Mindsets to Master for Positive Leadership

Module 2: Leading With Emotional Intelligence

Key Point: You can provide a positive leadership experience when you take the time to be interested

Would you like to make an extra $29,000/year?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) touches every part of your life. Not to sure that's true? Well ....

Research by EI Consortium indicates EQ accounts for a whopping 80% of success in the workplace and in life. While IQ accounts for just 20%.

Even more compelling is a piece of research from Talent Smart. People with high EQ make more money ... an average of $29,000 per year. Their research suggests for every percentage point you increase your EQ you can expect an increase of $1,300 to your annual salary. (And this holds true no matter your industry, your level or where you are located in the world).

Emotional Intelligence is ...

The ability to use your knowledge, skills, experience and natural talents to their fullest, in any circumstance. So that you have access to your best performance and decision-making.

The cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is self-awareness. 

A lack of self-awareness can blind you to the real cause of the problems and challenges in your life. When you are blind to the causes then you also blind yourself to the solution.

Let's illustrate with an example.

Are your natural instincts and reactions holding you in a painful place?

Horses and humans have something in common. Our fight or flee instincts are deeply ingrained.

Horses are one of the most highly attuned flight animals on the planet. If they find themselves in a dangerous situation they are off and running immediately.

Barbed wire fences are lethal where horses are concerned.

If a horse catches itself in a barbed wire fence it will thrash and thrash trying to free itself. And, as you can imagine all that does is entangle it even more.

The greater the pain the more the horse will thrash.

If the horse could talk it would say that it is the fence's fault. The horse would say, "I'm doing my best to free myself from the pain. This fence is holding me here and making the pain worse."

And, while the horse is doing all it is hard-wired to do - flee the situation - the problem is the horse can't see that it is a big part of the problem.

The horse doesn't account for the fact, that because it is mostly a domestic animal now, humans aren't far away to come and take care of it. That it is most unlikely a predator will get to it before a human does.

Without going against natural instinct, deeply ingrained habits and attitudes, the horse doesn't give itself the ability to stop, and lay calmly still until someone can come and free it.

You are no different when it comes to your emotions. 

There are probably a couple of emotions that are your 'go to' place that could be holding you back and sabotaging your success. Emotions that you blame others for causing you to feel/be that way.

Emotions like, anger, withdrawal (shutting down or out), humor. Stop and think for a moment. What is your go to emotion when you are feeling under pressure?

Stop and think for a moment. What is your "go-to" emotion when you are feeling under pressure?

To be a successful leader and influencer you need to be aware of your triggers. Once aware, you can make choices about how you want to respond rather than react.

The most important leadership task you will ever do is to lead yourself into your potential.

As we said before self-awareness is the cornerstone to identifying what you do that holds you back.

Which of your strengths and capabilities you should call upon more regularly to live, love and lead remarkably.

Self-Leadership Always Precedes Team Leadership

So, how do you improve your self-awareness?

Let me ask you this question. Who do you spend the most time talking to

Your husband or wife?

Mother or father?

Work colleagues?

Best friend?

The correct answer is the person you spend the most time talking to is yourself! Researchers tell us we have over 50,000 thoughts each day.

How's the quality of conversation going on in your head?

Is it supporting or sabotaging your success?

Here's one thing you can take to the bank

We ALL have that 'devil' voice that berates, puts down, creates anxiety and fear - it just impacts each of us to varying degrees.

Regardless of whether your devil voice is blasting, or a soft murmur in the background, YOUR voice impacts YOUR performance.

The more you can influence the quality of your inner conversation, the higher your Emotional Intelligence (EQ). And the only way to influence that inner conversation is to become aware of it in the first instance and then do something about it in the second.

A leader's EQ impacts the entire organization

Unique only to emotions is the fact that they are carried down the hierarchy of the organization. Impacting on the IQ and the performance of everyone involved

For a healthy day, use this exercise

Interrupt yourself several times throughout the day to ask,

 "Where was I a moment ago?"

