“Five keys to understanding the emotional side of leadership”

Leaders who think they can ignore the emotional component in leadership are either naive, inexperienced, or willfully incompetent.

As a leader, never forget that you are working with emotionally driven people, not unfeeling robots. Leaders who ignore or are dishonest about their emotions are sick and can do a lot of damage unless corrected ASAP.

Here are five keys to help you deal with emotions, your own and those on your team:

First, healthy leaders identify and constantly monitor their emotions and those of their team. They recognize how their emotions affect their personal leadership style and the emotions of their team greatly affect the outcome of the mission.

Second, they regulate their emotions between what makes them tick and what ticks them off. They understand how emotions influence decisions and what moods are best in any given situation. They don’t allow others’ to manipulate their emotions or those of their team.

Third, great leaders use their emotions, positive and negative, to build a productive environment, regardless of the leadership challenge. You can’t do that unless you identify, understand and consistently maintain control over your own emotions.

Even good leaders struggle in harnessing their emotions and making positive decisions in difficult situations. Poor leaders only make situations worse because they either deny, ignore, or refuse to change their emotionally immature behavior.

Fifth, productive leaders are empathizing leaders. They recognize how emotions provide information otherwise unknown. They’re able to see every situation through the eyes of others, without bias, before choosing a course of action.

Nurturing people through emotional leadership is a priority of all great leaders. Great leaders go out of their way to genuinely care for those they serve and those who serve them. They show appreciation for every team member and their contribution, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

When setting goals, executing strategy, or simply providing daily leadership; great leaders know how to maintain the best emotional interests of every team member at heart without compromising the mission.

Do you know what makes every member on your team tick, what energizes them to show up every day besides the paycheck? Do you know what ticks them off, de-energizes them and makes them look for any excuse not to show up?

People seldom do quit their job. They usually quit their leader because they “feel like” he doesn’t understand who they are beyond being just a producer. People and machines both work better with a little attention.

Who needs a little attention on your team today? Ignore it if you want to, but you do it to your own hurt!