Managers: Don’t Emotionally Overextend Yourselves

Leaders are often approached by employees for help with personal problems — and many are happy to oblige. But new research shows that providing emotional support to direct reports can be taxing and negatively impact your mood and performance. What does this mean for managers who want to help? First, recognize that helping employees with their personal issues may put you in a bad mood. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, of course, but be aware of the potential impact. And because negative emotions are sticky, the impact may bleed into your personal life as well. If you do offer assistance, follow up by asking if your help was beneficial. Knowing that you helped may protect and even improve your mood. You should refer employees in particularly distressing situations to professional counselors in the company or outside, especially if you don’t feel qualified to help. Both you and your employees may be better off in the long run.

This tip is adapted from “The Costs of Being a Caring Manager,” by Klodiana Lanaj and Remy E. Jennings

Categories: Management and Career Tips

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