Do YOU Have Confidence?

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Do YOU Have Confidence?

What does that even mean? We all have confidence in our ability to do something.

Some people are confident when they stand up and give presentations. Some are confident looking after small children. Some are confident riding a horse, or plumbing a house.

Confidence means that you have enough knowledge, experience and skill to perform or execute something successfully.

So, what does it mean when we describe someone as a confident person? This suggests that perhaps they were just born with the gift of being confident. A confident person is a broader description. It is not pointing at a skill or task. It is simply stating that this person, more often than not, approaches life ‘confidently’.

It means this person faces challenges in life with a determination to succeed and the inner belief that they will find a way somehow. This mindset leads them to do one thing repeatedly. They take positive action.

When we believe that we will find a way and be successful, we automatically do things that will take us there and it doesn’t matter a fig if we know how to do it to start with. Nor does it matter if we start off down one route and then change tack, as long as we are moving in the direction of success, we are building momentum. This type of confidence does not lie in our knowledge, skill or experience of the task. It lies within us.

Confident people are not defensive because they have nothing to defend. They will succeed, at some point, at some time, they know they will achieve what they set out to do and they know that they will have setbacks and challenges along the way.

We all have times when our sense of confidence leaves us, momentarily. Maybe having received shock news, being made redundant, learning of the death of someone close. It is during times like these when it is easy to start believing you can’t instead of can. It is incompatible to hold onto the belief that we will find a way somehow and succeed, when we are consumed by a sense of failure and loss.

I believe that we are all born with confidence. We learn to walk, despite falling many, many times. We learn to talk, use a crayon, read a book. We delight at our small achievements along the way, and we very quickly shake off our failures, even if we hurt ourselves when we fall. Even if our fall was caused by someone pushing us over.

To be a confident person, you just have to know that you will find a way and be successful and when you do that, you will take action. If that action does not deliver immediate success, you will make an adjustment and go again, and you will keep adjusting and taking forward steps until you succeed.

Practise:

This coming week, spend time each day telling yourself, ‘I know I will find a way and succeed.’ If someone knocks you back, tell yourself, ‘I know I will find a way to succeed’ and be ready to learn, adapt and change your tack if necessary. If one door closes, go and find another to open. In fact, find another 10 doors. Before you know it, your confidence will be shining through.

By the way, it doesn’t matter which doors shut and which ones open. Confidence can bloom even in the face of rejection when you know that you will find a way and succeed.

 

 

A Different Approach To The Skills Gap

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‘…whether incorporating the best strategies for moving their business forward; or overcoming some current performance issues. There is always a gap…’

(If you prefer to view this content in video format, click the link above).

If you ever travel by tube or train, you will likely have heard the familiar words ‘Mind the Gap’ over the tannoy, cautioning you to take care not to disappear underneath as you board the train.

As a coach, I help my clients to ‘mind the gap’ too. The skills gap.

Together, my client and I are eager to find the gap. Whether stretching their skills to prepare them for future promotion; or at Director level, incorporating the best strategies for moving their business forward; or overcoming some current performance issues. There is always a gap. The gap lies between where they are now, and where they are heading.

The gap represents to me, the opportunity to take a significant step forward. Just as you have to step across the gap to board a train, once you have, you will find that you are on your way to a new destination, or a new level of competency.

My suggestion for this week is to alter your view of what the skills gap represents to you. If it feels disheartening to hear that there are things you need to improve, that you are not the finished article, imagine you are standing on the platform ready to board a train. Embrace the challenge, develop those skills, ask for support if you need it. You will not regret it. New opportunities and increased confidence await you.

And then, when you are ready for the next challenge and need more advanced skills, you will know to mind the gap and board another train.

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 1932 888 885.

Why Bother Presenting

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The opportunity though is lost so often though because the WHY was never thought through…”

Very often, business professionals approach presentations as something to get through without f*****g up. ‘Phew’ they will say internally, ‘I think I got away with that’.

They prepare strong content, ensuring all the relevant points are made. Their focus is on WHAT to cover. They may also have ticked the boxes on HOW to cover it. The opportunity though is lost so often though because the WHY was never thought through.

What is the WHY of your presentation or communication, face to face? It might be a large WHY of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ (BBC). It might be a relatively small WHY of ‘win business’ or ‘clarify project time-lines’ and so on. Even so, you must make sure the WHY is in place. The WHY is the destination – it helps your audience know:

1. Where are they heading

2. What you will want them to do

So that’s the What, How and Why…but still there is something missing. It’s all a bit dry isn’t it?

