"I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not on our circumstances."

-- Martha Washington
What distinguishes leaders from managers is emotional awareness . . .
in fact emotional competencies deliver 85% of outstanding leadership performance.

Sometimes we hear people say, "Emotions are irrelevant, it is just about getting on with the job!" The truth is that emotions play a critical role in limiting, or enhancing, our personal effectiveness. Moving from emotional reaction to emotional intelligence makes all the difference.

We already know that when we feel anxious or stressed, our resourcefulness is less than when we feel confident and happy. Notice in the previous sentence we have used the word "feel" as in "feel stressed" or "feel confident." We say "feel" because these are emotions.

I was coaching a client recently who discovered that when sales were below budget he became terse and demanding with his salespeople.  This wasn't a behavior he consciously chose, it was triggered by his anxiety over profitability.  The result was his behavior and approach de-motivated the sales team thus exacerbating the situation.

So what can you do to address this situation?  Well, the key is emotional awareness. Recognizing how you are feeling, and acknowledging it, is a significant step in deflating emotional pressure.  This awareness and acknowledgment prepares the way for new more resourceful behavior.
The steps are:
1. When personal effectiveness is down, become aware of your feelings.
2. Acknowledge these feelings to yourself.
3. Where possible, acknowledge them to others who may be impacted,
"I'm feeling stressed."
4. Allow new behavior to occur -- this may happen automatically.
In the case outlined above, this business leader was able to communicate in a more balanced way to sales staff. He has reported an increase in the sales figures and a more motivated sales team as a result of new behavior.

Business leaders have emotions, take time to acknowledge these and notice the impact this has on your personal effectiveness, and leadership.

By Kevin McMahon, Author of the FREE Business and Leadership Success Newsletter -- "Take Off." It provides monthly tips for business managers, leaders, and coaches helping you get the best from yourself and your business.  To view and subscribe, visit www.mastercoach.co.nz and select the FREE Newsletter link.
(C) Copyright 2001, McMahon Coaching International -- All rights reserved.
1. Take your reading of your personal effectiveness.  Up? Down?
2. If you're not at the top of your game, acknowledge these feelings to yourself first.
3. Who else do you need to inform of your current feelings? Co-workers? Family?
4. Check in with yourself and see what new behaviors/feelings are present.
5. Be gentle with yourself. This may be a totally new process for you.

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