Seldom do employees want to be strapped in to the roller coaster of emotions their boss may experience at work. Excessive anger, panic, and even jubilation on your part create tension in the workplace—which in turn reduces productivity.
Be honest with yourself. When you get upset or angry with someone, what are you thinking? What are the underlying beliefs that led to your reaction? Do you always respond rationally when something unexpected or troubling is sent in your direction? Do you apologize if you behave inappropriately or irrationally?
By asking yourself these questions, you will begin to recognize in advance what types of situations trigger emotional reactions from you that need to be reigned in as a way of keeping control of your work environment. For example, if you believe that employees should do what’s expected of them without question, you are likely to react negatively when they question what you expect them to do. The cause of your reaction is your belief—not their behavior.
To improve your emotional intelligence, start by asking yourself: What do I believe my employees should or should not do? Next, establish behavioral standards for yourself, defining what you believe to be appropriate and inappropriate reactions when they don’t operate by your beliefs.
The next time you feel the need to yell or shout or cry or run for the hills, you will have a plan in place for handling your latest hurdle like a true leader.
Integro Leadership Institute
West Chester, Pa.
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