How to use Emotions as an effective Leadership Trait

Great leaders spark new perspectives within their teams. New perspectives drive new habits. New habits result in new outcomes.

A simple chain, right? Not really. It is a tough aspect of leadership. Traditionally, leaders are expected to set goals, create a vision, and appraise performance to attract results. But these practices are not efficient if one crucial ingredient is missing.

The missing ingredient is the capacity to drive emotions in teams. Business institutions don’t teach it. CEOs don’t talk about it. For many years I watched leaders leaving their emotions at home playing it “cool” at the office. We were role models for shoving down emotions. Only recently have I learned that awakening emotions within your team make one a better leader.

Manifesting Emotions to Your Team

After decades of shutting down emotions at the office and playing the typical “cool” corporate role, I understood I was scraping the surface of my potential to inspire people. I chose to unlearn this part of my corporate life. Being a genuine leader means not being scared of caring, sharing sorrow and celebrating with colleagues. Sharing enhances rather than weakens business goals.

Over time, I have tried to replace my former unemotional leadership with a personally fulfilling and decisive emotional leadership. Although this has not been an effortless change, it helps in many ways. First, I don’t have to wear a mask (metaphor!) or role play in the office. I am emotional with my family at home. I show love, disappointment, excitement, and care. Shouldn’t I behave the same at work? Connecting with your true self and letting your office “feel” you at a deeper level allows you to influence change, touch other people’s lives and receive more vital team members’ commitments.

Expressing Emotions to Your Team

It is well known in sales that emotions trade better than cognitive reasoning. Your chances to get a deal are higher if you evoke strong feelings in your customer. Salespeople appeal to greed when they sell investments, create fear when they sell insurance, or use envy to sell an extravagant product. As a leader, you “sell” your ideas every single day to your office. Your office members have basic needs along with aspirations, desires and wishes. If you draw your team’s hidden “buttons,” you will receive a higher appreciation of your plans than just by merely using logic. In every one of us, the inner voice says “WITFM” (What Is There for Me?). Talk to this inner voice, and you will find your way into the heart of your office members. This makes it is simpler to spark new behaviors, attitudes and outcomes.

If you wish to motivate people, express your genuine emotions and listen to them carefully when they express theirs. Let them explore your lows and highs. Enthusiasm and excitement are contagious. Please behave genuinely and steer clear of fake vibes. If you are grumpy and cold today, don’t say you are happy and excited. It will be obvious you are faking it. Expressing emotions truthfully enables others to understand and trust you. You will know them better and hence be more efficient in leading them toward fulfilling their work-life dreams and skills.

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