How many times have you muttered in frustration to yourself, “If I want to get anything done properly, I need to do it myself”?  One of the challenges for passionate people is working with other people. Being a high achiever does not automatically make you a good leader of people. As the saying goes, ‘People join companies, but leave leaders.’ And one major reason that employees leave leaders is because that leader does not manage their mood well. 

Other people do not determine your mood

Feeling strong emotions is a good thing if you can manage yourself well.

There are all kinds of circumstances that cause stress – setbacks, mistakes, people letting you down. However, your mood is exactly that: YOUR mood.  No-one else is responsible and no-one else can do anything about your mood. All kinds of things can happen to you, and some will be out of your control. The one thing that is never out of your control is your mood.  One of the markers of good character, especially in a leader, is the willingness to take responsibility and manage yourself well under pressure.

You are not at the mercy of your mood

There are many skills you can develop that come under the heading of Social and Emotional Intelligence (S&EI). Leaders who are task driven and who feel free to blast people who frustrate them will score low in S&EI. Such people are dinosaurs from an era when leadership was top down; when leaders were always right, even when everyone knew they weren’t.

There are four main areas that are usually covered under the broad heading of Social & Emotional Intelligence: Self-awareness, self-management, others awareness, and relationship management.

Learning skills associated with S & EI needs to be top priority for anyone who wants to be effective in their leadership in the ever-changing business environment of the mid-21st Century.

7 Tips to better manage your mood:

  1. Discover ways to be more self-aware – This comes from learning to notice your own emotions and to understand how people and situations effect you. One of the best ways to do this is to write yourself out a few times a week in a journal. Keeping a journal will help you slow down, to be more self-aware, and to be more aware of how you come across to others.
  2. Invest in at least 2 people with whom you are vulnerable – give them permission to know you and speak into your life; to encourage mostly, but also to tell you when you are being an idiot.
  3. Create margins in your daily routine – make sure you allow gaps (margins) in your day so you can breathe; time to reflect and process your work and your world. Not enough busy people do this and so emotions can run out of control.
  4. Learn some basic leadership skills – rather than be frustrated by people or the one who frustrates others, invest in some leadership training so you can more easily involve others in projects in a meaningful and motivating ways.  
  5. Learn to regularly relax and unwind from work mode – There must be something you can do regularly which totally absorbs you while you do it. This could be exercise, running, gardening, reading, golf, movies, or the like. Anything that enables you to totally let go of your stress and replenish emotionally. If you do not do this, you will eventually burn out
  6. Hire a mentor – invest in an experienced mentor who will get to know you and help you work on yourself consistently.
  7. Develop a personal growth plan – work on your character weaknesses one at a time. You can control your anger or learn empathy or become a better listener.

Workplaces are much happier places when the leader is consistent in their mood. If people must walk on eggshells because the boss is having a bad day it will not be a happy workplace. It will not be a productive workplace either. The first person every leader must lead well is the person they look at in the mirror every morning. Effective self-leadership starts with learning to manage your mood.

INTEGRATE: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth | John Drury

Integrate: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle

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