Emotional Deficiencies

Understanding the role of emotional deficiencies in leadership is critical in today’s corporate environment. Employees look to their leader to establish safety and trust; they expect emotionally healthy leadership. Leaders accomplish this in part with behavior that is rational, calm, logical and wise.

Leaders who portray a solid, steadfast source of guidance and direction earn the trust of their people. The opposite is true for leaders who can’t control their emotions when the pressure hits. Employees question their security when their leader doesn’t put the team first.

Certainly, leaders face a variety of pressures and expectations, and their responses vary. Most of the books I have read about the brain and emotional intelligence talk about emotional hijacking, which is what you see when a leader loses it. And it may occur more often than you think.

Impatient Leaders

Research conducted by Robert Anderson and Williams Adams reveals that leadership impatience is a common response to difficulty. Leaders who lack patience in tough situations release frustrations and resentments, showing an intolerance for something not going their way. It can be accompanied by anger and disrespect.

Impatience from a leader indicates that they believe something is wrong with their people. This is a damaging mindset, even if it’s momentary. People sense this and respond negatively. Leader impatience can also lead to taking shortcuts to make up for lost time, and that has its own set of potential consequences.

A leader with little emotional control is a liability to the organization. When the leader overreacts to bad news with anger, rants and tirades, employees are put on high alert. People sense defeat, and that can lead to depression, high stress and lower productivity.

Leaders with emotional deficiencies who prioritize their personal agenda over that of the company handicap their company. When decisions are made favoring their personal gain, rather than team accomplishment, the organization suffers. Protecting one’s image or turf can lead to lying, cheating, blame-shifting or credit-grabbing. It is damaging and is a liability to everyone.

What do you think? How have leaders in your organization overcome emotional deficiencies?  I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here, or on LinkedIn.

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