Leaders need to be vulnerable & shed ‘super-human’ image: PayPal India’s Jayanthi Vaidyanathan
Along with the changing structure of workplaces during the two years long crisis, came the transformation in work culture too. This called for increased agility on the parts of the leaders.
During the interaction, Jayanthi noted that it is important for the leaders to shed their ‘Super-Human’ image and let other employees know that irrespective of the designation and seniority, everybody all are humans with families and personal lives with respective challenges. As employees look up to the leaders as role models, they tend to get swayed away with the stereotypical idea of a leader which is close to ‘picture-perfect’.
To make a place psychologically safe for all, leaders need to lay down the fact that it is okay to be imperfect and messy. A mentally healthy workplace is the one which the employees can fall back on without hesitating, while juggling between work and personal life.
According to Jayanthi, it is crucial for the managers and leaders to trust an employee when he/she reports a crisis, which may be causing a disruption at work. She noted when an employee raises a mental health issue, higher-ups in the hierarchy need to, “really empathise with their position and embrace them in order to defeat this mental issue and also the great-resignation.”
Talking about the approachability of the leaders on the basis of gender, she said that this factor is determined by the skill-sets and not the gender. Though the societal mould expects women to be the primary caregivers by nature which may reflect at work too but that necessarily may not be the case everytime.
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