One thing’s for sure, your reactions certainly stop you from being seen as a balanced and trusted leader!
Matt’s reactions to taxing leadership situations were – well to be frank, they were unrestrained. And these backlashes cost him…
Because of his lack of emotional stability Matt’s team members didn’t trust him, his peers didn’t respect him, and his boss didn’t promote him. All serious repercussions, you’d have to agree.
Man, being the boss is sometimes tortuous!
Your Emotional Responses Probably Aren’t Nearly As Extreme As Matt’s, But…
…it’s still the case that, even if they’re only slight responses, they will be costing you in the eyes of your team members, peers and your boss.
Because of the challenging nature of the role, all leaders regularly confront difficult issues that generate emotional responses.
For example, it’s not uncommon for the leaders I coach to describe that they sometimes feel:
- Overwhelmed with how much urgent stuff there is to get done.
- Nervous about the likely impact of a restructure that’s around the corner.
- Frustrated at how difficult it is to develop rapport and trust with some colleagues.
- Insecure about the confronting challenges that they have on their plate.
- Pessimistic about being able to keep their highly prized team members on board.
- Distressed about their stints in the office away from their families.
- Tense about delivering feedback to a team member about shoddy performance.
Let’s categorise these emotions as “hurt” states.
Why is it crucial that you and I have this conversation about these hurt states that leaders experience? Because…
Hurt People Hurt People!
I totally understand that you’re probably not regularly in a fully blown hurt state. And, when you are feeling really hurt at work, you put in a humongous effort to hide it. Right?
Yet even when you’re just somewhat miffed about something, chances are you’ll be acting differently towards others. Your overwhelmed, nervous, struggling, insecure, pessimistic, distressed or tense dispositions will, sooner or later, have a harmful impact.
And Here’s The Critical Consequence…
Your hurt state will diminish others’ perceptions of how trustworthy, respectable and promotable you are.
There are always consequences. Even if the repercussions are small, they unquestionably accumulate. And the bigger worry is this…
Most leaders have little idea about the reverberations their thoughts and feelings have on their team members (especially), as well as their peers and their boss.
Am I saying, “Hide your emotions? Definitely not! Authenticity is essential.
So Then, How Can You Transform Your Thoughts?
Here’s the monumentally useful concept…
Your thoughts are just your thoughts. They’re not the truth. They’re not you. They’re simply your thoughts—and you don’t need to do anything with them except notice that they’re there—and let them pass.
How will it be when Matt just stops—notices his thoughts—sees them as simply thoughts—and lets them pass?
When you’re overwhelmed, nervous, frustrated, insecure, pessimistic, distressed or tense, you too can:
- Notice your thoughts
- See them as simply thoughts
- And let them pass.
Your Leadership Call to Action
And that’s your call to action…
Notice your thoughts, whether they’re useful, positive and constructive, or disadvantageous, negative and destructive. Just notice them—and let them pass.
Practice is good here. Practice, and build the muscle until you’ve habituated this exemplary leadership behaviour.
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.