Gone are the days where people think of leaders as angry bosses that abuse their employees about hitting their sales figures. Instead, our culture has shifted to a more gentle and intellectual approach. As many people climb the corporate ladder and find themselves in leadership roles, they feel unsure of their leadership abilities and seek outside assistance.
Perhaps one of the best ways to hone your leadership skills is by reading books regularly. Michael Canzian has written about how books have helped him in his personal and professional life, and reading offers many benefits that that can help anyone become a better leader.
Reading Reduces Stress and Other Mental Health Issues
Being a leader can be stressful, there is no doubt about it. But reading on a regular basis can help you relax, especially when done before bed. Many people choose to watch stimulating or violent television shows or movies before bed, which can interfere with their ability to fall asleep.
Reading doesn’t require the use of blue light, and it actually has a more relaxing and unwinding effect on your brain than watching a show or scrolling through social media. In fact, reading has been shown to lower symptoms of psychological stress, blood pressure, and heart rate after just 30 minutes.
A person that gets enough sleep at night and doesn’t feel as much stress tends to be a better leader and coworker.
Reading Helps You Better Empathize
Empathy, or the ability to understand how another person is feeling, is critical in management. Fortunately, reading fiction regularly can help sharpen a person’s ability to understand other people’s feelings or beliefs.
Long-term fiction readers tend to have better empathy skills than those who don’t read fiction, and these skills can help you connect with your employees and help them reach their full potential.
Prevents Cognitive Decline
Many people understandably feel concerned about their cognitive abilities as they age, as working and leading others requires a sharp mind and quick wit. Reading has been shown to keep your mind engaged and improve cognitive functioning when done regularly.
Plus, those who read regularly throughout their lives are much less likely to develop plaques and lesions that can lead to dementia.
It’s easy to avoid reading in our day and age, as we always have a cellphone to entertain us in our downtime. Making the switch to a book for even a few minutes a day can provide dozens of benefits and ultimately make you a better leader.