This month’s theme has been about developing emotional competence as a leader. This subject is receiving widespread attention in both popular and academic literature.
Today I want to explore the question of emotional awareness. I think this matters a lot because many people are simply unaware of the moods and emotions they are holding; therefore the emotions and moods are holding them.
For example, think of your moods and emotions as a wardrobe. You prefer certain colors, styles, and weights. When you enter your closet you consider the weather, season, and yes, usually your mood before selecting what it is you will wear. But how often do you consider a thoughtful selection of your mood or emotion? Do you evaluate what mood or emotion will serve you best in a particular situation or conversation?
My experience in coaching leaders and influencers is that most of them infrequently preview their emotions and moods, if they do so at all. Most people simply try to CONTROL their bad moods or “negative” emotions so their intensity is diminished and doesn’t impact others. But what if rather than trying to CONTROL, we were simply trained to become aware, choose, and then enter the emotion that would enable a productive result?
Why does this matter?
It matters a great deal because our ability to bring ALL of our capacity to any given situation relies on our ability to access our moods and emotions. As we have mentioned before, 55% of our ability to communicate with influence is based upon moods and emotions. Yet when we have no conscious awareness or practice to develop these muscles, we are not sorely out of shape and could use a “leadership fitness” tune-up.
Throughout my practice I consistently see intelligent, experienced, and successful people who are oblivious to this important capacity. They often struggle with even labeling their emotions in real time. Not surprisingly, I have seen this challenge more in men, where there have been extensive historical and societal pressures to compartmentalize emotions and even hide them. Yet women also have opportunities to develop and extend their emotional awareness.
Take the following quiz to assess your MOOD AND EMOTIONAL WARDROBE
Answer True or False
- I am unaware that I am always in a mood or emotion.
- If asked, I would have trouble finding a word to describe a mood or emotion accurately.
- I am not comfortable experiencing a full range of moods and emotions.
- I tend to like to stay within a “range” or “scheme” of moods and emotions.
- I doubt my moods and emotions have a big impact on the results I can achieve
- I believe moods and emotions should be kept to myself, and I do this as much as I can.
- I am afraid of having to confront any kind of strong emotion.
- I don’t pay attention to how my emotions are expressed in my body
- I don’t think emotions and moods really matter; instead I focus on my output.
- I wish I knew more about how my moods and emotions can help me achieve what I want.
If you answered “true” to any of these questions, you would benefit from learning more.
Here are 4 steps to get you started:
1. Label your emotion and mood before you enter a conversation
2. Imagine the outcome you will want to have
3. Choose the mood and emotion that will get you there
4. Practice this consistently so you’ll start seeing a return on your investment of learning.
For more information, please visit my website. Apply for a free 30-minute “Breakthrough Your Barriers” Strategy Session. While on the home page, take the “Step Up Leader I.Q.” (Influencer Quotient Test).
Begin by committing to take those emotions out of your wardrobe that you seldom wear and behold what is possible!