5 Ways To Lead With Emotional Courage And Get The Best Out Of People
Leading with emotional courage requires self-awareness, an essential trait for any leader. It is also perhaps the most important skill to master, if you call yourself a leader.
With self-awareness, you can probe your emotions in any situation to understand how you feel and why. This is the key to understanding how to react appropriately, rather than reacting impulsively to a situation that goes wrong.
It is also the key to leading with your own emotional courage. Before doing so, I suggest that you enlist other people to help you achieve true self-awareness by naming your least favorable traits:
- play favorites with colleagues
- to be an inconsistent listener
- make others roll with your own ideas
- do not ask for advice
True leadership takes courage – a willingness to peel the onion and own your ugliest layers. In doing so, you will create a safe space where your peers can help you.
Now you are ready
I have found that a commitment to lead with emotional courage requires openness and vulnerability, openness to feedback, but also a certain level of curiosity and humility. Let’s explore each.
1. Openness and vulnerability
The pandemic has forced leaders to accept vulnerability and show a new level of humanity in the workforce. By sharing what you’re struggling with, asking for help, and being transparent, your team will follow suit – and together, you can work on creative solutions more effectively and efficiently.
What team members are looking for these days is a To be human as a leader. While still at the heart of exceptional leadership, the pandemic has created a crash course in how vulnerability and empathy should be the guiding principles of your leadership style. Leaders were forced to understand and understand how the pandemic impacted themselves and their teams. This led to self-disclosure and compassionate action which in turn led to better results.
2. Be open to comments
One of the most difficult tests for the top down leader is to be open to feedback, as it requires emotional intelligence. And both require a lot of emotional courage to be successful.
Good managers ask their peers and respected individual contributors the difficult question: “How am I as a manager?” And then they listen. They want to receive honest feedback so that they can grow further as leaders.
As a manager, the key is to act on the feedback you receive. It shows employees that you care about what they have to say. It sets the tone that if they come to you with any issues, questions, or concerns, they will be heard, taken seriously, and treated appropriately.
In 2019, Bill Gates spoke to students, parents and alumni at his high school alma mater in Seattle. A question posed to Gates is particularly interesting for the next generation of workers: “What skills do students today need to know to thrive in the world of 2030 and 2040?” ”
Gates stressed the crucial importance of curiosity as a framework for acquiring knowledge. A growth mindset as a foundation and a motivation to stay curious and keep learning, Gates said, will help prepare future workers for the immense changes that will take place.
According to science, not only is curiosity the key to the learning process, but it is also excellent for overall life satisfaction. Several studies suggest that curious people have better relationships, connect better, and enjoy socializing more. In fact, other people are more easily attracted and feel socially closer to individuals who show curiosity.
We are all drawn to trust in leaders. But take a wrong step and we find arrogance.
This often misunderstood word first struck me in the context of leadership when Jim Collins mentioned it in his seminal book. Good to excellent.
Collins basically said that the best leaders turn their egos away from themselves towards the larger goal of leading their business to greatness.
These leaders, as Collins determined in his study, gain an advantage by demonstrating both fierce professional will and extreme personal humility. This paradoxical mix creates superb financial results.
Obviously, these Fortune 500 leaders don’t walk into boardrooms having a bad opinion of themselves or seeing themselves as “meek” – another poor definition of humility.
As the saying goes, humility is not about thinking less of yourself, it is thinking less of yourself.
In essence, humble leaders achieve greatness without arrogance. They move from ego to humility, which can drastically change the outcome to their advantage.
Here are five things the humble leader does to lead with emotional courage:
1. Humble leaders give credit to others
Leaders who take the spotlight away from them and allow their teams to be in the spotlight are gaining respect at an alarming rate. There is something very liberating for employees when they receive credit.
2. Humble leaders speak from the heart
Humble leaders refuse to cut corners and will speak their truth. They don’t say things to flirt with, to try to please others, or to try to look good in front of their peers. They don’t betray themselves or others by using words or making decisions that don’t match who they are. When they make a promise, they go out of their way to keep it. Actions match words.
3. Humble leaders admit their mistakes
Here are three magic words that will produce more peace of mind than a week of executive coaching with me:
4. Humble leaders are teachable
Leaders of healthy organizations readily accept the role of learners. Because they know it will make them better. They know that each person has something important to teach them. The truth is, good leaders don’t always know what is needed and what to do. They ask questions and are genuinely interested in the answers. This is even more important if you are a new manager with longtime employees who know more than you. So it starts off by being honest enough to say, “Help me so that I can help you.”
5. Humble leaders listen first to understand
Effective communication is not just about talking; it is also the ability to listen and understand what is happening on the other side of the fence. Humble leaders will listen to meaning and understanding with the needs of the other person in mind. Listening has a key differentiator: how can I help that other person?