Let me introduce FROLL

FROLL is a means of making your communication

– Outstanding

– Memorable

– Relevant

Here is the approach that will help you achieve this

F = First.

Firstly, give your presentation a strong beginning. We always remember the first things in life don’t we?

R = Repeat.

Or reinforce. Very often people assume that they should only say something once. No, no, no! Remember, part of your why is to get some form of action from your audience. If you don’t like the word ‘repeat’ then use the word ‘reinforce’. Reinforce is a strong word.

Whether you use the word Repeat or Reinforce it is essential that you do it! Without this R word thoughts cannot form into actions. People need to hear things more than once. Whether it be marketing messages, advice from parents, teachers, learning lines for a play, all involve the need to repeat.

O = Outstanding.

Say something outstanding. The bauble on the Christmas tree. You don’t need many baubles – one or two. In fact the fewer you have the more outstanding it can be. Examples of something outstanding could be a story, an action (dance like no one’s watching!), even a pause…try it. Pause for 5 seconds during your speech and see what effect it has on your audience. I bet they’ll remember it!

L = Linked.

No matter what you talk about, and no matter how creative you are in bringing outstanding images, make sure they are linked to your central theme. A good technique to link absolutely anything to your message is to go as BIG PICTURE as you can when drawing out the link or message. The great thing about this technique is that there are no rules as to how big you can go.

L = Last.

As important as the ‘F’ or First in FROLL, everyone remembers the last thing you do or say. Be careful here. When does your presentation end: when you stop speaking? When you walk off the stage? When you meet the audience at the end of the session? Decide where the end is and drive towards it. The last thing to give is your Call to Action. What is it you want your audience to do as a result of what you have said, done and imagined?

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 (0)1932 888 885.

Staying Focussed When Under Pressure

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It’s not easy being a leader, especially when the pressure is on and especially when everyone else thinks they know better and feel compelled to share their opinions with you.

For this blog, I’m going to share some leadership tips from my experience of rowing. Actually, and more specifically, coxing.

Coxing can bring with it some very high-pressure moments, especially during a race – there’s nothing like careering forward at speed, no brakes, poor visibility and 65ft of boat and muscle in front of you. You have to be aware of the weather, the water conditions, tide changes, potential hazards in the water, other crews, the course, the rules and at the same time, get the optimum boat speed from your crew. You can also expect to be shouted at from the bank, from other boats, from bridges and possibly also from your crew members. Coxing is not for the faint-hearted.

You will feel exposed and uncertain, you will have to find a way to remain in control when things are happening that you have no control over.

How can a coxing experience be compared to being a leader in business? Well, as a leader, you will experience moments of very high pressure too.

You will feel exposed and uncertain, you will have to find a way to remain in control when things are happening that you have no control over. You will need to have an awareness of the market, the competition, your clients’ needs and all the time, you will need to have a vision of success and guide your team confidently and cleanly through. You are going to be heckled and you will receive unsolicited advice, maybe even experience aggressive behaviour from others. Leading is not for the faint-hearted.

Here are three ways to stay focussed even when there’s a lot of pressure to perform and things aren’t going your way.

  1. Why are you there?

Why are you turning up for this? Whether it is a meeting, a presentation, a day in the office, training. Why are you there? This is a different question from: What are you there to do? For instance, if you are there to chair a meeting, that is what you are going to do. But most importantly, Why? What must come out of that meeting? That is where to focus your attention, particularly if you’re feeling stressed.

When I sit in the cox’s seat, my job is to steer the boat and navigate. But Why am I there? I have one purpose. To optimise the speed at which the boat travels through the water for a specific period of time. I am there to use any method or strategy available to me to achieve that aim. That means I have to ensure the boat runs smoothly and efficiently, tension in the boat slows it down. The work has to be distributed in a way that will optimise the energy of the crew, I have to find ways to maximise the effort through the water and allow the crew to recover between strokes.

 

Task: Ask yourself right now, ‘Why am I here doing this specific task? What is my real purpose?’ What is the best outcome in this situation?

  1. Get organised

Know what the plan is and communicate it to your team. If you just expect them to do their bit, that’s what you will get. People doing what they know in ways that feels right to them. But as a Leader you want more for your team. You want them to be invested, to be upping their standards, to be working as a cohesive team. You want them to feel like they are learning and growing and you want them to know just how much their contribution matters to the greater picture. You want high standards and must believe that they want that too.

