There’s now heaps of research about how the best leaders have high emotional intelligence (EQ).
And a large part of a leader’s high EQ is them having:
- An awareness of their mood, and
- The ability to manage their thinking.
They know that it’s their thinking that needs to shift when their mood isn’t constructive—because it’s their thinking that governs their mood.
The Impact Of You Being In-A-Funk
Simply put, you can’t be a good leader if you can’t manage how you feel.
When you’re experiencing a funk-like feeling such as anxiety, frustration or stress, it’s likely that you’ll exhibit undesirable behaviours such as avoiding reality, blaming others or making excuses.
On the other hand, when you’re feeling optimistic, patient and supportive to others, you’ll have constructive leadership behaviours such as being solution-oriented and taking ownership, for example.
Here’s The Clincher: You Have A Choice About How You Feel
You can focus on what’s not OK, on what you don’t like, and on what’s wrong. Or you can focus on what’s good in your life—on what you could appreciate.
It’s this state of appreciation that’ll create your positive, constructive state of mind.
It’s simply impossible to feel grouchy, annoyed, sad, etc when you’re feeling appreciative.
Appreciation Is Higher-Level Thinking
If the way you habitually think and behave is judging, blaming, stressed, depressed, anxious or grouchy, it really is critical that you take action to turn your state-of-mind around.
It’s time for you to be hyper-vigilant about how others might see you. Your behaviour has a serious impact on performance!
Will you ask others, maybe a couple of trusted team members, if they consider you to be mostly up or down, optimistic or anxious, happy or sad, relaxed or frazzled?
You might want to validate their responses by checking in with a couple of peers too.
And It Doesn’t Usually Take Much Tweaking…
…as the apparently true story about the blind beggar demonstrates:
He sat on the footpath with a sign, “I am blind, please help me.” Donations were small and scarce.
A woman walked by, looked at the blind man’s sign, and wrote a new message on the other side of the placard.
People then stopped as they walked by. And many donated.
The blind man asked the woman, “What did you do with my sign?”
“I wrote the same thing, just different words” she responded.
The new sign said, “It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it.”
As soon as the blind man’s begging was superseded with an appreciative message, his passers-by responded positively. And so it is for leaders!
Your Action Plan
I promise, you’ll eliminate career-limiting, negative emotional states, such as grouchiness, anxiety, depression, stress, blaming and judging, as soon as you feel genuine appreciation.
You’ll need to figure out what you can do to develop this habit of appreciating.
For me, an electronic daily reminder on my “To Do List” works well. Some leaders put a moveable sticker in their “Day Book”. Others remember to appreciate every morning when they wake up and every night before they go to sleep, or on-the-hour-every-hour.
The important thing is that you do something that’s effective for you—because managing your emotional state by feeling appreciative is an essential element of you being the best leader you can be!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.