We have all had our good days and bad days - our ups and downs in the workplace. Last week I did a blog post on Emotional Intelligence and Leadership (you can check it out here). Basically, it explains that to be a good leader you should have a high emotional intelligence – meaning self-awareness, self-management, others-awareness, and others-management. But what happens to a leader when they improperly show their emotions and are not fully capable of self-management?
Self-management is having the ability to display the right behaviors when your emotions are pointing in a different direction. Remember Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds from the movie, The Proposal? Sandra plays an executive editor in chief of a book publishing company. She is a tough boss, with a tough exterior, and she is great at what she does. When she walks in, people warn each other, put their heads down, and get to work. There is one scene in particular that shows her firing an employee for not doing his job, and Bob didn’t take it so well.
Bob came out of his office screaming at her in front of everyone. She tells him not to do it and he snaps, calling out, “You are a poisonous b*%#@.” She held it together and had security walk him out. Later on, Ryan asks her to tell him something that he doesn’t know about her. She lists several things but one stood out which was, “I went to the bathroom and cried after Bob called me a poisonous b*%#@.” And there it is – self-management. She knew how to display the right behavior, at the right time, even though she was breaking on the inside. She knew how to control her emotions.
As a leader, it is important to remember what you exhibit to everyone on the outside is visible on your face, in your words, and in your gestures. When someone hurts your feelings, when you are angry, when you are frustrated, it is essential to maintain your cool. Stay calm and composed when talking with your employees. If not, they will be able to pick up on that, and it can cause them to become disengaged; or, they can even pick up your emotions and start to display the same emotion. Have you ever been at work and a coworker is in a horrible mood? They may say a couple of things to you, and the next thing you know now you are in a negative mood. Emotions rub off.
Leaders need to also remember that most employees tend to look up to you. We did a blog article on, No Shame in the Imitation Game. Essentially, people become successful by watching and emulating the successful practices of others. When leaders are not displaying the appropriate behaviors and emotions, then they are not being good role models for those who are watching. Ultimately, if a leader does not have self-management, that could mean the collapse of future leaders.
If you can lead yourself first, then you will be better suited to lead others. Sandra Bullock maintained her composure and displayed the appropriate emotion in front of her employees. Her facial expression never changed. She stood her ground and stayed stern, even when she was breaking down on the inside.
Source: Profiles International.