How to Manage Emotions As a Leader

Every leader has emotions.  We all have things that trigger us into feeling certain ways.  For some, anger might surface quickly.  For others, maybe they deal with self doubt or feeling insecure.  Or maybe those don’t seem to fit but you notice other emotions surface while leading people.

This is normal.

Leadership does not mean you keep your cool all of the time, but it does mean that you learn to understand yourself.  You understand what triggers big emotions for you and with this understanding, things start to not get to you as much- leaving you more calm and collected.

We can undermine our influence if we let emotions get in the way.

I’ll give you an example.

I was working with a group yesterday and a client I work with admitted that he hates conflict.  He said that his whole objective is to sail through the day with as little conflict as possible.

Last week, he found himself needing to address something that was a big deal with one of his employees.

He took the employee back to the office and was very direct about the feedback he gave him.  He made it clear how things are usually handled and how this was not the typical way he needed him to act in front of customers.

The employee responded with understanding and actually thanked him for the direct feedback.  He respected how his manager handled the situation and told him how much he appreciated the time with him.

Here’s the thing… My client is a Nurturer– which means he hates conflict.  I know how hard it is for him to give this type of feedback and his tendency here is to protect people and support them.  To give this kind of feedback was a big deal and you know what happened from this incident?

My client realized how much it was hurting his employees with not giving them direct feedback.  He is letting his discomfort around tough conversations get in the way of really leading.  He is an awesome person with a huge heart, but his tendency is to allow things to slide by because he wants to avoid conflict and the emotions of others.

Here’s the thing though…

Someone else’s emotions are on them.  You can model how to handle those.  Knowing their personality can make it easier to predict how they will react.

Here’s the takeaway from this.  Work on understanding your emotions.  Work on understanding your tendencies when it comes to emotions.  This helps you become even more of a leader worth following and it models to others what it looks like to have emotions, yet lead with calm and understanding.

If you are interested in learning more about your personality, check out the assessment I use with my clients here.

If you are interested in unpacking those results, set up some time with me here

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