While there are many ideas and theories about what makes up influential leadership, there are three ingredients that are ‘necessary, but not enough.’
They are necessary for influential leadership, but not sufficient.
Of course, there are many more ingredients to cook up influential leadership, but whatever recipe you are using to help improve your leadership skills, these three will definitely add some flavor!
Ingredient #3: Reaction
It’s how you make them feel
In my last two blogs, I introduced two ‘necessary, but not sufficient’ ingreditents for influential leadership: the art of allowing and service. Today, we look at another ingredient essential for influential leadership; “Reactions,” or how you make them feel.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou ~
I first heard a version of this quote from Danish Ahmed in a YouTube video (at around 3:20 into it) a few years ago and I have used it when doing customer service and leadership development training.
“It doesn’t matter what you say to people. What matters is how they feel when they are with you.”
I saw the opening quote in one of Wes Hopper’s email blogs and couldn’t help but make the connection to how powerful this is for leaders.
A Tale of Two Bosses
In my work team, there are fifteen supervisors. And here is what I feel when I am around two of them:
- Every time this one supervisor enters a room, you can almost feel the stress emanating out of her.
- Everything is a problem, an emergency, urgent, a crisis, or must be done in a hurry with her.
- A lot of the time, I feel stressed just talking with her.
- When this other supervisor walks in, I’m instantly put at ease.
- She is calm, speaks slowly and softy, and radiates confidence, peace, and a caring attitude.
- I feel completely different when I talk to her.
Be Wise, Energize!
Remember, everything is energy.
According to the Institute of HeartMath, the heart’s electrical field is sixty times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity of the brain. The magnetic field of the heart is more than 5,000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field!
The electromagnetic field of the heart can be detected for several feet in all directions around a person. When you are about 3-4 feet away from someone, that energy can be detected by another person and they can even begin to resonate with your frequency (for better or worse) – something called coherence or synchronization.
It’s even more likely if you touch them, like placing a hand on their shoulder, holding hands, or a hug.
Your Personal Vibe
How do people feel when they are with you? What are they going to remember? As Maya tells us above, they are more than likely going to forget what you’ve said and done. However, they will remember how you made them feel.
That’s why it’s so important to spend some time every morning – and even throughout the day – to get and keep your heart and your head in the right place.
I hope you do so you can go out today and radiate positive influential leadership!
How do you foster positive emotional states in those you lead? What techniques would you recommend to other leaders to help foster well-being in direct reports, team members, students, etc.? What other ingredients do you think are “necessary but not sufficient?”
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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™
Alan Mikolaj is Author and Lecturer at A Travel Guide to Leadership Training
He helps clients become happier, more successful, and to become the better leaders
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