“Great leaders move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision or powerful ideas. But the reality is much more primal. Great leadership works through the emotions.”~ Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Primal Leadership (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013)
Most of my executive coaching clients are very bright, but struggle in their ability to inspire people emotionally. The good news is that creating the intention to be more emotionally expressive, and being mindful of opportunities can usually create more positive emotional habits. Mindful leaders connect with the minds and emotions of their people.
How well do the leaders in your organization express their emotions? What about you? Do you appropriately articulate your feelings? Do you use emotional expressiveness to persuade and inspire others?
Leaders are responsible for their organizations’ energy levels. While research has demonstrated a strong link among excitement, commitment and business results, many leaders stumble at emotional expressiveness. They hesitate to express both positive and negative emotions in an effort to maintain credibility, authority and gravitas. Consequently, they’re losing one of the best tools for achieving impact.
“The role of emotional maturity in leadership is crucial.”~ Kathy Lubar and Belle Linda Halpern, Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate and Inspire (Penguin Group, USA, 2004)
MBA programs don’t teach emotional expressiveness, although professors often address emotional intelligence as an important leadership quality.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your — and others’ — moods and emotions, and it’s a critical component of effective leadership. Leaders at all organizational levels must master:
- Appraisal and expression of emotions
- Use of emotion to enhance cognitive processes and decision-making
- The psychology of emotions
- Appropriate management of emotions
Every message has an emotional component, so leaders must learn to articulate and express their feelings. Mastering this objective inspires your team in five essential domains:
- Developing collective goals
- Instilling an appreciation of work’s importance
- Generating and maintaining enthusiasm, confidence, optimism, cooperation and trust
- Encouraging flexibility in decision-making and change management
- Establishing and maintaining a meaningful organizational identity
Leaders create authentic relationships by expressing interest in their people and showing empathy. They must also learn to express their emotions publicly.
You can develop the skills of emotionally expressive leadership by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.
Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put emotionally expressive leadership skills into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be more conscious, and tap into the intrinsic motivation of followers? Emotionally expressive leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.
One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I an emotionally expressive leader who inspires individuals and organizations to achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders develop more positive teams.