For More Employee Buy-In, Practice Emotional Leadership

If you’re an entrepreneur or executive, it’s a good bet you have the word “leader” somewhere on your resume or LinkedIn profile. But how many of you have the adjective “emotional” in front of it? More likely, you describe your leadership using words like “effective,” “organized,” or “proven.”

While the idea of being an emotional leader might not sound appealing at first, it’s often more effective than other leadership styles—if you understand why and how it works.

Gut Instinct

In business, we’re tempted to believe that the best way to make a decision or gain employee buy-in is with hard numbers, facts, and analysis. However, this isn’t always what motivates people to jump on the proverbial bandwagon.

“We are so focused on the hard skills and are often at a loss to connect with others in a way that is rooted in biology. As humans we feel first, we think second,” says author and leadership consultant Chuck Garcia writing in a recent SmartBrief.com article.

The website SkillsYouNeed.com concurs, stating that regardless of the hard data, most humans make their decisions based on the power of gut instinct. “You can make reasoned arguments as a leader, but you have to offer more than logic. You have to learn to appeal to your employees’ emotions.”

A Combination Approach

When you’re busy running or starting a business, it can often seem easier to just present your data, issue an edict, and be done with it. That might get you obedience but not necessarily buy-in, which could undermine a project right from the start.

Garcia believes that a better approach involves asking yourself what emotion you’re trying to create in your listeners (enthusiasm, pride, fear) and then choosing the words and actions to generate that response. Weave an emotional component into the evidence or reasoning you’re presenting.

“As a leader, you’re responsible for weighing the data and choosing the best course for your employees. Getting their buy-in requires more. You have to make them feel it in their gut,” says the Skills You Need article.

Transparency Is Key

Taking the step into this kind of leadership means having a willingness to show people your true authentic self. You need to remove the “corporate mask” and let your humanity show.

One way to do this, according to Garcia, is to share some of your failures. “Revealing vulnerabilities is an effective way to strip away your mask and help people understand that you’re just like them. You’ve had challenges. You’ve tried things. You’ve failed. Nothing more emotional than that. If you can help a colleague see you as a regular Joe or Jane who faced challenges, overcame them, and found success, you increase the chances to make a personal and lasting emotional connection.”

To sum up, emotional leadership isn’t about the feelings of the person in charge. It’s about the person in charge understanding what emotions and feelings will best motivate employees—and getting those emotions to come alive through empathy and transparency.

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About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious women leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Meditation: An Effective Tool For Business Success

Meditation is an effective way to get your body and mind to relax, which creates a healthier you. It’s also an effective tool for business success for everyone from owners to hourly employees. And there’s research to back that up.

A recent article on The Chopra Center website cites research from the Harvard Business School and a leading European business school which shows that “the two most effective business tools for twenty-first century executives are meditation and intuition. The benefits of meditation in the workplace are cumulative; they build on one another, starting with the individual and from there, positively impacting the performance of the business as a whole.”

A Productive Habit

Writing in the Huffington Post Small Business section, Anita Heidema shares that many successful entrepreneurs meditate daily, including Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic and Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter.

Heidema shared her tips for adding meditation to your daily routine. These include blocking out five minutes at the same time every day on your calendar, using meditations that can assist you with the specific things you want to achieve, and keeping your meditations simple, at least at the start. Mindful breathing is a good first exercise.

Specific Workplace Benefits

According to the Chopra Center, there are five specific benefits that meditation brings to the business world.

  1. Increased Focus – The inner calm and peace from meditation make it easier for your brain to focus on specific goals and tasks.
  2. Better Communication – This same clarity and focus enables clear and effective communication. “A clear mind will express clear thoughts,” says the article.
  3. Improved Productivity – “By helping employees at all levels deal with their stress effectively, focus more clearly on their own goals and the goals of the company, and communicate clearly with the other members of their team, the productivity of the employee will improve.” This individual improvement then filters in to increase the entire company’s productivity.
  4. Stronger Loyalty – This doesn’t come directly from mediation but as a result of a company offering meditation as part of its wellness benefits, which makes employees feel cared for and appreciated. Why would you leave a company that treats you so well?
  5. Fewer Absences – Because meditation helps reduce stress, it lowers a person’s risk for issues such as heart disease, depression, or other conditions that would keep them out of work.

 

Whether it’s offered as a wellness benefit or allowed to be part of the daily office routine, workplace meditation is a proven way to keep both large and small companies running effectively.

 

Looking for a fresh dose of motivation to inspire and challenge you every week? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. Best of all, it’s completely free!

 

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious women leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Body Wisdom: An Essential Part Of Great Leadership

Body Wisdom: An Essential Part Of Great Leadership

Have you ever decided to do something—or not do something—based on a “gut feeling?” Your head was giving you facts to lead you in the opposite direction, but you made your choice because it physically “felt” like the right way to proceed—and it was.

This is body wisdom. While we tend to rely on our intellect and even our emotions to make decisions, it’s also important to learn how to listen to what your body is telling you, because it often has the answer that’s in our best interests.

Building Body Awareness

Our body often is the first thing that lets us know if we’re stressed, angry, excited. Our stomach churns, our heart beats faster, we feel “butterflies” in our stomach, we suddenly stand up.

According to the website Leadership That Works, “Our desire for change starts in our body…The world of thought and evaluation is a tiny fraction of the knowledge that is available to us. Paying attention to the body gives us a deeper sense of our innate wisdom.”