You may be appalled to see how often you were wandering in dangerous places, both mentally and emotionally. Maybe you were in storm of anger or in a jungle of despair.

Many of my clients who have done this exercise have reported back that once they set their awareness to monitoring their thinking they were astounded at how many of their thoughts weren't serving them particularly well. And this is from leaders who are very, very good at what they do!

It is indisputable that you want to perform to your potential (if you didn't you wouldn't be seeking out this type of information ... nor would you have got this far on this page!). And, at the centerpiece of peak performance is the ability to make great decisions ... regardless of whether you are under pressure or just free flowing.

You've probably heard the saying ... 

Change yourself, change your experience

By the simple act of observing yourself in action you give yourself the opportunity to create a proactive change in your life.

When your awareness is closed and you are on automatic pilot you are at the mercy of your emotional self. And, you may never know the harm it is doing to your physical and spiritual self.

For example, when you are frustrated it is likely that your heart speeds up, you might feel a sense of panic, your tummy might clench and your body language and words might start to become aggressive rather than assertive.

Often times you can look back and see how you were feeling or behaving, but that is not as powerful as capturing yourself in the moment. Being mindful of how you are behaving and feeling in the actual moment is when you begin to generate some great power for yourself.

Feelings aren't bad, in fact they are terrific, because they are a critical part of your human existence. They are your warning system that something could not be quite right for you, or that your life is in total flow and synchronicity.

It is when you are unaware of them that  problems may occur for you. Your feelings could cause you to play out in ways that are not always the healthiest for you and the people around you.

Your feelings can create havoc if you aren't careful

When you are caught in high emotion you can almost guarantee that you don't have the processing power in your brain to make good rational choices. In fact, neuroscience informs us that when you're under an emotional hijack you basically give yourself a frontal lobotomy!

Your emotions drive your decision-making power

In a heartbeat you can move from peak performance to poor performance - all because of your reaction to what is going on around you. For example, how do you react when faced with:

  • A co-worker who frustrates you
  • A manager who leaves you feeling incompetent
  • A high-stakes project that you are working on that looks like it is going to run over-budget and over-time

Here's something else you can

take to the bank

Your emotions leak

Whether it is the way you treat someone you don’t like or the way you treat someone you do like

People notice

Whether it is the quality of questions you ask (of yourself and others), or the quality of restraint you show in a heated situation

People notice

If you’re seething about something on the inside, yet not saying much on the outside

People notice

You’ll have everyone walking on tip-toes wondering ‘what’s got in to him/her?’

Regardless of whether your devil voice is blasting, or a soft murmur in the background, YOUR voice impacts YOUR performance.

And one thing is true, you need people to succeed.

You need people to like you and hold you in high regard; it’s personal and professional suicide otherwise. And, for every Donald Trump that succeeds there are 100,000 others who haven't improved their EQ who have failed!

Taking the effort to make a different choice, by improving your self-awareness and your self-regulation (second stage of EQ) enables you to stop yourself automatically pulling the pin on the grenade of your emotions and throwing the grenade at whoever happens to be closest.

As you know only too well, when you do that ... the results can be devastating ... both short and long-term.

If you want to positively affect or even change an organization's culture, start with measuring and developing the EQ of the leaders

Take Inspired Action

The next time you find yourself feeling charged with a negative emotion - do this ...

  • Stop
  • What's going on in my body: (Heart pace, stomach feeling, throat etc)
  • What just happened a moment ago? What am I feeling? - Jealousy, anger, frustration, fear, hurt, annoyance, confusion?
  • What fear is being triggered for me? (Loss of face, status, making a mistake, not being liked)
  • How do I want to respond, rather than react in this moment?

Here are a few examples to help you out ...

Look at each of the following situations. If you have experienced any of them recently try to identify the feeling and your actions. 

Does your reaction serve you and the people around you? What would you like to do differently? Now go and practice it!

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