Community//

“Emotional Health & Leadership”

Self-Awareness is Key to Successful Leadership

Cheryl Y. Howard, MA, QMHP, BCPC

   Too many times we enter into positions leadership positions as well as personal and professional partnerships with open wounds and emotional baggage unhealed and/or unresolved issues that both sabotage and hinder our growth and effectiveness. The symptoms that become apparent are the ways we handle and serve people from a hurt, painful and damaged place, and we can negatively affect them in the process. Instead of functioning as assertive, humble and compassionate leaders including teachers, pastors, life coaches, politicians, entrepreneurs, parents, medical and mental health professionals, etc., the evidence of an emotionally unhealthy individual permeates. A few of these emotional dysfunctional symptoms often display as: being often angered and irritable, arrogant, oppressive, passive, dictatorial and domineering. Underlying issues that plague many-causing them to display the above symptoms usually stem out of fear, trauma, brokenness and insecurity, and low self-esteem. 

   Instead of functioning as assertive, humble and compassionate leaders including teachers, pastors, life coaches, politicians, entrepreneurs, parents, medical professionals, etc., the evidence of an emotionally unhealthy individual permeates. A few of these emotional dysfunctional symptoms often display as being easily-angered and irritable, arrogant, authoritarian, dictatorial and domineering. Underlying issues that plague many-causing them to display the above symptoms usually stem out of fear, brokenness and insecurity, and low self-esteem.

For the most part, leaders are influential and have a responsibility to his/her audience, followers, mentees and/or students. If we are not careful or emotionally healed, discerning of our actions and reactions, we will spew out emotional, confused, misleading and violent communication without being aware. As we can see, developing healthy emotions and practicing positive behaviors prior to obtaining a position of leadership is essential. Without growing and healing from past unresolved issues, leaders can become dangerous to themselves and others.

Things to Remember:

Proven Fact I. Because it is factually, physically and psychologically proven, that one of the initial things that people tend to do when experiencing anger, stress and rising anxiety is to slow down or stop their normal rhythm of breathing-lowering a healthy amount of oxygen that helps the brain function well in terms of having cognitive clarity (thinking clearly) and ability to recall.

Proven Fact II. Another scientific, neurological and physiological finding is that during anger outbursts, stress and low emotions such as experiencing depressive moods (that we all may experience such as feeling sad due to loss, hurt, disappointment, abandonment and of course depression and clinical depression, etc.,) effect our short-term memory. Short-term memory (causing temporarily impaired short-term memory). (Finding and more information above and below can be found in hyperlink resources provided).

Proven Truth: Neuropsychology/neuroscience (study of the brain and body) discusses cognitive, cellular and emotional memory, and how what is stored in that memory can affect us in the present. I.e., as you think of a time that you were burned, gave birth, been abused in any kind of way, you begin to feel it in your body in the present, although it happened previously, and experience that emotion and pain now. The body remembers the pain and effect, and sends signals to the brain. This is why we need to be healed emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Some of us are carrying issues stemming from earlier traumatic experiences within our bodies and it affects us today. The right trigger can set off our amygdala part of the brain to fire off-causing us to become explosive with outbursts of anger. This negative experience overworks the hippocampus part of our brain which is designed to soothe and calm the brain.

We all need to pay more attention to what’s going on inside ourselves and maintain overall awareness as we effect change in others we lead, inspire, motivate and help.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Teyhou Smyth on Managing Fatigue
i
mage by pixabay
Community//

Managing Fatigue

by Dr. Teyhou Smyth
Doctors using digital tablet in corridor of hospital
Community//

Physician Leadership: The Change We Need To Improve The Healthcare System

by Lisa Herbert, M.D.
Community//

Can Yoga Help People Living With Schizophrenia?

by Heather Mason

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.