Are you an emotionally healthy leader? Let me ask you this: how self-aware are you?
Do you find yourself easily angered or openly frustrated? Do fears or anxieties tend to make you hesitate or become unable to make tough decisions? Are your relationships suffering from resentments or pessimism you can’t seem to break? How is this impacting the culture of your organization? Try to identify these emotions and identify the thoughts or actions that precede them.
Everyone is certainly entitled to a “bad day” where his or her emotions might override more logical and rational thinking. That said, when this happens to a leader, decision-making and solution generation are compromised. Although emotions can range from very positive to very negative, negative emotions including anger, fear, guilt, contempt, and nervousness typically interfere with effective leadership and cause unfortunate aftereffects.
I know a leader who continually let his emotions get the best of him. He began to act out his feeling in small passive-aggressive behaviors. Eventually, he was called to account for the atmosphere of fear he had created. After the dust settled, his reputation was so badly damaged that he had to leave his senior leadership position. With self-awareness, this might have been avoided. Emotionally healthy leadership requires self-awareness.
To assess your emotional tendencies, note and identify feelings and emotions, primarily during moments of stress or trial. Make a habit of stepping back to identify the emotion of the moment – notice any patterns.
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