It had not crossed my mind that I would quote Taylor Swift on these pages but she made a statement that underlines the point I want to make in this post:
“The easiest, best, most effective way to make someone listen to you is to speak in an even tone. A lot of people think that if they’re shouting the loudest they’ll be heard, but most people loose respect for you when you loose your cool. You have to maintain everyone’s respect, especially as a woman in a position of power. It’s terrible to be at that kind of disadvantage, where if you yell, people will talk about you behind your back much more than if you were a man. Because of these social injustices we face as women, you have to make sure that no one can call you a crazy bitch”
Although I recognize that there is a gender difference in how people are perceived by their environment, my point is more general in that you need to balance your emotions in management, regardless of your gender, and understand that your every word will now be heard by many and your every move or off the cuff rant will be shared, even on social media if you are unlucky.
Emotions are not bad. Connecting on an emotional level shows passion. You should not loose your passion for the causes you advocate, the goal you pursue and the actions you are pushing for. The manner in which you do this however will have an impact on your acceptance and the result you are trying to accomplish. We have spoken earlier about how results stem from the combination of the quality of your proposal and the acceptance by your audience. Keeping your emotions in tow while showing enough of your passion to be genuine is part of creating that acceptance.
Other than going through an anger management course, how would you go about moving from loosely raging emotions to carefully dosed shows of genuine passion? Here are some pointers:
- Know yourself, spend some time finding out when you show emotions that are not helpful and what it is that makes your reactions go from emotion straight to the mouth, bypassing the brain processing.
- Think through your hot-spots. Most of the time the things you react strongest to are related to your perceived fears. Face those fears and think through the consequences. Once you face them you start to get a handle on it and will eventually be able to be more controlled.
- Plan for setbacks and disappointments, have a process for avoiding certain situation or an early recognition of symptoms so you won’t be surprised.
- See the bright side of things, without hallucinating, and continue to spread your motivating optimism.
- Be self confident and have confidence in your team, such that you know that whatever the organization faces, you and your team will be ready to work through it.
- Turn the power of your emotions into power of your creativity to quickly develop options and alternatives to rectify the situation that has occurred.
Your strong point is often also your weak point when you overdose on it. Your passion for certain things become a liability if that passion turns into uncontrolled emotions. Working on this at an early stage in your career will continue to help you display and maintain a senior and mature leadership profile.