18 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders
Habit #4 – Mood Liberated
Over 18 weeks, we are excited to introduce 18 habits that separate emotionally intelligent leaders from the rest. These habits fill the gap between mediocre, good, and great leaders.
Habit #4 – Mood Liberated
Feeling is not the same as acting. Yet, what we think and feel is a major factor in our behavior.
Leaders high in emotional intelligence recognize that to feel is human. They recognize the value of recognizing and understanding their emotions.
But feeling a certain way does not mean that you have to act that way.
Social Media Rights and Angry Employers
For instance, an employee posts something on social media that you feel is disparaging to the company. It makes you angry and you fire them. You feel totally justified in your actions. You rationalize it because, after all, you cannot have people saying bad things about the company in public.
Yet, today the NLRB has taken great interest in protecting workers rights to talk about work conditions.
Leaders who fear employees will talk bad about them are served by tapping into the underlying concerns employees are expressing. Taking a heavy-handed approach because an employee made you angry could be a costly mistake.
This is just one example of how anger can fuel unhelpful behaviors.
“Feeling” does not justify taking actions that hurt or have a negative impact on others. Being “mood-liberated” allows you to take a more thoughtful and measured approach that serves yourself and those you are entrusted to lead.
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Being mood liberated allows leaders the freedom to exercise intention and control in decision-making and action-taking.
Here are four strategies to help leaders activate Habit #4 Mood Liberated:
1️⃣ Self-Awareness: Self-aware leaders regularly reflect on their emotions, triggers, and reactions. They can engage in practices like mindfulness, journaling, or seeking feedback from trusted colleagues or mentors. When you understand your own emotions, you can better regulate your responses and make more conscious decisions.
2️⃣ Empathy and Compassion: When leaders lead with empathy and compassion, they understand and manage their own emotions and recognize and manage the emotions in others. When we lead with empathy (one of our later habits), we are in tune with how our decisions affect others. We genuinely care for others in the process of serving.
3️⃣ Pause and Reflect: When faced with emotionally charged situations, leaders have the option to practice pausing and taking a moment to reflect before responding. This allows them to step back, assess the situation, and choose a thoughtful and appropriate response instead of reacting impulsively. This self-control technique is a powerful way to prevent unnecessary conflicts and promote better decision-making.
4️⃣ Continuous Learning and Development: A growth mindset is essential for emotional mastery. When you prioritize growth, you seek resources and opportunities to apply the information to become a better version of yourself.
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