Emotional Self Awareness
Dec 20, 2010
Anybody wanting to lead relationships (professional or personal) has to be fully aware of ones own emotional state at all times. Otherwise, it is just impossible to respond to stimulus in a manner that is worthy of a leader.
For example, let us say that I have a very close friend of several years and we usually speak with each other with a lot of freedom. One day, let us say as usual, I make a passing personal remark to this friend. Instead of a usual warm and friendly response, let us assume that I get a strong emotional reaction. As a good friend, my natural response should be to understand the reason for the unusual reaction so that I can be of some help.
This is the seek first to understand mode. This comes naturally to some people. For some others, it comes out of experience and maturity. We can also call this the human mind's conditioned response mode. You provide a considered response to stimulus.
In the above example, if I had reacted back or left in a huff, that cannot be called a socially warm transaction. This is first understand me, then talk to me mode. A lose stimulus has been responded with a lose response. This could can happen even for the most matured person and is not typical of leader behavior in any given transaction. A good leader is always expected to understand and change behavior so as to enable mutual win in most transactions.
On the contrary, if one's brain is not able to select from a choice of possible proper responses to a given stimulus, then that person is said to be in an emotionally agitated state. The person is then said to be reacting to stimulus involuntarily.
Whenever I realize such a situation nowadays, the best and golden strategy that works for me is to go into silent mode till I gain control of myself. This works beautifully for e-mail responses as well.
Being aware of our emotional state is therefore important. This will help us recognize that our responses could be involuntary and potentially not in the best interest of those transacting with us at that moment. Such recognition will lead to the decision to delay the responses appropriately or search for other possible responses on the fly. Leadership can be more effectively demonstrated if we are aware of our current emotional state at all times and are able to avoid any mindless response. Watching oneself constantly for emotional balance is fortunately trainable.