How to be an Emotional Leader

How to be an Emotional Leader

Are you a leader who manages people? The answer can determine how effective you are as a leader. Employees aren’t robots. They’re people with feelings and emotions. Emotionally aware leaders balance the day-to-day work and their employees’ engagement. Their success is often a direct correlation with adaptable thinking. According to a report from the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, the benefits emotional leaders receive in the workplace are higher employee retention rates, greater commitment, and better results. In short, an emotional leader is a beacon of light to others they lead.

How can a leader not only navigate the landscape of multiple personalities and emotions, but put it to use? First, it requires decoding emotions and an understanding of visual cues. In addition, the leader will need to be able to communicate differently to individuals based on their personality styles.

Effective leaders incorporate emotion by using these four skill sets:

  • Self-awareness

Leaders who are aware of their emotional state are able to control their egos. Participating in activities that assist in finding mental clarity such as meditation, hiking, reading, or exercising, leaders become more connected to themselves by disconnecting to the world around them. This allows them to look inward for perspective. Leaders who are self-aware also see clearly the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and those they lead. They can perceive emotions and address problems more thoroughly. This clarity helps master egos which is important to leading effectively.

  • Self-management

Leaders who are aware of their emotions are better equipped to manage them. When leaders are in control of their emotions, they know how they react to others. They do not fly off the handle or make hasty decisions. Emotional leaders are aware of the impact of their own emotions on others and manage those emotions accordingly. Focusing and practicing being in the present can assist with self-management of emotions. Journaling and paying attention to one’s inner self talk is another helpful means of self-management of emotions.

  • Social-awareness

Leaders who are self-aware and manage their emotions, also have the ability to pick up on others’ emotional cues. This skill is important for impactful leadership. When leaders are socially aware, they are more likely to understand the employees’ point of view and emotional response. They are also able to tailor their feedback based upon their awareness of the person’s emotional state. Leaders do this by watching, listening, and discovering others’ cues.

  • Relationship-management

Leaders combine communication and team building to manage conflict and inspire employees. Clear communication is imperative, but so is understanding and empathy. Employing self-awareness, self-management, and social-awareness assists in achieving the balance within the leaders’ communication. Leaders who employ this style of communication will find it easier to cultivate relationships naturally thus reducing conflict within their team.

As already discussed, emotional leaders are present in the moment. They are connected to their feelings and have a clarity about their purpose. They keep their ego in check. With their connection to self, emotional leaders will be open to others’ emotional states. They can provide support to others whether they are doing well or struggling.

In contrast, when leaders avoid connecting to emotions, they may feel more in control, but it can have a negative impact on the organization. Control is ego driven and does not take people into consideration. As Richard Rose stated, “Ego is the single biggest obstruction to the achievement of anything.”

The Harvard Business Review, Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries talks about four toxic leadership styles. All four are deeply rooted in promoting the leader’s ego. These can be alleviated by being a leader that understands both verbal and non-verbal emotional cues.

  • Narcissist. This leadership style involves an inconsiderate and selfish leader who puts their need above others for attention. These types of leaders are prone to belittling others. They are self-centered so everything must be about them. Thus, they are often exploitive.
  • Manic-depressive. This leader has a way of swinging back and forth between highs and lows. These types of leaders create an environment of uncertainty. There is no middle ground with these types of leaders. For example, they may draw people to them when experiencing a high. When experience a low, these leaders blame others which comes as a surprise when experienced for the first time. While manic-depression can be an illness, it can also be a leadership style.
  • Passive aggressive. This leadership style avoids confrontation even when it is staring them in the face. They express emotions, but only indirectly. With low self-esteem, they may miss deadlines and procrastinate. These types of leaders will undermine projects and blame others. They will become defense when confronted and are often contradictory. They will agree with an idea to avoid confrontation, but will sabotage it one way or another.
  • Emotional disconnected. These leaders struggle to read emotional cues of others, and they have a flat manner. They often are matter of fact in their responses and appear apathetic. Their team may view them as detached and caring only about work or the job.

Emotional leaders will need to be aware of their impact on others. Exercising your mind each day to not only remain keen and precise, but also adaptable, as rigid thinking limits your paths to success. Avoiding those four toxic leadership styles will also help strengthen you as a successful leader.

Reach out to me, AmyD the Peak Performance Expert and Trainer, if you want to learn how you can transition to an emotional leader! Email me today, Amy@AmyD.me.

