As leaders, there are countless ways we influence our teams. As human beings, there are countless ways we can influence our teams. Leadership is a key element in continuous improvement initiatives, those who can manage their emotions are likely to be more engaged in their work.
Our mood is different every day; and our energy level, positivism, and focus will be affected by it. As leaders, we cannot let our emotions control our actions. The workplace is full of opportunities to derail our continuous improvement efforts; different levels of engagement within our team, roadblocks in the form of people who do not believe, machine downtime, last-minute orders, absenteeism, lack of support from management and toxic work environments. How we manage those challenges will determine the success of our efforts, but more important is the way we manage our emotions.
People are watching our reaction every time something arise, positive reactions will influence positive behavior in our team. The ability to react on a positive way is a learned behavior, requires practice. The more we learn how to identify and understand our emotions the more we learn about how those emotions influence our behavior and ultimately how we can control and use them in our favor. Those who understand their emotions can capitalize on them to overcome obstacles keeping a good mood and modeling positive behaviors.
The ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others is known as emotional intelligence (EI) and is a very important trait for leadership success. People with a high degree of EI know what they are feeling, what their emotions mean, and how they can affect other people. Every day will come with a different challenge, sometimes the same challenge over and over; emotional intelligence is what helps us to work with them expecting a positive outcome every time. Keeping your cool when things go differently from expected is not an easy task but if you can manage to do it, your team will learn how to do it too. A good leader is also honest, there are times on which expecting a good outcome is impossible. When we hit those, it is ok to accept it, regroup, make a new plan and keep going.
How to keep yourself calm on difficult situations is a huge challenge, in my humble opinion (by no means an expert opinion) is that everything comes down to how well you know yourself. The critical step is to know your emotions, to identify how you feel and learn how to control your feelings. When I recognize that I need time to control myself, I take a walk. Waking through the plant, talking with people almost always make me feel better, helps me to calm down and gain a different perspective. Sometimes I even talk about the situation with them, and the conclusion is that everything will be alright. Train the mind to use positive words and stay clear from negative ones is a way to keep you and your team moving in the right direction.