Leading through emotions
Updated: Aug 19, 2020
How can employees feel connected and valued during these uncertain times while they are isolated?
With the global pandemic causing chaos throughout the world, CEO's and world leaders have had to adopt a rapid change to business models and workplace arrangements. They've had to assess risks while external factors are changing so rapidly continuously. Different situations call for different management styles. The strain of uncertainty through constant change has caused additional stress and anxiety in the workplace. The difficulty has drawn more attention to how employers are managing the wellbeing and mental health of their employees.
Emotional Leadership is a term which has been used more frequently of late to describe a leadership style which can be useful in uncertain times like the present. Emotional Leadership is the ability to tune into one's behaviours and emotions while being aware of how others are feeling. Leaders have been called into action to manage their staff not only under unprecedented isolation which has changed the face to face model of work.
Daniel Goleman introduced the concept of Emotional Intelligence back in 1995, identifying it as a critical attribute to lead a team successfully. Those leaders who have high Emotional Intelligence show the following qualities:
· Internal motivation
· Good social skills
Emotional Leadership involves leaders connecting with their team beyond the day to day running of the business. It also means them being present with people, and not being consumed by their thoughts, fears and success.
If I am not aware of my thoughts and feelings, how do I connect and help my team?
To practice successful Emotional Leadership, individuals need to have greater self-awareness. But what is self-awareness?
Leaders should ask themselves these questions for self-reflection to ;
· How do I manage adversity?
· What are my thought patterns? Do I see it as an opportunity to grow, or does fear overrun me?
· How do I feel about the pandemic?
· How do I manage my team member who is not productive at home? How do I motivate myself so I can motivate others?
· Do I know how I feel? How can I reach out to my team if I cannot understand my feelings?
· What strategies do I use to manage my thought patterns, and how do I create change?
· If I am feeling a certain way, then maybe others are too? Should I ask others to share their thoughts and feelings?
Emotional Leadership is the ability to use self-reflection as a tool to manage a team to achieve outcomes and goals. Self-aware leaders will have established a secure connection with their team, and consequently, the team will feel valued, focussed and motivated and have high productivity and cohesiveness.
Self-awareness is the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through self-inquiry and reflection by becoming present to your thoughts through mindfulness practice.
Self -awareness starts by leaders connecting with their thoughts and feelings through the practice of mindfulness techniques.
Goleman, Daniel. (1995). Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books, 1995. Print.