When a rowing crew goes out on the water, they perform better when they know what they are trying to achieve from the outing. As a cox, I communicate with them throughout the session, whether in training or racing so that they know in advance what is expected of them at each stage of the outing and they can prepare themselves mentally and physically. It is my job also to set the standards and expectations. Sloppy rowing not only looks rubbish, it makes it harder for everyone in the crew to row. The cox sets the standards and holds the crew accountable throughout. If I accept sloppy standards from just one rower, it brings the level of performance down for the whole crew and makes for harder work. Good discipline prepares the whole crew to respond positively during those high presssure moments when they come.

Task: How good are you at communicating? How does that change when you are feeling under pressure? What one thing can you do differently that will give your team even more clarity whatever the situation?

  1. Look Forward

There will be times when you need to make a change to the performance of a team member. It is much more effective to do this by outlining what you want to achieve and identifying with your team member the specific changes required. Several small and incremental changes over a short period often have more impact than trying to change too many things in one go.

When working with a crew, the most useful comments are those that explain the desired outcome and what specific change you want to see. It is also really important to acknowledge the success of each small change and anchor it by focusing the crew or crew member on feeling the difference the change has made. The least useful call is one that asks the crew, or crew member to stop doing something (eg: stop rushing) It is unhelpful. It should always be replaced with what you want them to do instead, clearly and concisely.

Task: How do you currently go about changing behaviour and upping the standards? What one change could you make today that would make your Leadership style more effective?

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When and How To Delegate Up

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‘You can help your manager to help you by communicating when you notice a problem or oversight…’

In a recent Insight, I talked about the art of Managing Up. This Insight is about Delegating Up, which is slightly different in my view.

Let me define what I believe Delegating Up to mean. You are at work and something has landed on your desk that you:

a) Are not equipped/skilled to deal with

b) Don’t have the authority to deal with it

c) Don’t have the capacity/resources to deal with it

d) It is someone else’s job

This matter will have come to you either direct from your manager, or through another route.

These are typical circumstances where delegating up to your manager might be appropriate. So how do you do it effectively?

1. Objectivity

Your initial reaction may be to feel dumped on, frustrated, stressed, angry, resentful, anxious at the thought of taking on this task. Your physical and emotional discomfort is a great indicator for you. As soon as you feel it, ask yourself, why do you feel that way? Which of the 4 reasons above are causing you such discomfort? Or is it something else?

OK. So now you have identified the source of the problem. And in knowing that, you have objectivity. You can go to your manager with a clear head and purpose.

2. Communicate

Arrange an appropriate time (bearing in mind any deadlines) to have a conversation with your manager. The purpose: to share that something has landed on your desk that requires action and you are not sure if (a, b, c, d or another). You would appreciate help or guidance on how best to proceed.

This provides the initial opener for a useful conversation. Notice, that the language used brings you along side your manager, rather than being combative. Humans by their very nature like to help when they are needed and your manager is likely to want to help you.

Discussion

When you meet, this is your opportunity to share the problem with your manager as you see it, and round out the detail:

a) Lack the Skills

If you believe you are not equipped or skilled to deal with it, share your concerns with your manager. It may be that your manager can coach you through so that you feel confident and capable of taking on the matter yourself. Or, it may be that the manager will reassign the task to someone who is better equipped. This also opens the potential for discussion around future development. Is it a skill you need to develop? If so, you can put a plan together so that you are equipped next time around.

b) Lack the Authority

If you believe you don’t have the authority to undertake the task, this is something to discuss. Either you will need to be given the responsibility and support of the manager and business, or if that is not possible, hand the task back to your manager. Delegate up.

c) Lack Resources/Capacity/Time

If you are genuinely maxed out and you don’t have the resources or capacity to tackle the matter, you can explain the situation to your manager, outline what you currently have on your plate and what is the likely impact of this task on your other workload. Ask your manager to help you to decide on the most important tasks to prioritise, or reassign the task to a team member who has more capacity.

d) Not My Job

Finally, if the task belongs to someone else, you can ask your manager to reassign it to the correct person/department. It might be just as simple as sharing with your manager that you think it has been given to you incorrectly and ask for their help to ensure it is picked up by the right person/team so it can be properly actioned.

(I have shared more about why this is so important to you, your manager and the business in the attached video).

In Summary

Your manager is responsible for ensuring you are working to a manageable capacity on tasks that you are equipped for and paid to do. You can help your manager to help you by communicating when you notice a problem or oversight. This is far more constructive than taking on work-load that you shouldn’t be doing and either failing to deliver or busting a gut and resenting others.

