Originally published by Shelley Row, P.E., CSP on 17 July
Is your leadership falling victim to the villain? “What villain?” you say. It’s a dastardly villain that limits your leadership potential and short-circuits your effectiveness. Particularly in technical fields, we’ve been trained to go along with the villain. Here’s how the villain shows up.
Technically competent people move into management where they face new challenges – challenges with people. They become perplexed by personality conflicts; stymied by office politics, mystified by seemingly illogical decisions, and confused why their logical points don’t carry the day. As a result, they become marginally effective and moderately inspiring as managers. Sound familiar?
But rather than learn how to work with the people issues and their feelings, they vilify feelings. I had a senior leader say, “Why can’t they leave their feelings at home and just do their job?” A CEO said, “There’s no place for feelings at work.” In both cases, they believe that “feeling” is the villain. They’re wrong.
The real, dastardly villain is the belief that feeling should be barred from the office. It’s an outmoded perception that didn’t work before and it won’t ever work because it goes against our humanness. It attempts to make people into robots. And, it’s derailing your leadership potential.
You can, of course, to hold onto the old belief system. It will continue to leave you frustrated, stressed, mystified and of average effectiveness. Yes, people will work for you but only for a paycheck. Their creativity, commitment and passion will be left behind. They will feel as though they are “just a number.” They won’t think twice about leaving.
If, on the other hand, you want to have deeper understanding of the workplace, feel less stress and frustration, be more effective, feel confident in your skills with staff, get more done and stand out from the crowd, join the movement to be a new brand of leader – an insightful leader.
It’s your choice. The only thing at stake is your future success as a leader. This is not an easy journey because it requires courage –courage to:
- Break old mindsets;
- Develop new skills that harness the power of both thinking and feeling; and
- Unapologetically bring your humanness to work.
You will believe that you are more than just the data, and so are they. You will be part of a bigger movement.
If you’re interested, here’s your next step. Start replacing the outdated, villainous mindset with skill. Rather than be perplexed by personality conflicts, understand the conflict using neuroscience. Instead of being stymied by office politics, learn more about the interests of those in charge. Don’t be mystified by illogical decisions; rather understand the forces beyond the data that sway decision-making.
For now, just stop pretending that feelings can magically be shut off at the office door. Shift your thinking and notice when people exhibit a feeling about a project, program or person. It may be positive motivation, excitement or enthusiasm, or it may be disgust, anger and annoyance. Either way, notice that we respond with feeling ALL THE TIME. It’s the way our brains are built.
Let’s not be afraid of feelings at work; let’s leverage them for the wisdom they hold and the humanness they bring. Because your staff, clients, bosses and partners are…guess what…humans.
Want to be a part of the new brand of leadership? If so, click here YES! I WANT TO BE AN INSIGHTFUL LEADER.
If you want to start your journey toward insightful leadership, contact Shelley now. CONTACT SHELLEY.
Shelley Row, P.E., ACC works with executives, managers and organizations to develop insightful leaders who must see beyond the data. Shelley helps you grow the bottom line and reduce workplace drama by bringing you practical techniques in decision-making, motivation and teamwork that are grounded in neuroscience and her executive and engineering experience. Named by Inc. as a top 100 leadership speaker, she is also a consultant and author. Learn more at www.shelleyrow.com.