Low self-esteem in leaders may lead to "toxic" stress at work, according to a study

Low self-esteem in leaders may lead to "toxic" stress at work, according to a study

It has already been shown that stress is a major factor in the development of several deadly and common conditions, including heart attacks, diabetes, asthma, cancer, osteoporosis, anxiety, depression, restlessness, memory loss, and early ageing.

So what are the telltale indicators of a toxic boss and how big of a part does "toxic" leadership play in workplace stress? Three-fifths of workers throughout the globe feel their jobs have the most negative effects on their mental health.

According to Professor Simon L. Dolan, PhD, a wellbeing specialist, leaders who lack self-esteem are more likely to stress out their colleagues. This claim is supported by 40 years of study.

According to Professor Dolan, "the stakes for leadership have always been high, but knowing you're impacting people's mental health is reason for leaders to take stock and ensure they're doing all they can to be at their best and have the greatest beneficial affects on others."

harmful at the top

Almost all working adults have, at some time in their careers, had a horrible employer. But at what point does a lousy boss become a really toxic leader, and what can you do about it? De-Stress at Work is the result of years of study by renowned human resources expert Professor Dolan. The manual aims to inform readers on if their boss or other influential figure has an impact on their mental health and how to cope with it.

Professor Dolan believes that "leadership may make or destroy a company," with effective leaders inspiring teams to be innovative and effective. On the other hand, a poor leader may demoralise teams, bring about low morale, and have disastrous effects on teams. Following extensive research, Professor Dolan suggests the key traits to spot a toxic leader are: being envious of their team's success; constantly worrying about rivals or "enemies" at work; frequently taking credit for others' work; constantly comparing themselves to others; and believing that their self-worth is solely based on their most recent results.

Professor Dolan says, "Whether deliberately or not, a toxic leader is one who exploits their power and breaks trust to gratify their own ego.

The reality of leadership

Professor Dolan contends that leadership demands effort and that there is a perception of leaders as having nearly superhuman power and stamina.

"This may be highly destructive since they are forced to keep their emotions hidden even while under extreme duress," he claims. Realistically assessing your skills and shortcomings is crucial since pretending to be superhuman may seriously harm your mind and body.

"A leader must be able to actively control their emotions so they can seem cool and collected to their teams." Professor Dolan advises that students arm themselves with techniques for emotional management in order to do this.

In "De-Stress At Work," Professor Dolan discusses doable approaches to managing workplace stress on both an individual and organisational level, ranging from best practises in business communications to employee-specific relaxation methods.

While confidence in oneself is needed of leaders, Professor Dolan advises against conflating it with arrogance. A strong leader should not just be confident; they should also be polite, encouraging, and growth-oriented. He also emphasises the significance of validation; leaders who show appreciation for a job well done may be a crucial source for individuals to feel successful psychologically and have good self-esteem.

Who are they at risk?

According to Professor Dolan, some inherent traits, early life experiences, and cognitive predispositions might make people more vulnerable to the impacts of stresses.

He explains: "There are numerous causes that lead to a toxic personality, including a compulsive desire to prove their value to others, but mostly out of a lack of deep-rooted self-esteem. This generally represents the culmination of their lack of ethical and emotional growth throughout the course of their life. According to Professor Dolan, the key component in how people respond to stress is their feeling of control. Normal responses to stress might differ based on personality qualities including neurotic anxiety, introversion and extroversion, rigidity, flexibility, and ambition.

Professor Dolan says that the basis of emotional intelligence is the idea that people who feel in control of their lives, surroundings, and activities are less stressed.

It is possible to alter one's internal perspective so they feel more in charge, even if they are not naturally confident.