Hello, fabulous leaders!
Ever had one of those days? You know, when the coffee spills, the emails pile up, and the team's latest project looks like it's about to nosedive?
It’s on these days when our emotions are riding shotgun that it becomes crystal clear: accountability is about taking full responsibility for our actions, our decisions, and yes -- our emotions.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny."
What role, then, do your emotions play in your day-to-day life?
You’re accountable for how they drive your behavior. So, when you’re on your last nerve, at the end of your patience, or about to snap at a valuable employee, STOP yourself, and remember that everyone is watching you, and will emulate your behaviors.
As a leader, mastering this emotional dimension is crucial. According to the Harvard Business Review, "Effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of emotional intelligence." This EQ ("or emotional quotient") isn't just about recognizing emotions in others, but also regulating our own.
Now, don’t get me wrong -- I’m not suggesting you suppress your feelings. We're all human, and emotions are a part of the human experience (hence, the title of my podcast, To Lead is Human). But here's the zinger: as leaders, our reactions to these emotions play out on a larger stage, with the impact echoing across our teams and organizations. In fact, emotions can provide important data about what’s happening within a company -- especially when we're considering the emotional responses of employees.
Imagine for a second, being at the helm of a ship in turbulent waters. Your crew looks to you. If you're panicking, guess what? They will too.
But if you stay calm, manage your emotions, and navigate with intention, they'll follow suit. Same concept applies in the boardroom!
So, when the going gets tough, and your emotions are dancing the cha-cha-cha all over your executive decisions, remember to take a beat. Breathe. Reflect. And then lead with grace and clarity. Because leaders who own their emotions, rather than letting their emotions own them, build resilient, thriving companies.
Need ideas for how to start? Here are three:
- Practice Mindfulness. Regular mindfulness exercises (even if just for 15 seconds) can improve emotional regulation, helping you respond rather than react during tense situations.
- Seek Feedback. Sometimes we're too close to see clearly. Asking for feedback from trusted colleagues can help you recognize when your emotions might be clouding your judgment.
- Try Structured Time-outs. They're not just for misbehaving children! Setting aside deliberate pauses in your day, even if brief, will help you gain perspective. Going for a walk, giving yourself a quiet moment, or even taking a short nap can help to refresh your mindset.
Until next time, be bold, be brave, and let’s make leadership more human! 🚀
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