Become a Servant Leader Healer

Uncategorized Mar 25, 2021

In this blog we discuss the Servant Leadership quality of being a healer.  You may not think you have much to do with healing as a leader, but there’s more to this idea than you may think.   Servant leadership is a set of ten qualities or traits that help accomplish your team’s goals by valuing people and putting others first.

The idea of being a servant leader healer is that you have an active role in healing relationships and you can provide resources for the emotional and physical healing of others. 

Simon Senik, the leadership thought-leader says in a YouTube video, “You’re not the one “in charge” but you are to care for those “in your charge”.  Oftentimes, those in your care experience times of stress, sickness, conflict and other set-backs that affect them personally and affect the quality of their work.   When others suffer on your team, they experience pain and the team does as well to a certain extent.

As a servant leader one of your responsibilities is to step in and participate in the relational and emotional well-being of others in order to foster a healthy workplace.  This healing includes being a facilitator for resolving relational issues and conflict.   This active role in healing is in contrast to “sitting back” passively and watching a relational train wreck.

While you may not think of yourself as a “healer” the more you can adapt to this role, the healthier your team will be. 

First things first

Before you can effectively bring restoration to others, it’s important that you address any unhealthy relationships in your own life.   Seek to resolve conflicts and past relational hurts in your own world first.  By doing so, you’ll be able to better support and bring reconciliation to those around you.

Departmental and Interdepartmental Conflict

You may find that you need to proactively step-in and help others heal a bad relationship on your team or perhaps heal past scars between departments.   Your role is to be a facilitator of change and healing so that your team can have healthy relationships that can increase productivity and morale.  A lack of relational healing will hurt your team’s success and the people on your team.

In the process of restoring relationships, your team members may have to increase their willingness to listen to the other party, learn to appreciate and value their perspective and even offer forgiveness for past wrongs.  

Here are some best practices for taking action as a servant leader healer:

  1. Let both parties know that you’ve noticed the conflict between them and that you see how it’s not helping the team
  2. Next, let them know the exact impact of how their conflict is hurting the team and causing morale or productivity to suffer (or gossip to increase!)
  3. Let them know that you want to help heal the relationship
  4. Ask each party what they can do to move toward reconciliation and healing; simply ask “What can you do to help mend this relationship?”
  5. Actively listen to each party and encourage them to really listen to each other. You may even want to ask each party to share what they heard from the other person and share that they can see how the other person may feel
  6. Have each party make a commitment to implement the solutions they develope and then hold them accountable

Individual Healing

As a leader, you are to be aware of signs of emotional distress, moodiness or stress.  By being more aware of your team, you may find that of one of your employees’ stress level is rising and their work quality is being negatively affected.   

Look for signs your employee may be having a difficult time.

  • You may see that they are struggling emotionally and tearful at times
  • You may notice their work quality go down
  • They may become disengaged, isolated and quiet
  • While normally on-time, you may notice they start to come in late consistently

If you see this kind of activity it’s important that as a leader you step forward and ask how they are doing and ask if everything is ok.  Tell them you care about their well-being and that you want to do what you can to provide assistance and resources.    

Then, you’ll want to refer them to EAP services, the Human Resources Department or offer time off so they can address relational, physical or emotional issues.  

Being a healer is a noble and human-centric way to lead.  You put the other person first by caring enough about them to ask and then seek ways to restore situations to health.   Be intentional about this approach and if you have questions, ask your HR leader for guidance. 

If you want to learn more about this topic or learn about how we integrate emotional intelligence into our leadership workshops, email us at [email protected]

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