A leader's job is to stay positive all of the time. WRONG!
A leader's job is to lead a team
Sometimes that means you're positive. But more often than not, it means you're honest.
A leader's job is not to stifle emotions
I coach leaders all the time who want to turn people's moods, perspectives or feelings around.
They want to take a difficult transition or a change that's happening and make everyone see the positive out of it.
You can't ignore your team's emotions!
Let me give you an example
My friend recently lost his wife. He took care of her for months while she battled cancer. In the end, she couldn't talk, and he spoke for her to visitors. They had been together for over 30 years and were soulmates.
That's a difficult situation. I cannot say to him...
I know it's hard, but look at the positive:
Indeed, you can see how heartless that is 😳
Similarly, we try to do this with our teams
We take a difficult situation and try to hop them over the grief, loss and pain and suffering that they are experiencing.
2020 has been hard!!
Grief and loss are what we have experienced this year. Those feelings are not something you can move through quickly, get around or avoid.
What you can do is experience them. You can move your way through the emotions surrounding grief and loss.
Learning to let your team feel the hardness of this year
How do you sit with the icky feelings so that you can move through them?
Note: The opposite is to stuff emotions down, hide them or shove them away.
My guess is you probably already know this may work in the short term, but longterm, it has some serious consequences.
You're becoming an emotionally intelligent leader
The ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and those of others is a sign of an emotionally and socially intelligent leader.
Leaders do set a vision,
but they also help their team get there!
Yes, your job as a leader is to help teams see the other side
A leader is taking a team a direction via a powerful vision. You'll need to be motivating and inspiring to get there. And sometimes getting them to that vision will be hard on them.
What you can do
When it's difficult, we need to sit down beside our team and talk about how hard and difficult it is.
Are they ready to move on?
Sometimes they are ready, and we can then be positive again.
Sometimes they need more time.
If they get stuck, we may need to nudge them along a little bit with hard truths, inspiration, and motivation.
Someone once wisely said:
There is a time and a place for everything!
Practically how do you do this?
👉You slow things down.
👉You'll allow space for frustration and disappointment in conversations about the pain and agony.
👉You acknowledge the emotions rather than trying to push them away.
EXERCISE: Try this with your team
On this week's podcast, I talk about looking back over 2020. If you're looking for an exercise to do with your team to help acknowledge all of the rainbow of emotions that have happened, get them to listen to the podcast.
First, ask them to reflect on the questions I offer in the episode such as:
Next, sit down and discuss the answers together. Remember to allow and acknowledging what you have all been through how you've grown as a team.
Then, when the emotions have been acknowledged...smile and gently bring on the positivity...if the time is right!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.