Mental Health and Leadership

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111

Mental Health and Leadership

Mental health and leadership are more connected than you realize. In this blog, I will discuss various emotions and how they impact your leadership. By understanding how your mental health and leadership are connected, you can address any shortcomings in your leadership that are causing problems regarding employee motivation, communication, retention rates, and work performance. This will also help you increase your focus and feel more energized throughout the day regardless if you had time for your morning coffee. This quick 5-minute read is going to impact hours of your life at work. 

Anger on your Mental Health and Leadership

First, let me explain to you where anger comes from. Anger is an emotion that motivates you to act and move. When you become aware of wrongdoing, you are likely to feel annoyed, agitated, frustrated, and even irate. All of those feelings are various forms of anger but they all stem from the same source. Something in your awareness is wrong and you do not like it. Wrongdoing can be defined as a behavior that is illegal, dishonest, or damaging. Now that you understand where your anger is coming from, let us explore how it impacts your leadership and your behavior.

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111

Impact on Leadership

If your anger is not addressed in a healthy and positive manner, it can leak out in various ways. You can become verbally short with people at work. Have a tendency to raise your voice. I have seen leaders become hostile and aggressive towards others at work and even cause some form of harm either physically or emotionally. By not dealing with your anger you spend a lot of energy trying to stuff it away making you mentally tired which can impact your work. I often describe to my clients that your emotions are like pressure valves and you have three options. Put your hand on the control and decide how much and when the pressure (emotion) will come out. You can spend all your energy trying to keep the valve from opening. Or you can walk away and not deal with any of this. Only one option keeps things from exploding. I’m sure you can figure out which option that is.

When your anger shows up in your leadership style, it creates unnecessary problems at the workplace. People report leaders at work who present with anger being perceived as hostile, aggressive, unapproachable, and unpredictable. This creates fear among your employees. Should an employee make a mistake, they are likely to blame something or someone else in order to avoid your unwanted attention. This is similar to when a child breaks a vase and blames the house pet or other siblings in order to avoid confrontation. This is one-way communication breaks down in the workplace and thus creates confusion within the company. By addressing your anger before it impacts your behavior, your employees will not feel threatened by you and will be more willing to have honest communication with you. 

Anxiety on your Mental Health and Leadership

As before, let me explain to you what anxiety is. Anxiety and fear are the same emotion. The difference between the two is intensity, frequency, and duration. The more fear you feel the closer you are to experiencing anxiety symptoms. In essence, anxiety is fear running rampant in your mind. When you experience anxiety or fear it is because you lack confidence in your ability to avoid an unwanted future. Imagine feeling anxious about presenting to people at work and imagine you want to avoid the presentation for fear of looking like an idiot in front of your peers. You feel anxious because you do not believe you are capable of giving a presentation without looking like an idiot. The way to combat this is by having the three C’s. The three C’s are competence, confidence, and calm. You are calm when you are confident, you are confident when you are competent, and competence is defined as having the knowledge, skills, and tools to do the job. 

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111

 

Impact on Leadership

When you as the leader become anxious or fearful, you may end up trying to cope with these unwanted feelings by exerting more control of your team or department. When people are dealing with trying to avoid an unwanted outcome in the near future, they typically go for increasing their control as it is often the lack of control that sparks the fear. At work, this fear-based control creates a micromanager leadership style. By becoming a micromanager, you generate anger and a sense of hopelessness among your team members which results in low motivation and poor retention rates. The definition of a micromanager is exerting unnecessary control with detailed scrutiny on another person and their work. You basically quality check everything everyone does all the time. If things are not done your way you become agitated. The goal of this behavior is to ensure everything is perfect. 

This behavior is not sustainable for two reasons. One, perfection is often impossible and that high level of perfection is taxing. Eventually trying to perform on that level causes burnout for both you and your team or department. Another reason is that micromanaging feels unaccepting to your employees. At first, people will try to raise their standards to motivate you to stop micromanaging. Should you not ease off the quality checking, your employees will feel that nothing they do is ever good enough which ruins their motivation and eventually their will to stay at the company drops too. You see this same reaction with kids. The parents want their child to get good grades and the child gives their all in order to satisfy their parents. Should getting straight A’s not be good enough, the child no longer sees a future in which the parents will be happy and the child eventually gives up, and thus their grades begin to decline. Micromanaging has the exact same impact on employees.

Depression on your Mental Health and Leadership

Depression and sadness are the same emotion. Just like anxiety and fear, the difference is intensity, duration, and frequency. Depression occurs when there is a loss or when thinking of the future and not seeing any improvements regarding quality of life. One example is wanting a promotion at work and feeling like you lost your chance or believing you have no chance at all. This thinking can lead to depression if left unchecked. When depression goes unchecked, it impacts your behavior both at work and outside of work.

Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111

Impact on Leadership

Depression impacts your leadership in various ways. One is depression interrupts healthy sleep schedules. When you are dealing with depression you are likely to sleep too much or sleep too little. This has a direct correlation to your energy levels throughout the day. Not enough and you feel lethargic all day. Too much and you can never seem to wake up regardless of your caffeine intake. This lack of energy impacts the quality of your work both as a worker and a leader. I often hear of leaders missing important details in their work resulting in work performance issues. 

Since depression hinders adequate energy levels this can have an impact on motivation. When you lack motivation as a leader, your team or department may recognize this and follow suit. Due to your lack of motivation from your lack of energy as depression is a very energy-depriving emotion, you can become anxious and angry while also feeling depressed. This combination triples the amount of energy it takes to have healthy interactions at work resulting in you feeling burnt out. 

My hope for you by now is to have a basic understanding of how your mental health plays a vital role in your life at work. Your emotions are connected to your behavior and your behavior drives the success or failure of your impact at work. By having good mental health and dealing with your emotions before they consume your behavior you will be seen as an effective and efficient leader which impacts your team or department. By having such a positive impact you can attract desired attention at work resulting in a higher quality of life in the workplace and thus having a positive impact on your life overall.

Learn more about Emotional Intelligence here



6200 S Syracuse Way Ste 260
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

James.Marrugo@MorningCoffeeCounseling.com
720.253.8272

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