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Management Styles Can Influence Heart Health

Posted Aug 07 2009 9:29am
If you've ever worked in the corporate world, you know that all bosses are not created equal. Some are supportive, accessible, fair--and others, well, aren't. The Harvard Business Review blog recently profiled a Swedish study that linked how workers felt about their bosses to their cardiovascular health.

After rating their managers in a number of key areas (communication skills, ability to set goals, managing change, etc.), researchers tracked participants' heart health for the next ten years. Those who felt their bosses were effective leaders were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or to suffer heart attacks.

Workers with lower cardiovascular risk generally had bosses with three primary leadership qualities, according to the Harvard Business blog:
  • They were forthcoming with information relating to their subordinates' responsibilities
  • They explained goals and objectives thoroughly
  • They were able to manage change effectively
The Harvard blog is absolutely right to argue that more attention needs to be paid to the health of office workers. If the Swedish study is any indication, management has a significant role to play toward that end.

What are your experiences? How have different management styles affected your stress levels?
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