The site Wisdom Works says, “While our minds naturally delete, distort, and generalize information to make the complexity of our worlds easier to digest, our body simply tells it like it is. Once we get waylaid by any of the common triggers of stress, our body speaks up loud and clear.”

If you start building an awareness of how your body reacts in different situations, you’re learning how to understand the wisdom it has to offer and then use that when making choices or decisions. You’ll also know when your stress levels are creeping up so you can take steps to avoid a resulting illness.

Body Wisdom And Leadership

The body’s wisdom can be a huge asset in business leadership. Wise leaders are in touch with and able to correctly interpret what their body is telling them regarding any number of decisions and what effect those decisions are having on you as a leader.

“Being ‘body wise’ can help us lead better,” states Wisdom Works. “Our physical being echoes every thought, feeling, and action we take. As a result, information from our body is a trustworthy feedback and guidance system, always at our disposal. When we ignore our bodies’ wisdom, we put ourselves and our teams at risk for poor performance and burnout…”

Effective leaders have learned how to consult their bodies, as well as their hearts and minds, to make decisions that positively impact themselves, their teams, and the world at large.

Looking for a fresh dose of motivation to inspire and challenge you every week? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. Best of all, it’s completely free!

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious women leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.

Heart-Centered Leadership Traits

Effective Leadership Starts With Your Heart

Endless books and articles have strategies on how to build your business and increase profits through effective leadership. However, current research is proving that more effective, long-term success happens when you lead with your heart.

A People-First Approach

The site Leadership Freak describes heart-centered leadership as difficult but also potentially life-changing for both the leaders and those they manage because it puts people ahead of business outcomes. While a competent leader will expect results, an extraordinary leader asks for those results using a heart-centered approach.

It’s about finding the right balance. “All heart without results is weak. All results without heart is ugly,” says the site.

In a recent Inc.com article, Susan Steinbrecher, CEO of Steinbrecher and Associates, cites a 2012 Towers-Watson study of 50 global companies and their leadership strategies. The companies that focused on a people-first leadership approach and other people-centric business strategies had a one-year operating margin that was three times higher than companies who ignored this strategy.

According to Steinbrecher, “There is strong evidence that these results may be due to the positive impact that a more heart-centered leadership approach has on employee performance.”

Heart-Centered Leadership Traits

Below is a partial list of the qualities found in a heart-centered leader, taken from the Leadership Freak and Inc.com sites. If you see yourself in this list, congratulations! If you don’t, consider trying to work them into your management style. You might be amazed at what happens for you and your team.

Heart-centered leadership means:

  • You care more about values than results.
  • You speak the truth to others, and expect them to so the same with you.
  • Your goal is to serve the people you lead rather than them serving you.
  • You are compassionate, grateful, and a good listener.
  • You’re not afraid to admit your mistakes and ask forgiveness from others.
  • You’re committed to personal and professional growth for both you and your team members.
  • You work hard to build self-esteem in others and help them shine.
  • You assume the good in others, even if their actions indicate otherwise.
  • You consistently touch base with your team for both business and personal conversations.
  • You are dedicated to making a difference in your life, the lives of your team, and society as a whole.

To be an effective leader with a thriving business, plan with your head but lead with your heart.

Looking for a fresh dose of motivation to inspire and challenge you every week? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. Best of all, it’s completely free!

 

Image courtesy of Ventrilock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious women leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.

The Impact Of Body Language On Success

The Impact Of Body Language On Success

Most people believe that success is a function of brainpower—that intelligent people either are now or will be successful at something in life.

The truth is that success is a result of many different variables, and recent studies have shown that a good brain is not the only key to achievement. Your body language also plays a significant role in helping you grab the brass ring, and there’s science to back this up.

The Science Of Body Language

In a recent Huffington Post article, Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, discussed a study done by Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy on the impact of body language on success. Cuddy showed that “people who use positive body language are more likable, competent, persuasive, and emotionally intelligent.”

Positive body language includes any targeted gestures that help get your message across, such as eye contact and body stance.

Cuddy found that the right body language actually affects your hormones, making you feel more confident. It also helps you appear more likable and competent to the person or group you’re dealing with and has a powerful role around influencing the attitudes of others. Finally, improving your body language helps you to more effectively share your emotions and ideas with others.

Examples Of Positive Body Positions

The site 99u.com describes some kinds of body language that can help take you from negative and scared to positive and confident.

Open Up – Known as the “Power Posture,” this is standing with your feet wide apart and your hands on your hips or spread apart on a table in front of you. Spending time in this pose “increases testosterone, risk taking, pain tolerance, and belief in one’s own leadership abilities.” It also helps you to breathe better, which can calm shaky nerves.

Smile – Spending time deliberately smiling can help you to feel more positive and trigger positive memories, says the article. Turning your frown upside down is more than just a cute way to get kids to smile. It will give you more confidence.

Use Gestures – Just make sure they’re well-related to what you’re saying. Some studies proved that presenters were viewed as more effective and competent when they used hand gestures versus immobile hands and arms.

 

Any of these can give you an edge in negotiations or presentations by making you feel more confident and relaxed. You can even do them before and during a phone call or web conference.

The Importance For Women

Santa Monica College published an article describing body poses that women in particular should avoid because they send the wrong messages and can interfere with success. These include crossing your ankles while standing, tilting your head, “shy” or flirty glances, and mannerisms that broadcast nervousness such as playing with hair or fidgeting. Read the full article for more.

Changing your body position will change how you feel, which can be more effective than your brain in attaining the life you desire.

 

Looking for a fresh dose of motivation to inspire and challenge you every week? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move. Best of all, it’s completely free!

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious women leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.