In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins discourages management and leaders from hiding their emotions and explains why.
As professionals, we are taught and trained to keep our emotions in check when conducting a meeting or having a one-on-one conversation. The result can sometimes be the delivery of a message that seems a little too polished and rehearsed to be believable. These are times when a little more emotion is called for.
True emotion from our management is seen so rarely, when we hear it or see it, we are almost in shock. This reaction can make a message more powerful for us as it appears more genuine and trustworthy. Such a delivery can convey that the message is authentic and not trying to cover up anything behind the scenes.
Hiding our emotions may give the appearance of strength and control, but in reality it hinders our capacity to truly lead. Without emotion, we never really connect with individuals on their level. Employees who feel connected to management also feel an equal part of the company, with an equal stake in its failure or success.
Granted, there is also the other side of this coin. Being too emotional at a management level can sometimes cloud objectivity and lead to rash decisions that may negatively impact the company. It can be a very delicate balance, knowing how much emotion is necessary to connect with the workforce and how much is needed to be a strong leader when called upon.
To discover that balance, pay attention to your emotions. Ask yourself a couple of times a week, “How am I feeling right now?” Keep a journal of your emotions and try to identify what events or issues cause which emotions. Decide the importance of each and investigate how each emotion can be used to either connect directly with an employee or to advance forward in some decision process currently in play. Emotions, when used wisely, can be a powerful catalyst for change.
For more leadership tips, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team and 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.