Paying Attention to Attention
Over the last couple of weeks we have been discussing how to watch your attention each day to develop dynamic knowledge about yourself and your drivers or motivators. You can see the posts here and here.
If you are persistent in your personal journey to better leadership and people management, sooner or later you will have to face your emotional capacity. In other words, you will find yourself assessing your ability to positively control your emotions. Often this is called Emotional Intelligence (IT) or Emotional Quotient (EQ).
This is not the same as suppressing emotions. The two are often confused.
The ability to control emotions includes the ability to view issues, problems, occurrences and experiences unemotionally, to see them for what they are – a challenge to face, rather than a personal attack.
Viewing Situations Personally
Believe it or not, emotions arise from viewing situations quite personally, even though the cause of the situation is unlikely to have any direct relationship to you. For example, being angry or frustrated at the current economic downturn is an emotional response to something that you cannot control. However, you can control your response to the situation. In your personal life or your work life, what do you need to put in place to be able to weather the difficult period? Plan well, then push the plan through.
Work on Your Responses
As you work with your emotions and emotional responses to situations, you may notice patterns – similar situations that cause anger or frustration, defensiveness, even avoidance. Often our emotional responses are driven by a deep seated fear or belief. For example, a person might fear poverty, and therefore keeping their job is of utmost importance to them. Consequently they may become defensive when required to work or deal with staff who are at the same level but who are more experienced or more knowledgeable than themselves.
If you can work with your emotional capacity, your emotional responses to situations, reflect on them, watch your own behaviour for trends and patters, you will uncover these underlying triggers. They are usually couched as fears. Fears of loneliness, old age, poverty, friendlessness, failure and so forth. Your new knowledge about yourself, your reactions and your fears will help you to face them and will help your growth as a respected and approachable leader.
After all, it is not what happens to us that counts, it is our reaction to what happens to us that is the most important thing.
Can we help?
If you would like us to help you understand these approaches, give us a call.
Indra Process and Performance Consulting
All articles that appear on Indra Process and Performance Consulting’s blog are copyright Indra Process and Performance Consulting 2008.
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