There are no good or bad emotions per se. However, some emotional displays are more socially acceptable than others, depending on each individual’s socio-economic background, appearances and attached stereotypes.
For example, being spiteful and openly provoking someone is socially accepted. However, a person reacting to that provocation with anger is not.
Furthermore, in the workplace, you must leave your emotions at the door, and display a confident and positive attitude. Demonstrating that you are having a bad week will probably get you removed from the project.
When the pressure is on, organizations look to leaders to take action and to safely bring the organization out of hot waters. Leaders who are unable to step up to the plate will potentially be removed from their position.
As a leader, you must discipline your emotions, always have a clear head, continuously deal with challenges, give and receive feedback, keep your employees motivated and on task, even when you are tired or fed up.
Wondering how to discipline your emotions and improve your leadership skills?
What being emotionally disciplined means…
Emotional discipline is about being able to effectively manage your feelings. Being emotionally disciplined means that you are also able to:
- Stay calm in challenging situations and overpower your own emotions. You can then deal with a tough situation, without making it worse.
- Respond and not react to triggering events.
- Gain more power over yourself and control yourself instead of being controlled.
- Separate your inner voice from the outside noise.
- Remain in the present, avoid dwelling on the past and obsessing about the future.
- Decide and act how you want to really feel.
- Acquire the freedom to express yourself freely and to engage in activities that make you happy.
- Avoid getting tangled up in someone else’s web and positively interact with people. Let’s be honest, emotional discipline is useful to gracefully put people back in their place.
- See people for who they really are and for how they really make you feel.
- Gain new perspectives on your problems and navigate different situations.
- Effectively address important and difficult issues.
- Take advantage of a given situation and delay instant gratification for long-term rewards.
- Possess several strategies to overcome most challenges.
Why discipline your emotions?
People will try your patience and your peace of mind on a daily basis in life and in the workplace.
The way you feel has an impact on your behavior, on the way you lead and the way you think. Your emotions also affect your health, your self-talk and your work performance.
Needless to say, becoming emotionally disciplined requires a lot of self-reflection, quiet moments with yourself and understanding that no one can harm you without your consent.
It requires growth, that you build up your resistance and become thick-skinned. It is not an easy nor an overnight process.
How leaders strengthen their emotional discipline?
Most people who possess emotional discipline are successfully placed in leadership positions because they are able to work through their own discomfort. To strengthen your emotional discipline, it is imperative to acquire the following habits.
#1. Leaders have a strong hold on their identity
They know their core values, their strengths and weaknesses. They also know where to apply them and they learn about themselves through their emotions.
In addition, they do not let stereotypes and assumptions define them.
#2. Leaders understand their triggers
This step is time-consuming because people might not want to immediately confront their emotions and they might resist the drive down memory lane.
When the pressure is on, leaders are able to quickly identify the origin of your emotions. They know their triggers, understand why that situation or this person is triggering them.
Furthermore, they don’t let anyone push their buttons or control them, they don’t react but they respond to negative behavior.
They navigate office politics well and they know how to deal with toxic people.
Remember, it is essential to not give the people who are triggering you satisfaction.
#3. Leaders stay on purpose
They have a goal and vision for their life.
They wake up in the morning ready to achieve their goals for the day and to make the right decisions for themselves.
#4. Leaders walk with integrity
They do what is right because doing the wrong thing requires too much emotional effort.
Moreover, they take accountability for their actions and don’t shift blame.
#5. Leaders stay in the moment
Most of the time, being in the moment will give you the opportunity to feel your emotional response and give you the appropriate response to any situation.
#6. Leaders identify the emotions that overcome them
If you cannot find the right words to describe your emotion, postpone your self-reflection until later, when you’re in a quiet place.
#7. If they can, leaders write down their thoughts on paper
This way, you will notice your thought patterns, illogical and irrational thoughts, the assumptions that you make, the systems of beliefs, the solutions to your situation, what you need to feel better and to clarify your situation.
#8. Leaders practice self-care
They work out regularly, eat well and do things that you enjoy.
In addition, they take the time to meditate, to quiet the noise in their minds, to improve their self-talk and to employ the power of positive affirmations.
#9. Leaders see people for who they truly are
Leaders are not only self-aware but they are aware of other people’s intention.
#10. Leaders have a strong support system
They have an emotional support system in place that helps them reason, that they go to regularly and that act as a sounding board.
They also surround themselves with people who are emotionally healthy.
#11. Leaders don’t take anything personally
To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can harm you without your consent.
So, emotionally disciplined leaders look for solutions instead of dwelling on their circumstances, focus on the positive and don’t dwell on the negative.
Last Words Of Advice!
You cannot run from your emotions and project false ones.
Eventually, they will catch up with you. One small insignificant incident can trigger and instantly download all the emotions that you haven’t dealt with.
Don’t be afraid of your emotions. They are there to help you and they will ease up once you have confronted them.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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