12 July 2021
Emotions friend or foe?
by admin_kmd
Coaching Executive High Performance Leadership & Emotional Intelligence

My goodness, I was one that believed emotions were not to be welcomed. When Greg, my first husband, passed away from cancer, you can guess what happened…. I completely closed off my emotions. I really had zero knowledge about anything to do with my inner world. I had no awareness at all that an “inner world” even existed!!! A relationship with my emotions was so foreign to me and to me that I had no idea how to even comprehend what was happening.

Later I would learn that I had completed disconnected from myself. I was so numb that I really didn’t feel anything at all. I would not let myself experience what my body was naturally wanting to do (grieve). Eventually, my body was desperate to do its natural thing, and I would consciously focus on distractions to stop myself from feeling. I thought this was the “healthy” way to do such a thing. Little did I know this was actually my biggest downfall.

When it comes to being emotionally intelligent, our relationship with our emotions is quite significant in our ability to lead. For me, I was completely disconnected. Everything in my life was about managing myself, and the people in front of me really didn’t matter (horrible, right!). It was all about making sure I made it through that moment.

Being a great leader is about the ability to make it about others and a greater purpose. How can we be a great leader when we are constantly making it about ourselves and our own needs. The more we are a leader to ourselves, the more we are connected and can lead others.

I remember back, and there were times when my children would be upset in their times of grief. I would be so unaware of how to allow this in them as I simply had shut down this ability in me. It meant that I was never able to hold a space for them to simply feel and be connected to me. They were doing what their little bodies were simply designed to do. At the time, I thought I was protecting them…, it was all I knew. Until I learned there was another way. The more I opened myself up to my own emotional world, the more I became connected to them and their emotional world.

Some people are scared of their emotions. I know I certainly was. Or we were taught emotions were bad or unsafe to express. We judge ourselves for who we think we should be and have external pressure and a lack of self-trust.

Emotions are normal and natural, and our bodies are simply doing their job. Emotions are nor friend nor foe. They just simply are…….

Leading with emotional intelligence begins with our ability to express with language what we are feeling at an appropriate time and place. Managing ourselves and taking responsibility to work through our stuff.

Leadership is about doing the work to inspire others to do the job.

As leaders learning these skills is fundamental in our ability to lead others. We must understand and lead ourselves first. We must move through our own challenges to improve our leadership skills, must move through our feelings of guilt, overwhelm, fear and failure because that is the next level of our leadership.

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