As leaders, the way we behave when we are alone or amongst a group is always noticed by everyone around and has an impact whether we like it or not and whether it is intentional or not. So, it is better to be intentional about the kind of impact that we want to have rather than leave that to chance.
So, in order to learn how to go about being intentional about the impact my emotions have on people around me, I registered and attended a session on Emotional Intelligence and how we can use the concepts and frameworks to be intentional about our emotions and the impact that they have on our performance and the performance of people around us.
When I sit down to reflect on what I learnt and how to put it in practice, I realised that all I needed to do was to ask myself the following questions at least 3-4 times a day and be truthful about the answers I tell myself.
The questions that I need to ask myself every couple of hours are:
- How am I feeling right now? Moods and behaviours are contagious. What am I spreading?
- What are the emotions my peers and team is projecting? Am I able to read it correctly? Is this what we want? If not, what can I do to change that?
Questions i need to ask on a regular basis for me to understand my relationship to my emotions are:
- Emotions are like data. What are they telling me now about myself?
- How do I behave when I am in a good mood? How do I behave when I am in a bad mood? How do people perceive when I am in either moods?
- What are my emotional triggers? What causes an amygdala hijack in me? How do I behave when my amygdala gets hijacked? What can I do to get back to normal?
Managing our emotions:
The way to work on ourselves and improve our ability to not only understand but leverage our emotions to achieve peak performance is to learn about them and manage them well.
Here is a framework to think about managing emotions:
- Awareness: Becoming aware of our emotions by being aware of our bodies and our tells.
- Acceptance: Accept the fact that we are feeling emotional and label it and try to do it correctly.
- Adjustment: Is this the emotion helping me what I want to achieve. If not, decide to do something (physical or emotional) to change the emotion.
- Action: Take the right action that will help you feel the right emotion and respond.
We are humans and we will feel emotions. Now it is up to us if we want to stay in control of these emotions and get them to work for us or if we want to be swayed by them and let them work us.