Shuffling Leadership Leaves Room for Growth and Success

Shuffling Leadership Leaves Room for Growth and Success

Bill Clinton once said, “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” At the time, he was speaking about his actions as President of the United States. However, Clinton’s words ring true in many professions. Although changing leadership may be stressful, it can actually provide more room for your organization to grow.  

As the football season comes to a close, many teams will see a shuffle in coaches and players. Usually, this is looked upon as a negative thing because many players, and fans, become attached to their coaches and accustomed to their way of doing things. However, shuffling coaches and leadership introduces new creative energy into an organization’s environment and can actually lead to success for the team in the long run.  

In my recent blog post, I talked about Chicago Cubs coach Joe Maddon [link to that blog], his positive energy, and how it impacted the Cubs upon his acceptance of his leadership role. Maddon’s new energy and approach led the team to the World Series for the first time in 108 years. This same idea transfers to any sports team or leadership position.  

leadership changes for successConsider Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. He took the position of head coach with the team in 2007. “I think regardless of who they hire to be head coach they expect him to lead, and part of leading is being prepared to do things that you feel strongly about,” during the interview process with the Steelers. When he was hired, he became the third head coach the team has had since 1969.  

When Tomlin, 34 at the time, became the Steelers’ head coach, many people thought he might drastically change the team’s defense. The team has excelled with the changes he’s made. There was, and is, something different about Tomlin that helps him click with his team. 

One year later, in 2008, he became the youngest coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl, making history. Since then, he’s led the Steelers to two additional Super Bowls and countless victories. Throughout the years, he has always kept a winner’s mindset, and his energy has continued to help the Steelers succeed.  

“I think football is a tough-man’s game, it’s an attrition game,” Tomlin said in 2007 when he signed with the Steelers. “You win by stopping the run and being able to run the ball effectively — and doing the things winners do — being a detailed-oriented football team, playing with great passion and executing.” 

There are a number of rumors about what coaches will be swapped this year. Some of the top picks for coaching shuffles include New England Patriots’, Matt Patricia. Even though the team landed a spot in the Super Bowl this year, other teams are looking at Patricia to potentially bring new, winning energy to their coaching staff. 

Another fantastic example of how shuffling leadership can lead to fresh, new energy and success is Delta Airlines. Ed Bastian became the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Delta Airlines in May 2016. Since then, the company has grown and it is continuing to change with the market’s needs, thanks to the flexibility and creative energy of Bastian.  

He has been with Delta since 1998, minus a six-month stint at Acuity Brands, so there is no doubt he knows what he’s doing. However, Bastian’s energy and the way he leads the company is what truly leads to Delta’s overall success. The most recent change the company has made is an attempt to make international travel more affordable, and essentially make Delta more competitive with cheaper transatlantic airline carriers.  

Adding new, creative energy into the mix can make a huge difference. For the Steelers, it meant two Super Bowl appearances in two years. For the Cubs, introducing Maddon’s new energy meant winning the World Series. For some companies like Delta, introducing new energy and ideas keep the company competitive.  

Consider what your organization has to gain from introducing new creative energy. Allow me to help you bring that winning energy into your daily routine, team, or office. Schedule an exploratory call with me today!  

How Meditation Impacts Your Brain

How Meditation Impacts Your Brain

In my last blog post, I discussed how your emotions impact your physical health. Your body is an entire system of thought, that communicates with itself so it can heal from illness and injury. Right now I’d like to shed more light on how mental awareness and long term meditation not only impact your brain, but also your mental and physical performance.

Studies reveal that meditation has an age-defying impact on the the brain. Those who commit to long-term meditation have more gray matter in the regions of their brain that are responsible for sensory perception, memory and decision-making. Older meditators, around 50 years old, had the same amount of gray matter in their cortex as 25-year-olds.

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a CEO, you can benefit from habitual meditation and awareness exercises, which not only strengthen your brain against the impacts of aging, but also increase your peak performance. Here’s how:

Hyper-Awareness

My clients who practice meditation and mental awareness report dramatic, positive changes in their perceptions. Through a disciplinary practice, they’ve cultivated a mindset that is clear, free from distraction, and responsive to changes in their environment. My professional athletes in particular have integrated mental awareness into their physical training regimen. The increased awareness of their surroundings allows them to anticipate their opponent’s next move with more precision than before. They know the drill. They can predict, with laser-like accuracy, when their opponent is interrupting the flow that they’ve established through their mental and physical rituals.

