Change is the only constant in business. Leaders with emotional fitness can deal with uncertain and frustrating situations more effectively. Being emotionally fit is the best armour against challenges. Emotional fitness is a concept that your mind needs regular training to stay mentally and emotionally strong and healthy. Emotional fitness is the state of mind where you are able to focus on constructive activities and manage to stay away from negative thoughts. Regardless of whether you are a professional, manager or business owner, developing your emotional fitness will help you gain greater professional, team and business success. As Dr. Emily Anhalt outlined “emotionally fit leaders are self-reflective. They continuously check in with themselves. They are patient with others. They can tolerate frustration and manage their emotions.” I have outlined four traits that you can work towards in order to become an emotionally fit leader.
4 Traits of Emotionally Fit Leaders
Emotionally fit leaders are self-reflective. They take the time to understand their triggers, biases and check in with themselves on a daily basis. A journal is one way to develop self-awareness. Journaling will help you to become aware of your own individuality and personality. By understanding who are you, you will be better able to manage your own emotions during times of stress. As a self-aware leader you will become more honest with yourself. As a result of this honesty you will become more open and vulnerable with your team. This will lead to greater trust and respect among your teams and build more effective professional relationships.
Some questions to consider for your journal:
- What went well today? How can I build upon this?
- What did I learn today? What do I need to change or improve to get different results?
- Write down your goals and question did I make progress towards these goals today?
Emotionally fit leaders put themselves in their teams’ shoes on a regular basis. They understand that everyone is unique and as a result how they feel about something might not necessarily be what others feel. Empathic leaders would not ask of others what they would not do themselves in the same situation. There are times where leaders must make unilateral decisions and in these situations, they consider how this decisions will affect their team. They strive for empathy even when it is difficult. They genuinely care how their actions will affect their team. Empathy is a skill that can be learned. Empathic leaders gain true respect from their teams even if difficult decisions need to be made.
Some questions to help you improve your empathic skills include:
- Did I truly listen today? How can I improve my listening skills?
- Did I demonstrate empathy effectively today?
- Was I present in the meetings today? How did I show up in these meetings?
Emotionally fit leaders can bounce back during difficult times. Resilience is the foundation of good leadership. Emotionally fit leaders embrace challenges and failures. They reframe these challenges as an opportunity to grow and develop. Resilient leaders have the courage to make changes instead of sitting on the fence thinking about it. They use their creativity to solve problems and are always trying to identify better solutions. Leaders are always finding ways to strengthen their resilience muscle.
Some questions to help boost your resilience:
- What can I learn from this challenge?
- What can I control in this situation?
- Who can I get support from?
4. Effective Communication
Emotionally fit leaders are able to put words to their needs and expectations. They are aware that any conflict is co-created and as a result they do not play the blame game. They are able to talk openly and honestly through issues rather than being in denial and avoid the issue. They are confident in what they have to say and are respectful of what their team has to say. Emotionally fit leaders have the correct balance between being approachable while maintaining their authority and appropriate boundaries.
Some questions to reflect on:
- Am I confident and clear in my communications with my teams?
- Is there an issue that needs to be addressed in a respectful manner?
- How can I improve my communication style?
Emotional fitness is an ongoing commitment to looking inward, processing through difficult emotions, and working toward self-awareness and self-improvement. Hope you have found something beneficial from this article. Please share this article with anyone you feel might benefit from it.
If you would like to discuss how my services might benefit you and your team, please get in touch.