NCLS Research

Supportive Relationships

Strong supportive relationships, at work and in life, are critical to maintaining effective and sustainable leadership and personal well-being.

Strong relationships are an important basis for sustaining leadership. Our findings show that leaders that are more positive about their relationships are less prone to emotional exhaustion.

Personal wellbeing is enhanced by belonging among people who care, can provide support, can be honest truth-tellers and reference points for both work and wider issues. Leaders gain from prioritising time to build friendships, marriages and mentoring relationships that do this.

Many leaders move frequently: a quarter felt moving made it difficult to keep close friends with 14% having strong feelings of isolation. Married church leaders have slightly lower levels of emotional exhaustion but it is the quality of a marriage that really makes a difference.

Where leaders have someone in their lives with whom they were able to be completely honest, who encourages, supports and prays with them about their ministry roles, they are more energized and sustained. The 10% of leaders without such a person were much more prone to emotional exhaustion.


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