I hope this has been a useful insight and offers a helpful strategy for when and how to Delegate Up appropriately.

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Gain Attention

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pb02_website_banner_bluemike-gain-attention‘I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite?…’

I start with a story.

When I was young and naive, I remember being coerced into going up to London for the January Sales, when the January Sales started on Boxing Day, and not in September.

That was my first mistake.

I remember queuing outside Selfridges in the freezing cold in London’s Oxford Street and then the doors burst open like an overripe haggis and we all fell into the warm and fuzzy madness that some people get rather excited about. Amongst the carnage, all sense of courtesy and patience was lost in the buying frenzy that ensued.

People were pushing and shoving at each other and at the shop assistants as they clamoured for help to make their purchase and get back to their homes for the Boxing Day snoozathon. The poor shop assistants were bewildered and buffeted by the hordes and I had no hope of gaining the attention of anyone, having miraculously found a pair of jeans that were heavily reduced. I attempted to join the scrum but there were far more determined shoppers than I.

I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite? What effect might this have? So I calmly and deliberately retreated to the edge of the scrum and stood, stock still, holding my jeans in one hand and fixing my gaze on one of the shop assistants.

‘Be patient’ I told myself ‘sustain your gaze’ and within a short period of time the shop assistant returned my gaze. Like a scene out of West Side Story, we walked towards each other while the mayhem continued and eventually we stood face to face. ‘Can I help you sir?’, she purred. ‘yes could I buy these jeans?’. ‘Certainly sir; that will be £5 please’.

Translating this story into the world of communication, it points at 3 elements that can help you draw the attention of your audience:

1. Do the opposite of whatever is happening around you. This immediately creates a counterpoint and will guarantee that you draw the attention of your audience.

2. Sustain the action. Hold it for as long as you dare. This will draw the flow of attention to you, minimising all that is going on around you.

3. Be at ease. Conduct the whole action with a feeling of ease, breathing in synchronisation with your actions. Good luck!

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 1932 888 885.

Clear Your Mental Clutter

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‘The more we postpone making a decision, the longer the spin cycle and the bigger the load…’

(If you prefer to view this content in video format, click the link above).

My friend and Professional Organiser, Denise Allan, was sharing tips on morning TV the other day about how to keep your home tidy and she said “Clutter is postponed decisions”.

Wow! Powerful.

And then I began to look about me. The areas of clutter in my own home (Those drawers that contain stuff that we never use, but haven’t decided what to do with them. That pile of papers, not urgent, yet waiting for a decision. The neglected area of the garden, waiting for us to decide whether to plant or pave it).

Consider then the tidy areas (The utensils, we decided exactly which ones we want in the drawer. Those we use only on rare occasions are kept in a different cupboard. The living areas are tidy – most of the time! Everything has a place and is put away at the end of each day). It seems therefore, that clutter does indeed represent postponed decisions.

Did you know, however, that a similar thing happens in the brain – the clutter, or mental chatter, that accumulates. The endless spin cycle of thoughts, that take up so much head-space.

The more we postpone making a decision, the longer the spin cycle and the bigger the load.

When you feel exhausted, and there is no apparent reason for it (that is, you haven’t been up for hours, or pushed yourself mentally or physically), ask yourself what are the thoughts that are going around in your head? What decisions might you be postponing?

Raj Raghunathan PhD. Associate Professor afilliated with Dept of Marketing at University of Texas, McCombs School of Business ran a study to look at mental chatter.

He got the students to write down their spontaneous thoughts. These are the thoughts that occur before the student attempts to put a positive spin on them.

Prior to the study, most students predicted that 60-75% of their thoughts were likely to be positive. The results were surprising. Up to 70% of the spontaneous thoughts that were actually recorded were negative.

According to Professor Raghunathan’s study, the thoughts fell mainly into 3 categories:

Inferiority eg: Will someone else do better than me?

Love & Approval eg: Why wasn’t I chosen?

Control Seeking eg: Why won’t people listen to me?

You will notice how these thoughts are all about external validation and comparison.

So what is the connection between clutter clearing at home, mental clutter clearing and this study?

Once again, we’re back to decisions.

