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15 Reasons To Embrace The Concept Of ‘Leader As Healer’

The concept of “leader as healer” seeks to expand the traditional role of a C-suite business leader to include an awareness of team members’ personal well-being. While this strategy may seem counterproductive to efficiency, taking a holistic approach to ensuring employees’ mental and physical health can lead to more innovation, higher productivity and a happier workforce.

Below, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council share their insights into why founders and C-level executives should embrace the concept of “leader as healer.” Their experiences highlight how a leader who is focused on personal healing can foster organizational growth, team unity and a more inclusive, trusting and empathetic workplace.

1. Building Deep Connections Enables Teams To Thrive

One of the foundational needs of all human beings is to be seen fully. Leaders, by design, have a position of authority—and when they are able to create a compassionate connection through their interactions, they can heal the deepest of hurts and insecurities. Attention and care are the currency that can help build this deep, empathetic connection and enable people to thrive. – Vandana VishnuCenter for Creative Leadership

2. Showing Team Members Their Potential Inspires Them

The “leader as healer” concept taps into an opportunity for leaders to inspire their teams with a vision of their potential that they may not see on their own. Fostering a culture of growth, curiosity and possibility can allow businesses to not only be more personal, but also to thrive, thanks to the amplification of the individual team members’ strengths, talents and skills in collaboration with others. – Meridith AlexanderG.R.I.T. Mindset Academy

3. Supporting People In Healing Boosts Performance

Almost everyone has experienced pain in their life, which creates limiting beliefs in the subconscious mind—for example, “I’m not good enough.” These limiting beliefs cause people to behave in suboptimal ways that hinder their performance. As leaders, if we can support our people in healing, they will have the opportunity to self-actualize and perform at their best while feeling great. – Susan HobsonElite High Performance Inc.

4. Strong Bonds Create A Shared Journey Toward Growth

Start with acknowledging and addressing the emotional well-being of your team; this is how you will create a foundation of resilience and growth, as it helps people feel supported in both their personal and professional development. In essence, the “leader as healer” approach not only strengthens the team’s bonds, but also cultivates an atmosphere where collective growth becomes a shared journey. – Alla AdamAlla Adam Coaching

5. Coherence Leads To A Culture Of Unity And Respect

A key concept behind “leader as healer” is coherence. A lack of coherence can create issues in alignment and trust for founders and C-level executives. In contrast, coherent leaders communicate a clear vision that employees can follow and that aligns decision making with the organization’s values. This, combined with their curiosity and openness to others’ views, leads to a culture of unity and respect. – Elizabeth SemionElizabeth Semion & Associates

6. Demonstrating Genuine Care Fosters Resilience

When founders and C-level executives show genuine care for their employees’ physical and emotional health, it creates a sense of belonging and trust. This practice encourages open communication, empathy and mutual support, leading to a more cohesive and resilient team. Ultimately, a healthy and united workforce is better equipped to tackle challenges, adapt to change and achieve growth. – José Luís González RodriguezActionCOACH

7. Being Present And Resolving Issues Creates Harmony

Embracing the “leader as healer” concept goes beyond future visions. It’s about being present, actively listening to team members and resolving issues unaddressed by past leaders. This empathetic approach fosters unity and propels collective growth, creating a harmonious and forward-looking organizational culture. – Senem Anataca180UTC

8. Starting With Your Own Healing Builds Needed Wisdom

Coming from a clinical mental health background, I fully embrace the “leader as a healer” concept. It is our ability to confront our own psychological and emotional dilemmas that make us wise counsel for those we mentor and lead. It involves an ability to balance the delicacy of empathy and accountability in a way that allows others the room they need to grow. – Ariel McGrewTactful Disruption®

9. Empathy Paves The Way For Unity And Innovation

The “leader as healer” concept can be a game-changer in a fast-paced corporate world. This approach encourages empathy, fostering an environment where everyone feels heard and valued. It paves the way for unity, as it builds trust and promotes growth by creating an atmosphere conducive to innovation and open communication. – Peter BoolkahThe Transition Guy

10. EQ Complements Raw Intellectual Power

The idea of “leader as healer” encourages leaders to develop mindfulness and think more deeply about the emotional needs of their team. Traditionally, leaders focus on their own intellectual development and that of their staff. The “leader as healer” concept emphasizes how emotional intelligence can complement raw intellectual power to improve the outcome for everyone. – Michael TimmesInsperity

11. Empathic Leadership Fosters Resilience And Creativity

Adopting the “leader as healer” role in today’s leadership landscape is about going beyond just managing. This approach weaves EQ and empathy into the fabric of an organization to drive innovation and unity. Leaders then become agents of resilience and creativity—not just guiding, but also nurturing their teams. They build the bridge between success and significance for both the business and the community. – Patricia BurlaudP. Burlaud Consulting, LLC

12. Creating Mutual Understanding Builds Unity

Founders and executives should aim to embody “leader as healer” by addressing employee problems with empathy, bringing people together in difficult times and helping people and the company grow in a holistic way. This builds unity through mutual understanding and the healing of divisions, fosters personal and professional growth through empowering others, and creates empathy throughout the organization. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.DHuman Capital Innovations

13. Building An Empathetic Culture Enhances Motivation

Embodying the “leader as healer” concept fosters unity by creating a sense of belonging, encourages empathy by addressing diverse needs, and promotes growth by supporting holistic well-being. This approach enhances motivation, resilience and productivity among employees. – Jay GarciaJay Garcia Group

14. Personal Growth Drives Organizational Success

Founders and executives can embody the “leader as healer” concept by prioritizing a supportive, compassionate culture. Leaders who empathize with challenges, listen actively and provide solutions create a cohesive, trusting and psychologically safe environment. By fostering a healing culture, leaders cultivate an environment that promotes individual and collective growth and inclusion, driving overall organizational success. – Martha JeifetzMJ – Executive Coaching & Advising

15. A Cohesive, Inclusive Workplace Improves Retention

A leader who acts as a healer focuses on creating a cohesive and inclusive workplace. By addressing conflicts, promoting collaboration and fostering a sense of belonging, leaders contribute to a unified and harmonious work environment. This positive culture, characterized by trust, support and shared values, attracts and retains top talent, ultimately contributing to the organization’s success. – Susan Jordan, MBA, MSODL, PCCSphereshift Coaching and Consulting

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José Luis González, Forbes Coaches Council Member