A calm manager can inspire employee confidence. (Photo: Getty, royalty-free)
Over the years I’ve spoken with a small army of people who’ve told me essentially the same thing: They had a good job but they just couldn’t take the agitated, excitable, too-high-octane temperament of their boss.
Or to put it another, simpler way, as the old management saying goes, “People leave managers, not companies.”
It was a phenomenon I came upon repeatedly as I was researching my book The Type B Manager. Too much intensity can wear employees down. While calmness is something employees can rarely get too much of. The more, the better.
This makes good sense when you realize that, at its core, management is all about accomplishing work through others. Following are three reasons why calmness is a substantive managerial asset.
It’s reassuring. Calmness inspires confidence. It’s a leadership style people want to follow. In most jobs (less so in the remote working world of course), you spend a lot of time with your boss. It’s only natural to want to feel comfortable about that — rather than having your stomach perpetually turned in knots.
It creates a better environment to solve business problems. It helps employees (and organizations) make good decisions. The best decisions are well-thought-out and analytical, calmly and rationally made. Impulsive decisions made in the heat of the moment (why do I keep thinking of a certain president here?) are generally not the best way for any management to operate.
It’s conducive to loyalty and productivity. Employees respond well to it. Over the long term it’s a pleasant, easy attribute to work with. Employees are apt to remain loyal to a calm, effective manager. And long-term loyalty breeds productivity.
Calmness isn’t one of those big marquee qualities we tend to hear a lot about when celebrating rock star executives. But it probably should be.
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