Step Change Learning

How emotional fitness enhances relationships as a Leader

The future of leadership from 2020 onward heralds a time where emotional fitness, new mindsets, work ethics and other diverse additions brought to the workforce across every industry, is changing the way leaders lead.

It’s becoming clear that leaders can no longer have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in order to get their teams to engage and achieve their desired outcomes. Gone are the days where leaders can simply stand at the head of the boardroom and dish out what’s what, because employees are, quite rightly, becoming increasingly vocal and passionate about having their voices heard, emotional needs met, and their own personalities identified and met in the workplace.

It’s proven that brushing emotions beneath the rug in order to move past a difficult scenario is more harmful than useful, simply because those emotions will continue to bubble away beneath the surface, and ultimately sabotage the future of your interactions with other people and negatively affect everything you do.

Emotions have a way of influencing relationships. You’ve heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where technology is used to mimic human jobs and processes to make our lives easier. Though complex,  often AI seems easier to comprehend than the most fundamental kind of intelligence we, as leaders, should be most familiar with – that is, Emotional Intelligence and fitness. So …

What is Emotional Intelligence

Above all things, Emotional Intelligence is a necessity in order to be a highly effective and purposeful leader. Here’s the foundation of what it entails:
1. Having the ability to understand, recognise and manage both your own and other peoples’ emotions. 

2. Grasping the intricacies of how emotions play a role in your everyday interactions, and being in tune with when you might need to adapt your approach emotionally based on different situations.

3. Having the ability to use your emotions to influence others’ emotions and actions.

4. Speak to emotions in a neutral and positive way that focuses on achieving the desired outcomes in your relationships with your team, peers and/or your stakeholders and/ or customers.

5. Understand how emotionally intelligent and mature you are (self-awareness) whilst leading people, but more importantly, the key to succe4s is on how emotionally fit you are to achieve success in relationships.

What are the benefits of having a high level of Emotional Fitness?

Needless to say, if you can obtain and maintain a high level of Emotional Fitness whilst engaging with people as a leader, you’ll likely increase levels of respect, be more approachable and trusted, more connected with yourself and your team. Result: you’ll feel better about yourself and make decisions based on a healthy balance of logic and emotion.

The key benefits of having a high level of emotional fitness are:

  • Being able to increase and maintain your ability to stay calm under pressure.
  • Having better self-management skills.
  • Being able to develop a stronger social awareness and the ability to be part of healthy relationships. in the workplace.
  • Feeling more empathetic and therefore be able to reach the core of problems within your team, rather than addressing them at surface level.

How important is Emotional Fitness for a leader? 

As a leader in this fast-paced world, it’s critical to enhance and nurture your emotional intelligence and emotional fitness. Why? Having the ability to read and respond to emotions will support you to make more well-rounded decisions for yourself, your team, your business and/or your customer.

Communicating effectively is THE single-most-important skill a leader can possess, as it spans across verbal and non-verbal realms.

Leaders set the tone and climate of their team, so if you are emotionally detached from others or are reluctant to address emotion-based issues, the consequences can be negative and therefore impact on team culture.

Think about it this way; your thinking drive your emotions which drive your behaviour. If you are consciously aware of your emotional state and can adapt, this will transpire across everything you do.

All-in-all, Emotional Intelligence is not a ‘future’ skill. The time to ace this is now. . .

Modern leadership requires a lot more flexibility, preparedness for disruption, and innovative thinking. If you let yourself be led by legacy ways of doing things, and don’t recognise the need for speed, you’ll bring your company down with you.

Upgrading yourself as a leader is not something to be feared or recognised as a daunting task. Look into our Authentic Leadership Masterclass to start your new journey.

Above all be good to yourself and your wellbeing. Connect with any questions you have… Stepchange Leadership Solutions – Eloise Tzimas, Director and Founder