Emotionally intelligent practices can transform your team
Quantum science is showing us that our level of consciousness actually affects our reality. In short, this means our level of consciousness can actually change our physical world. If you believe this is true. What must become abundantly clear is that how you view your world is vitally important. Your level of consciousness is causal. There is no better demonstration of this when leading teams. The role of the leader or manager is absolutely vital. Their level of consciousness, attitude, expectations and beliefs about their team, cannot help but be realised. There are some emotionally intelligent practices which can accelerate good results.
Clean the projector
A filmgoer sits down in the local cinema to watch an old movie: The beauty of the film was being horribly distorted due to the black scratches and spots which flashed across the screen. After about half an hour the filmgoer abruptly got up; taking a handkerchief out, walked up to the screen and rubbed furiously at the black spots. Of course, nothing was at all changed. The spots on the screen weren’t the problem. The spots on the projector were the real problem. And so it is for us in this world and in businesses across the world, we spend the majority of our time rubbing the screen and then we wonder why nothing changes.
The consciousness of the leader affects the team
Mental agility, attitude and emotionally intelligent practices then become acutely important. Expressing your negative emotions and feeling negative about or judging your team or members of your team is going to negatively impact them. As your level of consciousness grows as a leader. You understand you can affect the energy of the team in a substantial and positive way.
Building your team is never easy. Transforming your team is more so, but it can be done. One of the common ideas is that when embarking on transformation, resistance to change will be experienced. However, a thought-provoking article by Eric B Dent and Susan Galloway Goldberg, of the George Washington University, challenges the belief in resistance to change. In effect, like quantum science is showing, the belief in resistance to change is a mental construct. If adopted by the one responsible for the change, then it will so be experienced.
Leaders transform teams
The Centre for Creative Leadership, in its research paper entitled Transforming Your Organisation state in no uncertain terms the responsibility of the leader to effect the transformation, not by rubbing the spots on the screen as we have been used to, but by cleaning the projector, change within the leader is at the heart of the transformation. Their findings show:
- Bigger minds are needed to keep pace with rapidly changing reality
- Change requires new mindsets, not just new skills.
- Hidden assumptions and beliefs must be unearthed.
- Organizational change requires leaders to change.
- It takes a new kind of hard work. Stop calling them “soft” skills.
Learning a new mindset can be difficult because frankly, we don’t know what we don’t know. But what I have found when working with clients, are some simple practices which help leaders get out of their comfort zone and reach a new level of consciousness.
5 Emotionally intelligent practices
1. Own Your Feelings
Most of us probably imagine we own our feeling but in practice, it is quite difficult. We are conditioned to believe that external events and situations can cause us to feel a particular way, whether that means helping us to feel good, or feel negatively. But actually, if we observe ourselves carefully, we realise that what creates our emotions is the meaning we put on those events or situations. In the workplace, nothing our team can do determines how we feel. Our default position is “You screwed up and I feel angry!” Owning one’s emotions in its simplest terms means saying “Right now, I feel (scared, disappointed, angry or whatever), and I have to understand why this is so”.
2. Act With Discernment
When something goes wrong or a team member does something which causes a headache, it is so easy to form judgments about that person. Once a judgement is formed and believed to be true, then an attitude is formed. The problem is of course that any interaction, communication or joining with that person is coloured by that attitude. But if we practice owning our feelings, we will come to realise we don’t need to form an attitude, or judge someone, we just need to act with discernment. What I mean by this is that we:
- Remain emotionally neutral
- Deal with the facts; you don’t judge them as right or wrong
- Listen to your insights about the bigger picture
- Create win/win outcomes for everyone involved
3. Be Emotionally Involved
Owning our own feelings and acting with discernment, does not mean we should not be positively emotionally invested in our team. The key word is “positively”. Do we care about our team members as individuals? Additionally, do we care about their lives? Do we actively focus on events and situations which make us feel grateful and warm towards our people? I worked with a leader who on a results basis wasn’t at the top of the ladder, but the team had extreme respect and loyalty because the leader knew all about their families and the names of their kids, significant others etc. It is very powerful to care enough about our teams to learn about them as individuals.
4. Get in Touch With Your Passion
Our energy affects everything we do. We can bring positive and exciting energy to our team by being passionate about what we do, or what we are impacting or achieving. Quantum Science is showing, we are made up of units of vibrating energy which interacts with each other, therefore confirming what we already knew, our emotions are infectious. All we have to do is infect our people with our passion!
5. Encourage the “Feel Good” Factor
It is no surprise to me that CIPD research shows the key priorities for developing Managers are employee engagement, health and wellbeing. If we aren’t contributing to the emotional, physical and psychological health and wellbeing of our team we are unlikely to achieve transformation.