extra mile” is constantly pushing managers to a point where it is damaging to their health, then it isn’t productive for the company or the individual.
Employers are key in developing the culture where managers feel safe to self-reflect and talk about how they are responding to periods of high workload/ pressure and ask for help.
Creating a healthy wellbeing culture for managers will improve performance, productivity, staff retention and create a happier workplace.
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