As a Leader, you can buy yourself head space and clear some mental chatter by making decisions. Successful leaders are in the habit of making many decisions up front. They plan for them. For instance:

o How they are going to represent themselves

o What they are going to wear (they adopt a ‘look’ – no pulling out all the possible options at 6:30am for them!)

o How they are going to lead their team

o What culture they are going to create

o What standards and expectations they expect of themselves and their team

o What they will do to meet their objectives

o How they are going to deliver value for the organisation

And so on…

With these decisions already made, they have automatically freed up space in their heads so that they can tap into their creativity, be more resilient and self-assured, gain clarity and the energy needed to deal with important matters. It really is like opening the filing cabinet, boxing up everything unnecessary and archiving it.

When we work with clients, we focus on simple, practical steps that make the biggest difference to them, their teams and their organisation.

By the way – if you could use some clutter clearing tips for the home, here is that clip of Denise in action.

To read an article about Professor Raghunathan’s study, click here.

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 1932 888 885.

The Art Of Dilation

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Leaders, public speakers and anyone in a position of influence need to develop a sense of dilation when preparing to speak, meet, influence, pitch or perform through face to face communication.

What am I talking about? Am I talking about the pupils of the eye dilating when you enter a darkened room? Well, sort of.

Dilation is defined as the action or condition of becoming or being made wider, larger or more open.

So what does this mean and why is it relevant to leaders and communicators?

Let’s take a step back. What‘s the point of public speaking? Actors and professional speakers understand that they are there to move people from one position to another. To move you to tears, to change your view, to enlighten you about a particular point of view, to engage you in a new or refreshed way on a subject that might have turned a bit stale…? You get the point.

In order to accelerate this influence and for it to be energised, impactful and memorable, the communicator needs to dilate!

In the terms of a being a more influential leader and communicator, Dilation happens when:

1. The speaker’s energy is controlled

2. The gestures are energised for instance hand gestures – so that the message is fully committed and not diluted by weak energy that allows the gestures to ‘leak’ away. Imagine the energy flowing through the ends of your fingers and out into the atmosphere. Don’t stop the energy flowing too soon, otherwise your fingers might look like damp lettuces at the ends of your arms!

3. The words used are energised. The vocal delivery is fully supported by the diaphragm and is clear and resonant. The delivery ‘hums’ and hits the target. There is a sense of crescendo in the energy of your speech.

4. The thoughts are present and alive! The speaker is fully alert to what is going on around him or her.

5. The atmosphere is electric. The speaker is reaching out to the audience with strong stories that stimulate the audience’s imagination – so that they are fully engaged.

Another way to look at Dilation is to regard the whole process of communication as an energy flow similar to that of a river or a sea tide that carries any debris or blockages along with it and builds towards its call to action. Irrepressible, unstoppable, irresistible.

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If you are interested in this topic or would like to discuss communication in your business, click here or call us on 01932 888885.

Are You Successful At Managing Up?

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“You will have a unique perspective, based on who you are, your experience, your knowledge and your understanding of a situation. Sometimes, your unique perspective might be just what is needed…”

(If you prefer to view this content in video format, click the link above).

This is an interesting topic and the reason I am posting it now is because it is a challenge for so many and specifically because one of my clients raised it with me the other day.

What does it mean?

Firstly, I’d like to define what Managing Up means, in my view. Managing Up is to be a trusted colleague and to have a voice with those who are of a higher status than you, your boss, for example.

It is perhaps an unfortunate term, as it can suggest the tail wagging the dog and that is far from the truth and a million miles away from what anyone needs or wants.

I see Managing Up as distinct from Delegating Up, which will be discussed in a future article.

Why is it important to be able to Manage Up?

At times, maybe often, you will see things that others don’t see. You will have a unique perspective, based on who you are, your experience, your knowledge and your understanding of a situation. Sometimes, your unique perspective might be just what is needed.

What are some of the perceived risks of Managing Up

  • Getting into conflict with your boss
  • Your boss taking the credit for your ideas
  • Your boss not doing what you say
  • Feeling frustrated that they don’t see your point of view
  • Feeling undervalued
  • Your boss not
  • sharing their worries with you
  • Defensiveness or getting angry
  • Feeling reluctant to stick your neck out, after a previous bad experience

The list goes on…

How to Manage Up Successfully

1. Rename, reframe – Instead of Managing Up, it might be helpful to think – How can I become a ‘trusted colleague’?

You are trying to create a relationship that is mutually respected. Where you can voice your opinion safely and can work together for the benefit of the company, clients and team. There is no ‘management’ to be done, there is only collaboration and openness.

2. Know the parameters – Every relationship has parameters that must be observed to be successful.

This is key to your success here. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to believe their value as an employee is attached to being right and this can damage the relationship. When you believe success relies on your advice being acted upon, as soon as you have won the argument (assuming you do), you may well have damaged the trust. If your point is not acted upon, however, you are likely to feel aggrieved.

