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If I can’t manage myself, how can I manage others?

I’ve been thinking and reading about leadership lately. Specifically, I’m trying to more clearly articulate what I mean when I say, “Better humans make better leaders.

What does “better” mean in that sentence?

Mature? Enlightened? Capable?

These words have the same problem. What do they mean? How do you measure them?

So, I’ve started to work on identifying specific behaviors or changes in attitude that, when present, might indicate progress toward “better humans.”

Here’s one example.

Emotional Regulation

I’ve noticed that my emotional state significantly influences how creative I can be, how well I can solve problems, and it even impacts my ability to communicate.

In a leadership setting, I need my best brain to navigate interactions with my team and clients and make significant decisions about the future of the business, especially when I’m leading through uncertainty and change. (Which creates fear, frustration, and anger all by itself!)

But those are precisely the situations where my emotions can get in my way.

When I need to have a performance conversation with a direct report or my sales leader wants to talk about her compensation (again), fear, anger, and frustration start crawling up my neck. Instead of thinking broadly and creatively about improving the situation, I get tunnel vision and can see only one way out.

Emotional regulation strategies help me notice when my brain is locking up and choose a different way of thinking. For example:

  1. First awareness. I need to notice that the emotion is there!
  2. Next, I identify why I am feeling that emotion. Maybe there is a real danger, and that emotion is doing precisely what it was designed for. But perhaps that emotion is responding to a story I’m telling about what’s happening or a future situation that hasn’t happened yet.
  3. Once I see what’s happening, I can interrogate it. Is that real? Are my assumptions or the stories I’m telling even true?
  4. That interrogation often produces new choices. Options for how I can view the situation that wouldn’t trigger my emotions. In that case, I ask, “What would serve this person or situation?”
  5. Once I have a firm grasp on my choice, I can be the person who lives out that choice.

How are your emotional regulation skills?

I’ve created a new assessment to help us measure our capacity to lead ourselves. It measures five factors: Resilience, Growth Mindset, Mindfulness, Emotional Regulation, your ability to manage Focus and priorities, and, a new one for me, your level of Psychological Capital!

Are you interested in learning more? You can visit: https://anchoradvisors.com/self-leadership-assessment/ to take it for yourself. You’ll get the results right away.

If you do, please let me know what you learned! Feedback is the greatest gift you can give me; I really appreciate it.

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