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Entries from October 2017

3 Simple Steps to Emotional Mastery

18th October 2017

Emotional Mastery

Since Daniel Goleman popularised Emotional Intelligence with his book of the same name, it’s been a core part of any good leadership development initiative.

And yet, I wonder how well these programmes are executed and how seriously it is taken compared to getting the job done. I am sure you can all site emotionally charged conversations and situations in the workplace. How many of them could have been avoided if the individuals concerned were more emotionally intelligent and emotionally self-aware?

Emotional Mastery, as with all things in the leadership domain, is work in progress. We are continually faced with new situations and ‘tested’ on how we respond. After all it’s out personal impact that is assessed more than our competence!

As humans our emotions drive our behaviour and help us make sense of the experiences we are having. Because of the way our brains are wired we can also recognise emotions in others and the moment we move into a management or leadership position the focus of our work moves from the technical to the social. This requires us to be much more alert to the emotions of everyone at play.

Emotions predate thoughts in the evolution of the human species. Emotions condition our actions and our experience and define the range of possible behaviours we exhibit. Consider for a moment how you respond when you are feeling fearful, excitement or calm.

In each of these your body will react in a different way. You may sit of stand slightly differently, your breathing may change, the muscles in your face will be different and your heart rate may vary. Every emotion affects us physically.

If leadership is always work in progress, and emotional intelligence is a core competency, how do we become masters of our emotions?

Toward Emotional Mastery

Here 3 simple steps of how you can become more masterful in understanding and managing your own emotions:

Self-awareness. Become more conscious how about how you are feeling at any point in time and name that emotion. You can do this at any point in the day, when you wake up, as you walk into a meeting, on the way home or after a phone call. There are endless possibilities throughout the day.

In those moments become more aware of how you are physically and the behaviours that you display. Be objective. Become an observer of yourself rather than being hi-jacked by your emotion. Name it and accept it without judgement.

Self-regulation. Be in control and regulate your impulses. Direct your emotional energy appropriately. It is not always appropriate to express how you are feeling there and then! Recognise and personally acknowledge your impulses without having them take over. Treat them as good advisors and decide when and where is the best place is to express how you are feeling.

Self-expression. Most people I know can, and will, express positive emotions however, find it more difficult to express negative emotions. This is usually because they are associated with negative experiences in the past that have caused pain. When explored these experiences often go back to when we were a child and interpreted the world differently to how we do as adults. They may well be distorted so it’s always worth exploring the stories behind how you are feeling to determine if they are true.

Healthy self-expression is a way of responding to what life throws at you both positively and negatively.

If you are still unsure about the value of negative emotions read this poem:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

Some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

Who violently sweep your house

Empty of it’s furniture,

Still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing out

For some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

Meet them at the door laughing,

And invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whoever comes,

Because each has been sent

As a guide from above.

Rumi

(taken from Conscious Business by Fred Kofman)

Where are you on your personal journey? If you feel you would like some personal support to enable you to be the best that you can be email me to set up a free discovery call and explore what might be the best next steps for you.

‘The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become.

Heracleitus

 

Personal Mastery – Becoming Intelligent about Yourself

5th October 2017

personal mastery

It’s easy to go through life comparing yourself to other people, wishing you could be like John or Ann, or criticising yourself for the way you do things, or the way you look. However, it’s not helpful.

It tends to put you in a negative loop with a focus on others rather than on yourself.

One of my fundamental beliefs is that you cannot lead and develop others until you first learn to lead and develop your self.

To do this you need to get to know yourself and understand who you are so you can play to your strengths and embrace your limitations. The more you do this the more authentic you will be and it will ooze out of you!

This is easier said than done. We are all human and none of us are perfect, so being able to recognise strengths and limitations can take time and a degree of humility. It requires a commitment to personal growth and mastering who you are.

It is worth it in the long run. You’ll feel stronger and others will recognise your inner confidence.

What does Personal Mastery mean?

Personal mastery requires you to establish an intimate understanding of who you are.

It is about learning how you operate when things are going well and how you operate when they are not going so well. It is about being clear about what is important to you, and it’s about knowing what will really fulfil you in your life.

It’s all about you!

It’s the degree to which you own your reactions and make yourself accountable for every emotion, feeling and thought you have.

A good test to how well you have developed is to consider how you handle adversity. Do you become emotional or do you pause, reflect and take everything in your stride – responding to what is best for the common good.

Deepening your self-awareness – the foundation to personal mastery

Embarking and facing into who you are can be scary. Occasionally you may not like what you see in the mirror. That’s often because you start by looking at what ‘is wrong’ or what you don’t like. If you find yourself doing this STOP!

Start by looking at all the things you like and all the things you are good at. Then, and only then, look at what is less ‘loved’ and consider how you may use that as an asset or manage it more appropriately.

The path to being the best you can be guides you to being more aware of your beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. It enables you to accept yourself and be responsible for your action, attitude, thoughts and the impact you have.

This will make you a better leader who inspires others to grow and your improvement will influence others and eventually change the world!

Learning to lead your self is an evolutionary journey. Every time you raise your self-awareness you will shift the way you handle situations.

Wherever you are on your leadership journey there is always something to learn as you face new situations.

Become a masterful observer of your self!

“Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.” 

Barbara Geraci

 

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