When Emotions Eclipse Your Influence

By Andrew Jennings, CCO – August is proving to be a very busy month for the Transcend Team. As for me, I am preparing to deliver an eight-hour workshop,  “Leaders Can’t Have a Bad Day.” The premise for this workshop is centered on the fact that, even when we reach the highest levels of leadership in an organization, we are still human beings and subject to emotional ups and downs. Emotional swings can have a direct effect on our influence.

Emotions eclipse influenceEmotional Intelligence and Influence

We spend a lot of time helping leaders develop their Emotional Intelligence, which helps them navigate their journey to more effective leadership, and consequently, increased influence—which as we all know is the key to success for a leader.

To elevate one’s Emotional Intelligence, the first step is typically Self-Awareness. This is where we delve into what makes us tick. What are we motivated by? How do we view the world around us? How do we interact with other people? These types of questions are at the root of many of the assessment tools on the market. Our personal favorite is Everything DiSC®, as it has a lot of utility and is very practically biased to help individuals embark on the next step of increased Emotional Intelligence, which is . . .

Self-Mastery and Influence

Self-Mastery, and this is where things start to get a little tricky! Just because I am a “Driver” type, this is not an excuse to be autocratic. I need to understand that not everyone is like me, and I can’t use my “style” as an excuse. Now, there are also the little things. For example, imagine that you are getting ready to leave for work in the morning. Your new puppy doesn’t make it outside and makes a mess on the floor, the kids are not ready to leave for school, you have an important teleconference scheduled for 30 minutes after you are due to be in the office, AND . . .  you are running late. Now imagine that one of your best employees has a problem they need to run by you, and they approach you as you walk through the door. How do you respond?

If you are like most of us, the response in the moment described above is often not representative of how we want to interact with our team. Stress, personal challenges, and work situations all conspire to make it hard for us to be the best version of ourselves.

So, Self-Mastery is hard—which is why the workshop I mentioned has been requested to provide some tools to help increase our influence by bringing our best self to every interaction. To help us make emotions work for us, instead of against us. What can you do to help yourself? For a start try these steps.

Steps to Help Increase Influence

Notice: We all have physical cues that identify how we might be about to react. For example, our heart rate can increase when we are about to get angry. Step one is to stay aware to these cues and what they signal.

Step Back: Take a moment. A breath is often enough time to give you some space to think about the situation and calm the reaction that you are feeling.

Choose: Once you have given yourself a little space to think and notice your reaction, you are now in a place where you can choose the most productive response to the situation you find yourself in.

Given this particular August is all about the Solar Eclipse, take a moment to think about how your reaction to people or situations maybe eclipsing your ability to increase your influence and build high performing teams. Think about how you’d like to be seen by your work colleagues. Then, consciously choose the path that will take you there. It’s the Fearless path!

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