This altered state, called a “flow state” by experts, elevates them to a peak performance that gives them the ultimate advantage over their opponent.

Physical Well-being

Meditation inhibits chemicals like cortisol, which are associated with chronic stress. Stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine wreak havoc on our bodies, and keep our brains from sustaining that healthy gray matter so crucial to our mental focus and our memories. Chronic stress also creates a buildup of negative energy in our bodies which increase wear-and-tear. It’s why some professional athletes report being more injury prone when they’ve stopped meditating or practicing mental awareness.

Long term meditation can act as preventative for the harmful stress placed on the body. Discipline in the art of meditation and mental awareness allows you to react quickly and gracefully to everything around you. You begin to “think on your feet,” which prevents career-ruining injuries and promotes the holistic healing of your body, mind, and spirit.

If you’re in a career that requires you to be on top of your game, at all times and all places, meditation and mental conditioning is what puts you at a competitive advantage. Ask me about Peak Performance Mentoring that can catapult you to a place among the elites. Visit my contact page or email me at support@amy-elizabeth.flywheelsites.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thoughts On Leadership and Legacy

Thoughts On Leadership and Legacy

A little over a month ago, Nike and Jordan brand released their 2017 Black History Month (BHM) collection. The design is breathtaking, highlighted by a bold yet sleek blend of color and texture symbolizing strength, harmony, and unity.

Why am I talking about shoes? Because for me, Nike’s annual BHM collection is a reminder of my personal mantra. Be the positive reflection you want to see in the world.

This advice is what I pass on to my clients as well. I mentor some of the most elite people in the world, from CEOs to professional athletes. Like the people behind Nike and Jordan brand, my clients are in a powerful position to use their creative vision to change the world for the better. You can too. Here’s how.

Expand Your Vision

Years ago, the BHM collection started from just one Nike Air Force 1 to an entire product line. The BHM collection’s message has also evolved over time, expanding from the celebration of black athletic accomplishments to the overall legacy of black leadership and achievement. Now, the collection also provides charity support with Nike’s Ever Higher Fund, and encourages others to create positive change within and beyond their communities.

You too can start small, planting a seed of positive impact and continuing to nurture it until its reaches its fruition!

Sow The Seeds Of Your Future

Even the most successful among us know that it is not enough to accumulate strictly material wealth. We, as interconnected human beings, wonder whether we are using our God-given talents to make a lasting difference in the world. Like many of my clients you are probably deeply invested in your legacy, of leaving the world a better place than when you entered it.

To achieve that, you have to re-frame your old ideas about success. True abundance, as opposed to purely material success, is all-enveloping. By committing yourself to charitable or philanthropic ventures, you ensure that your legacy is one marked by vision and inspiration. You becomes the positive reflection you want to see in the world, long after you leave it.

That’s why it is so important to prepare yourself for such a future, right here and right now.

Be A True Leader

As many professional athletes will attest, sports isn’t just about “the game.” It’s also about being a living inspiration. It’s about acting as a mirror that reflects the virtues of leadership, cooperation and dedication to a dream. The world feeds off that positive energy, creating a motivating ripple effect.

Philanthropic, charitable entrepreneurship is one way of securing your legacy as a role model and a visionary. The professional athletes who donate their time and resources to strengthen their communities are ensuring that their influence is spread far and wide.

The BHM collection is just one example of how professional athletes, marketers, businesspeople and non-profits can come together for the common goal of bettering the world. You too can be one of those leaders whose vision and legacy impacts every person you come in contact with. Learn more about my Energy Assessments for Leaders today to see where your heart is aligned, and how you can make this dream happen.

Discovering and Accomplishing Your Life’s Mission

Discovering and Accomplishing Your Life’s Mission

For some of us, integrity is one of the highest of personal values. To speak our own truths, that come from within our open heart, is what allows us to continue our path toward self-realization. By practicing integrity in all that we say and do, we ensure that our greatest mission in life will be  fulfilled. That mission is to bring our unique gifts and talents to an ever-receiving universe.

Let me show you several ways you can remained focused and dedicated to your life’s mission.

Take Other People’s Opinions With a Grain of Salt

Sometimes other people’s narratives or perceptions of how we are can distract us from the truth about ourselves. While the beliefs that others have may be enlightening in some ways, in that they reveal different sides of ourselves we may have been blind to, sometimes those beliefs are false and get in the way of our highest calling. Those beliefs are a distortion of what we actually stand for, in our heart of hearts.

