Leadership Strategies: Become a Balanced Leader

As a manager, even the most professional among us occasionally let our emotions sway our judgement in the workplace. Our brains are wired to pick up on the moods and emotions of the people around us. This means that as a leader, it’s important that you’re aware of the signals that you convey. If your mood is positive, you can energize and invigorate your team. If you’re nervous or hostile, your employees may mirror that behavior. A Management degree will you position you for success, but it’s important to gain leadership strategies along the way. Here are a few:

Understanding Inner Work

“Inner work” involves understanding your emotions and how they affect you on a daily basis. If you can find your equilibrium, and control (not repress) your emotions, this can greatly benefit you and the people you work with. Some inexperienced leaders make the mistake of turning into machines, never allowing any emotion to show through. This is as bad as behaving irrationally, in many ways.

Let Your Emotions Shine

Leaders should leave their negative emotions at the office door, and make sure that they behave in a professional manner at all times.They should focus on finding balance and behaving in a professional way while still being approachable and friendly enough to inspire their team.

The following steps will help you to find the inner balance you need to be successful as a manager:

1. Make a List

Lists are a huge part of all leadership development, and it’s easy to roll your eyes at the thought of doing even more list making, but you will find this particular practice quite enlightening. Make a note of any particularly strong triggers in your life. For example, if being stuck behind someone that slowly counts out change to pay for something at the supermarket ruins your day (instead of just making you curse under your breath for a few seconds), that’s something that you’re over-reacting to. Or, if you are dealing with a tough family life, write down specific situations that cause discontent. Watch out for things that trigger you, and note them in your list.

2. Is it a Long List?

Read your list. Is there a pattern to the things on there? If there are several things on the list they could be related. Maybe you don’t like situations where you’re reliant on others. Maybe you don’t like noise. Maybe a lack of sleep makes you exceptionally grumpy. Try to find the pattern and fix the underlying problem.

3. Ask for Feedback

Another common part of leadership growth is group feedback. Ask people to give you honest feedback, and listen to what they have to say. You may not like what you hear, at first, but if you listen and work to change your behavior you’ll be a much better leader in the long term. Often times, large organizations offer a 360 degree review, where co-workers, managers, and other employees in direct contact with you can rate your performace. Don’t be afraid of criticism. It will help you become a better leader.

4. Stop and Think

Make a point of spending a few minutes each day thinking about the day’s events. Consider moments when you were stressed or angry, and try to think about how you could deal with those moments better in the future. Then, spend some time just relaxing. A few minutes of time devoted to recharging your mental batteries will do you a lot of good for not only your personal wellnes, but for those who are managed by you.

About the Author: This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Performance1 the executive coaching and leadership development experts. Visit their site for information on these subjects: http://www.performance-1.co.uk/leadership-development.

Photo credit: o5com

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