Remember, you don’t have the responsibility that your boss has and you won’t necessarily share the same perspective as each other. Your boss might have a broader understanding of the strategy, for instance. Therefore, it is good practice for a trusted colleague to detach from the outcome, when it comes to offering up your ideas and opinions. By all means, get fully behind your proposition and give it your best. Then let go. Your boss owns the decision.

3. Think first – Is what I am about to share constructive and positive? Does it benefit my boss, the organisation and the team?

4. Practice patience – It is easy to get frustrated. It takes strength to practice patience. It will pay off. Focus on your own deliverables and make sure your work is of the highest standard, avoid getting distracted by politics, gossip or what other people should be doing and remind yourself that rejection of one idea or opinion does not mean a rejection of you. Stay confident, stay open and whatever the result, know that you have at least sowed a positive seed and a different perspective.

Wishing you luck! Please share your experiences with us. It is always so inspiring to hear when you have had a great result.

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants.

Owning It – Part 2

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The starting point to owning it or taking personal responsibility begins with the mindset. It’s about making a proactive decision to be responsible for the actions that you take.

In another EPiC Insight (Developing a Feeling of Ease) we touched on the importance of the Hierarchy of Control™. This is required to identify and correct the state of our bodies before we communicate with a sense of personal responsibility.

The Hierarchy of Control™ is:

  1. PHYSICAL control
  2. EMOTIONAL control
  3. Control of FEELINGS
  4. Control of THOUGHTS
  5. Control of ACTIONS

Taking personal responsibility begins with a mindset, but very crucially continues with tangible steps that we can take in order that our actions are proactive, specific, and uncluttered.

Today I’m going to talk about emotional control which follows the physical control discussed in an earlier insight.

We talk about the emotional state in 4 layers:

Reading Emotion

Acknowledging Emotion

Understanding Emotion

Managing Emotion

 

Reading Emotion

It is really important, in order to be able to start controlling emotion, that you first recognise its presence in you and others. It is vital that you are able to acknowledge that the way you respond to a situation differently to how you responded yesterday is driven by a change in emotion or mood, we might say. So if you feel that you are in a type of crazy where everything you do is affected by a negative emotion STOP it right there. Pause, breathe, allow the emotion in and let it pass away. Meditative exercises are useful at the beginning of the day too, to set you up in the right frame of emotion for the day, without any baggage hanging over from previous interactions or experiences.

For others, consider what is driving the intention of the message-giver and disseminate what parts are driven by logic and what parts are driven by emotion. Give the message-giver time to reflect on their own use of language with advanced listening skills.

Acknowledging Emotion

Once you have reached the state of reading emotion so that your emotional antennae is properly tuned, you can more quickly identify it in you and others. It allows you to make decisions, rather than wallowing in the chaos that a lack of control can allow in. In others, for instance, if you’re faced with an aggressive salesperson, rather than reacting in an equally aggressive way, a more emotionally intelligent decision might be to use non-verbal language to indicate that you are not comfortable with the approach and therefore give the other person the opportunity to adapt their own emotional state.

This tactic can work well in personal relationships too as the other person will be finely tuned into body language through their deeper understanding of you.

Understanding Emotion

Students of Emotional Intelligence will quickly become aware that the understanding of you and other’s emotional state is a bit like predicting the weather. It constantly changes and although you can take a fair guess at what emotional state you might be walking into, it has a habit of surprising you. However, with practice, we can prepare more and more accurately by forecasting what sort of emotional situation we are going to be entering by thinking through the situation. This requires a degree of strategy or big picture thinking in order to keep the mind open to the variations that you haven’t quite planned for. Stay nimble, and alert. Particularly, stay present!

Managing Emotion

The key to managing emotion is self-regulation. It’s not easy and we all fall off the wagon, but so long as your intention is to control your reaction, you are more likely that not to achieve a positive outcome. Ultimately this – the positive outcome – is what we are driving at. It is very easy to fall into a temper tantrum if you haven’t applied self-regulation.

Being able to self-regulate your emotion, to communicate in an emotionally intelligent way how you feel, the more smoothly your interaction with people around you will go. Good luck. Give yourself plenty of opportunity to develop this skill and be kind to yourself if it doesn’t work the first, second or third time to try it. It will improve each time.

Now you are ready to move onto the next level – Your Feeling State. More on that in a future article.

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants.

Best wishes

The Insights Team