HR TODAY: Emotional habits that hold leaders back

More often than not our emotions get in our way to success. It actually takes over our real sense of reasoning. We therefore take certain decisions based on our emotions order than thinking and analysing situations more carefully. We’ve all heard the ways that emotional intelligence is important to success, but sometimes our emotions can be harmful.

Especially when the situation is tense, leading with emotions is usually not the best option. It clouds our judgement and makes us become who we are not. Emotional Intelligence exercises must therefore be an integral part preparing our direct reports for leadership roles. Conscious efforts must be made to work on the emotions of people we work with. Human resource practitioners would have to have dedicated HR SPOC for such activities within the organization.

Here are some examples of emotional behaviours that are often damaging. If any of these sound familiar, stop and ask yourself what kind of results you’re getting from them, and what you need to change to get where you want to be.

Chasing what feels good instead of doing what’s right: As the old saying says, what’s right usually isn’t easy, and what’s easy usually isn’t right. Never be ashamed or fearful of doing what’s right, because it brings a much longer-lasting good feeling.

Doing what’s convenient instead of being committed: When you’re committed, you stay the course, but convenience is the enemy of following through. Commitment is staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, even if you’re not in the mood any more. The ultimate convenience is to never do anything, so don’t look for satisfaction in that direction.

Basing decisions on what’s popular instead of what’s intuitive: Our emotions often draw us toward the solution that’s most popular, but you’ll be better served to override that impulse and do what makes sense to you–popular or not. Making decisions is not about popularity but finding something that works, and going against the crowd is the essence of leadership.

Allowing your attitude to control you instead of the other way around: When you allow anger or apathy or pride to get in the way of the things you set out to do, you do a disservice not only to yourself but also to those around you. The biggest disability you can have is being a person with a bad attitude and allowing it to control you.

Waiting for something to happen instead of creating momentum: Passivity means hunkering down because you can’t bring yourself to trust what will happen next. But when you lead from a place of confidence, you take matters into your own hands and create momentum where there is none. Unwavering incremental change can create remarkable and monumental results.

Worrying about what you stand to gain instead of taking responsibility: Emotion tells us to look after our personal bottom line, but seeking out responsibility is a test of our self-mastery. When you let go of acquisition and exercising your rights, you are free to accept the responsibility that leads to genuine respect.

Quit when a problem arises instead of finding solutions: It’s only natural to want to quit when times get tough–but if you do, you’re allowing your emotions to take over. Character and purpose require that we quiet that inner voice and work to find creative solutions.

Give in to moodiness instead of practicing reliability: For too many people, instability is born of a fear of seeming boring or predictable. Everything is about how they feel, what they want, and how they are going to get it. But when you have a strong hold on their emotions, you are able to remain steady in all circumstances and challenges–without sacrificing your ability to be spontaneous and fun.

Developing awareness and keeping your emotions in perspective can be a daunting task even in the best of times. But you’ll appreciate having done that inner work when tasks are difficult, when change needs to happen, when challenges are present–and you’re able to step up to the occasion and lead thoughtfully and well. As outlined in the above by Lolly Daskal emotional intelligence must be taken serious to help avert any of the above and possibly other unforeseen emotionally related activity that can cause us a great deal.

Taking subjective decisions is naturally part of us as humans but we must try to minimize its negative effect on our decision making. We should be mindful that our decisions, actions and in actions can have permanent effect on the lives of many others. Even in the corporate setting, such decisions can cause very fatal consequences such as the disengagement of employees amongst many others. We should all be mindful not to allow our emotions to take the better half of us to the extent that we do not always act based on instinct and emotions; we must aspire to be reasonable beings.

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