A CEO of a $100 Million company recently addressed a group of his peers and suggested that they should follow 2 rules in their businesses. Rule 1: never panic. Rule 2: If you violate Rule 1, don’t let anyone know. This is sage advice that too many leaders fail to follow and has many applications that may have a huge impact on your success as a leader.
How often have you worked with a leader who could not control their emotions or used fear to try to manipulate a response in others? How would you describe the work environment for those who reported to or worked around that person? Usually you will hear words like hostile and stressful. Never would these situations be described using positive words. Those who act emotionally will always justify themselves and put fault on others. If only some other party had done their job, acted differently, or not provoked them, they would not behave this way.
Those that are poor at controlling emotions are only choosing not to. It starts with your belief systems. A great example is a president I once worked for. He believed that when something went wrong in your area, you had to show emotion. If you did not, it meant you did not care like he did. Emotion meant caring to him. To everyone else, it meant that he was just a scary boss to work for. He was the last guy you wanted to bring bad news to. The messenger always got shot.
Having emotional intelligence results in the following benefits:
Control over one’s emotions is a choice and can be learned. Most people learned poor emotional intelligence from being around others that modeled poor behavior. It starts through mindfulness and intention. Do you have the intention of establishing and maintaining a positive work environment and relationships with the above benefits or the opposite? You need to be mindful of how you are feeling at any given moment and how your behavior may be interpreted by others. One must choose to control emotions with the intentions of the above benefits. You can get a coach or a mentor to help you through difficult times, and there are many books that can help you on this topic.
One of my favorite books is The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. In this book he identifies the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob people of joy and create the needless stress that I believe causes some of the emotional outbursts we see in the workplace. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offers a code of conduct that can rapidly transform how you view situations and set your emotions free.