Certain situations seem to bring out the best (or worst) in people. Some people can handle emergencies with a relaxed, calm attitude, and others tend to run around screaming that the sky is falling. Leaders can’t afford to have the panic-button way of thinking, but what can be done about it when they do?
Take a step back and assess your emotional reactions
It’s natural, when we hear bad news, to have a visceral, emotional reaction. But when you are in the leadership role at work, your reactions have to be tempered. Your employees will be looking for you to provide guidance. There is a time and place to be emotional, and being able to judge when you need to be strong is essential for an effective leader.
Emotion regulation is a fast-growing area in science, and new models are now being used to assess emotion regulation. Using one model, the Mentalized Affectivity Scale (MAS), researchers have shown that three components are useful in understanding how we regulate emotions. These include identifying, processing, and expressing emotions (Greenberg, 2017).
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
Developing the mindset needed for quality leadership takes time. Neuroscience is continually unlocking the whys of our brains, and using this knowledge can improve how we think about being and training leaders. Exercises that strengthen access to the prefrontal cortex (responsible for slower, but more logical and deliberate thinking) and reduce distractions will improve short-term memory and attention levels.
Your emotional health is just as important as your physical and mental health. Integration of body and mind can only happen when you take care of the whole package. Your gut, how you sleep, breathing, and the movement of your body all help develop your leadership skills. Being able to identify your emotions and then process them and appropriately express them will be easier when you have control over the total you.
If you find yourself strongly affected by events over which you have no control, your brain is not going to operate at optimum capacity, and your leadership role will suffer. The negativity may even spill over into your personal life, affecting those you love.
Increase your performance using the methods from the i4 Neuroleader Model
If you are unsure how to rein in your emotions, the can help. Your brain is never ‘too old to learn,' and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a leader for decades or for a few weeks. A leader that can remain calm in a stressful situation will positively impact the office environment.
will give you the information you need to become a cutting-edge leader in the fluid, global, high-stakes business world. You will be able to control your emotions when you strengthen the integration of your mind and body to build balance in your brain. Your role as a leader demands more than survival thinking in this new world of work.
Greenberg DM, Kolasi J, Hegsted CP, Berkowitz Y, Jurist EL (2017) Mentalized affectivity:A new model and assessment of emotion regulation.PLoS ONE 12 (10): e0185264. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185264