Leadership Tip

How to develop your emotional agility

Everyone has felt critical, doubtful, or scared, even at work - and attempting to minimise or ignore such emotions can amplify them. Effective leaders neither buy into nor try to suppress their inner experiences - instead, they develop “emotional agility,” a skill which enables them to approach their inner experiences in a mindful and productive way. These practices can help you do the same:

  1. Recognise your patterns. In what instances does your thinking become rigid and repetitive, playing like a broken record you’ve heard time and time again? That’s a telltale sign that you’ve been hooked by a thought or feeling.
     
  2. Label your thoughts and emotions. This allows you to see them as they are: transient sources of data that may or may not prove helpful. Taking this “helicopter view” of your emotions simplifies them; it turns the thought “My coworker is wrong — he makes me so angry,” into “I’m having the thought that my coworker is wrong, and I’m feeling anger.”
     
  3. Accept feelings with an open attitude. They may be signaling that something important is at stake, like your values. This gives you the chance to act on them.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from Emotional Agility by Susan David and Christina Congleton. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.

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