Are you a high-expectations leader, who gets frustrated by people around you turning up but not switching on?
Many people believe that other people forgive or get over your angry emotional outbursts. But actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
People frequently think this because often they've moved on to the next project/crisis that has got their attention and don't stop to look over their shoulder at the resentment, frustration and bad energy they've left behind.
If you've ever been called direct, abrupt, fiery or passionate listen up.
I used to think the same thing - people would forgive my angry emotional outbursts - my 'little' flare ups - seems I was way off track on that one!
Let me tell you a story about how my angry emotional outbursts were costing me:
Early in my career, I used to have regular flare ups/melt downs. I didn't think they were that bad - just me asking (if I was being more accurate, the better word to use is demanding!) what I wanted. Letting people know, in no uncertain terms, what I thought when they didn't do things fast enough or well enough to my liking.
I knew most of the time I was a pretty good boss, and it felt to me that it was only an occasional flare up. And my team knew that once I had calmed down all was forgiven and we'd move on.
you are delusional if you think people don't pay you back because of your fiery outbursts
Well it seems I was being delusional!
Then something happened that changed my mind completely:
One day, one of my team members said to me, "You know you can be so inspiring a lot of the time, and we'd walk over hot coals for you. But when Shitty Shelley turns up you destroy us. It takes us weeks to get over it.
And you don't seem to care.
You seem to think, "It's ok, I've calmed down now."
Well it's not ok. You might have gotten over it, but we still feel stung, hurt, angry and frustrated. You may not have noticed, but people are starting to do the bare minimum, as a way of paying you back!"
I was ...
I really had been clueless to the impact my "little" flare ups had been having.
So, once I licked my wounds, I decided this had to change. My angry emotional outbursts needed to become a thing of the past.
This wasn't the sort of person I wanted to be. And I certainly didn't want people sabotaging my personal and the company's success because they were ticked off with me. And by sabotage I mean things like
and if you've got people in your team showing one or two of those behaviors I promise you, they are sabotaging you. More often than not, they won't do it to your face - but they will do it through these types of behaviors
Two Role Models to Learn From
I was exceptionally lucky because at that time I had two bosses - each with quite different styles.
One more like me - who could lose the plot quite easily - and his team's results were a bit haphazard. And while we liked him well enough, when he left the company nobody shed too many tears.
The other leader I never saw loose his cool.
And it was this second one who was delivering better results. He had high expectations of his people, did not allow under-performance in his team, and was delivering remarkable results in the business. I knew I had to study and learn from him.
For example, I learned from him how to 'de-hire' (in other words fire) people for under-performance and have them thanking you and apologizing for their poor performance as they walked out the door! He was a masterful influencer.
Not only was he a great mentor and role model, but I made it my mission to understand more about psychology and how to bring out the best in myself and then others. So I went on a personal growth journey, that I love and continue to this day.
So over the years, I honed my capability at getting my temper under control before it landed me in hot water. Did I get it right 100% of the time? Of course not. But those angry emotional outbursts were fewer and farther between. Which meant I and the people around me were getting much better results.
The Takeaway: Be Aware of Your Impact - But Still Be You!
I realized you don't have to walk on eggshells around people. But you do need to make conscious choices about the impact you want to have. I could still be my big bold, take no prisoners type of personality, AND do it in such a way that I get and keep people on my side.
Fast-forward to today:
Since then it has been my life's work to be able to remain calm and cool under pressure. To think clearly so that I get both a short-term and long-term result.
This means I'm still a big bold, leader with high expectations of myself and others. And I've also built remarkable relationships that have enabled me and the businesses I've been involved with to thrive.
When you are clear about the impact you want to have on others - both short and long-term and you act on it, you can achieve remarkable things. There are a set of tools and strategies you can use to be the inspiring individual you want to be. You can be big, bold, direct while also being inspiring, collaborative and productive.
Here's one quick and easy tool you can use
One tool that I use, and is being used by thousands of leaders I have taught to stay cool when they feel the heat rising is COOL.
Calm your jets - in other words catch a breath
Observe - take a moment to notice what's going on in your body - e.g. is your heart racing
Ovation or Ouch - what do I want the person to say to the next person they talk to after they leave this conversation
Lead with Impact - Get curious and lead the conversation in such a way that you both get a great result
Clearly there is more to using and implementing COOL than those four simple lines. But by remembering to use COOL it will give you the 6 seconds you need to stop your emotional hijack and shift into being a great influencer and leader.
Ready to turn your big, bold, personality into your greatest asset rather than your biggest burden?
And if you want to discover more, I invite you to check out the Feeling Fiery, Thinking Cool Challenge - where you'll discover how to turn your big, bold, passionate, fiery nature into your greatest asset, rather than your biggest burden.
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