Accept the opinions and beliefs that others have about you as information, not hard-and-fast truth. It can be helpful to hear how you are perceived by others, but it can also hinder you. Don’t let it.

Claim Who You Are

By claiming who you are, as a unique, un-repeatable miracle of God and the universe, you can better visualize what your mission in life is.

Here’s an exercise to help you. Write down a series of affirmations that lay claim to this powerful, positive energy that is yours. In one of my videos, I give you an example of a specific writing exercise that, while short, will help you visualize the qualities that make you a superhero, a person on a exhilarating mission.

Are you godly? Are you giving? Are you loving? Are you loved? You will never find out unless you ask yourself. Make this a habitual spiritual practice and in time you’ll be able to visualize your mission and regain the energy needed to perform your important service in the world.

Be Intentional and Have Conviction

What does it mean to be intentional or full of conviction, and how does it relate to being on a mission? Intentionality is a word to describe mindful focus. When you’re intentional, you are fixing your mind’s eye on the object in front of you- in this case, your mission. By focusing mindfully on that desired object, you actually align your entire being in the direction of its fulfillment. Intentionality is a psychic commitment that brings you closer to reaching your destiny.

You also need to have conviction if you’re to fulfill your mission in life. What good is having a mission if you don’t feel it with all of your mind, body, and spirit? To live life with conviction, you must walk and talk with integrity. If you do that, I promise you this – fulfillment will come sooner than you ever imagined.

I believe that everyone’s mission in this life is to be the positive reflection they want to see in the world. What that positive reflection is will differ from person to person, depending on every precious individual’s unique, irreplaceable strengths and talents. You can discover what these gifts are, what your mission is in life, and see to it that it is achieved starting today.

Reach out to me to begin a new chapter in your journey. 

Mindfulness For Men

Mindfulness For Men

Mindfulness is often been seen as an exclusively female practice, because it fosters a less conflict-driven response to our emotions and our external world. As someone who teaches mindfulness to highly successful men- from CEOs to professional athletes- I’m here to tell you that such techniques can only strengthen your masculine identity. Some of the most elite individuals, from Steve Jobs to Kobe Bryant, actually credit their abundant success to the art of mindfulness. Here are all of the reasons why you should start practicing mindfulness today.

Focus

Mindfulness is not about getting rid of your thoughts, feelings, or perceptions. It’s about being consciously aware of what’s right in front of you, how you are experiencing it in the present moment, and reacting appropriately. For those in fast-paced, high-performance careers, mindfulness prevents your thoughts from wandering, keeping your mind laser-focused on the important task at hand. It’s no wonder Phil Jackson’s coaching methods include mindfulness. It’s what keeps your head in the game.

Leadership

Strong, impactful leaders like Richard Branson practice mindfulness every single day. It allows them to see the ultimate picture of success that goes beyond material wealth. Mindfulness elevates your energy to a higher vibration that allows you to guide your employees or teammates in a direction that benefits everyone. Think that kind of empathic leadership is too “soft”? Tell that to Steve Jobs whose authoritative energy was matched with a mindful attention toward others that got things done.

Mental Health

Depression, anxiety, anger issues and addiction are among the most debilitating emotional conditions that afflict men in high-pressure leadership positions. Without the self-mastery that mindfulness cultivates, you can fall victim to your own destructive emotions. A Heart Wall can form, preventing you from ever realizing your highest potential in your career and in your relationships. Mindfulness practice, however, is proven to help men react better to high-stress situations so that they tackle problems more wisely and effectively. When you master mindfulness, you master yourself.

Physical Well-Being

Stress-related illnesses impact male professionals at a higher rate than others. Heart disease, high blood pressure, headaches, obesity, diabetes and accelerated aging are all physical ailments related to poor stress management. Mindfulness not only lowers your stress, but will increase your overall physical health by preventing these fatal diseases. Professional athletes, including countless Olympic champions, practice mindfulness to maintain their peak physical performance. The most successful corporate executives also use mindfulness as a defense against mental burnout.

Peak Performance

Increased focused, strong leadership, a healthy mind and body… all of these are achievable through mindfulness training. It is necessary to develop the kind of masculine confidence that can elevate you from being the best in your field to the very elite.

Are you ready to get started? Contact me, Amy D the Peak Performance Expert, and we can begin that journey together.