Setting The Tone, While Also Managing Strong Emotions

Great leaders are able to navigate the changing winds of their teams' emotions and chart the course ahead.

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Given your DMs about my last blog post, “Managing Your Thoughts & Emotions At The Office,” I wanted to offer some additional guidance, if you find yourself struggling to regulate your emotions and set the tone of your organization by leading in a more conscious way.

How Can You Stay Calm, Open-Minded, And Quickly Adapt?

Recognizing this moment is all there is, the more we can choose to be present. The more we can consciously be in the here and now, where we have control, rather than stuck in the past, or the uncertain future where a lot of “what if’s” exist. 

When we’re connected in the moment, we lose sense of time and are able to achieve greater results with less effort. Our energy is high and our focus clear. Research confirms that there’s a direct correlation between leaders’ mindfulness and the well-being and performance of their employees. In other words, the more present a leader is with his team members, the better they will perform.

By being fully present and aware of, but not overwhelmed by, their emotions, however, great leaders learn how to make decisions with more clarity and wisdom, and stay focused on achieving their organizations’ goals, rather than responding with fear and anger, which often results in sub-optimal outcomes.

Being able to stay calm, open-minded, and quickly adapt to shifting circumstances in this wild new world, is and will continue to be a competitive advantage.

In the process of becoming more self-aware, great leaders learn to accept their weaknesses, failures, and vulnerabilities, just as they appreciate their strengths and successes. In learning to do this, they develop self-compassion and the ability to relate to the world around them in a more authentic way, more comfortable acknowledging their vulnerabilities, gaps in their knowledge, and mistakes they’ve made, rather than trying to appear perfect and as if they have all the answers. In understanding themselves and who they are at a deeper level, they learn how to reframe their failures and negative experiences into positive growth opportunities. 

Improved Connection And Collaboration, Greater Trust And Loyalty

Leaders who develop self-awareness and self-compassion are more resilient, better able to cope with high levels of stress and pressure, rather than revert to emotional outbursts, or shutting down and withdrawing, just when their leadership is needed most. In taking a constructive attitude towards their leadership efforts, rather than a critical or harsh one, they build their capacity to navigate challenges and unpredictability, while also maintaining their ability to empower their employees to perform at a high level, even under challenging circumstances. 

To begin raising your self-awareness and practicing compassion for yourself and those around you, try this exercise:

Begin by finding a 5-15-minute brain break, a quiet space to think, as part of your morning routine, lunch break, or end of work day ritual. Whether using the mindfulness technique mentioned in my previous post, mindful walking, meditation, or even journaling, incorporate a supportive, calming phrase on each exhale, like “This is hard right now,” “I’m not alone, other leaders are facing similar challenges,” or “What would I say to a friend who was struggling with a similar challenge?” By building our capacity for self-compassion, we’re training our brain to incline towards self-kindness, making it an easier and more habitual response when things are tough. Try this for even one week. The benefits outweigh the effort, I promise. It’s a necessary part of being able to lead in a more sustainable and impactful way. It’s how you show up as the best version of yourself for your team, and your family. 

Great leaders know themselves as well as they know their craft.

Importantly, they also practice compassion for themselves and those around them. Compassionate leadership creates stronger connections between people, improves collaboration, raises levels of trust and enhances loyalty.

Studies find that compassionate leaders are also perceived as stronger and more competent.

If you want to keep up in this wild new world, better know and grow yourself, and successfully balance concern for your team with the need to move your organization forward in an efficient, productive manner, shoot me an email and we can talk.

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