When you meet someone new, you often talk about what you do.
This also happens when you talk with family or friends and people you know well; you talk about what you do, not who you are.
You talk about what you’ve done since the last time you spoke
You talk about what you’re doing now
You talk about what you’re planning on doing in the future.
What you have accomplished, what are your successes in the outer world are right now, where are you going?
But What about Whoville?
How often do you talk about and show”
Who you have been in the past?
Who you’re planning on being in the future?
Who you are right now, today?
And still, there are subliminal components to your being that hit people’s radar when they are around you, when they work with you, and when they report to, or lead you.
They pick up on a lot of things about you without knowing any details:
- Who you are
- What is your emotional state
- What is your “being-ness”
- What do you react to
People will pick up and detect themselves much more than what you say or what you do. They will gather data points on how you are feeling deep down inside. And this actually affects people around you more than anything else.
Are You Experienced?
Where I’ve learned this more than anywhere else is in being a parent. The bond and connections we have with our children are some of those “open roads” where things go straight through, good and bad, whether we want to or not. There are no road blocks. We often say that it’s not what you say but what you do, that makes a different in child rearing.
I beg to differ: it’s what you feel that makes the difference.
If you are feeling “not good enough”, probably having picked that up from your parents, that is what will filter down to the child, no matter how many times you keep telling them that they are “good enough”. So even if having transferred some of that negative residue, has been kind of upsetting at times, it’s been a great learning arena. And the comfort is that, we do also emotionally, transfer the “good stuff”.
What does this have to do with leadership, you might wonder. Well, being a leader of your professional life is no different from being a leader of your personal life. You might say that the “emotional leader” that you are, is what shows up in your company, in your interactions with your employees, your clients and your colleagues. So your success as a leader depends on how you feel about yourself and what your true thoughts are about, everyone around you.
Toughen Up – The Soft Side
Is this too much touchy-feely mumbo-jumbo for you?
Well, tough…..look at who you like spending time with, who you feel comfortable being around, who you feel inspired by, who you want to go that extra mile for. Where you seem to always shine and be your best. Those people where everything just seems easy and fun. And even when there are obstacles, so-called problems, you always find a solution, you always work it out.
And work it out so that everyone wins. It’s quite logical. Just ask this:
- Who are they?
- How do they seem to feel/think about themselves?
- What is the “energy” they emit?
Trying On Some Introspection
So imagining that, in dealing with others, you always looked at yourselves first. What is my emotional state, going in to this meeting? What am I truly thinking about the person in front of me? How is that a reflection of how I think and feel about myself? What is about them and what is just a reflection of me?
And wanting a change in how others act, you could actually start with yourself. Change yourself and the change you’re wishing for around you, would just kind of happen. How would that make a difference in how you approached people in your organization? How you handled those daily issues that come up?
What kind of leader would you be if you actually had this kind of power? How would your life look? What would you do differently? And what emotional state would you choose to have?
Marie Forsman is a Leadership Consultant at mind2life
She helps clients with Leadership Training, Coaching, Workshops, and Seminars
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