The Servant Leader Mindset
Leaders support their employees as they grow and explore, and actively seek and value others’ contributions and ideas whether they’re the CEO or the most junior employee. Leaders acting in this manner demonstrate the qualities of a “servant leadership” mindset. Servant leaders are humble and believe their key role is to create and maintain a supportive environment for their team. They display humility and actively tap into the expertise of others because they understand that holding a formal leadership position doesn’t mean they have all the answers. To cultivate a servant leadership mindset, consider doing the following:
- Give employees a sense of control – Physicians who feel they have no control over their work environment often experience stress or other symptoms of burnout. One way to mitigate these feelings is to invite your team to create a set of agreements that form a team charter. Defining clear expectations and providing input can increase a person’s sense of control and self-worth while reducing stress.
- Ask employees how you can help them do their job better – Someone with a servant leadership mindset frequently seeks feedback on how to better serve their team. Whether during one-on-one meetings or at group round tables, emphasize that this is a non-punitive conversation, listen to them, and then follow through. Make sure this isn’t a one-time conversation, either, as the needs of your employees will change over time.
- Create an environment of wellness – Show your team that you care about their well being and that you know stressed-out teams can’t perform at their best. Encourage employees to take vacations with the promise they won’t be interrupted with work-related requests and unrealistic deadlines will be adjusted so as not interfere with their rest and rejuvenation. Make sure employee benefits and resources are easily accessible and solicit feedback about what benefits would be most useful.