A professional leadership coach explains how harnessing the power of emotional intelligence can make one a better leader.
“Dealing with humans is unpredictable and messy,” one reason why executives, managers, and other corporate leaders often prefer to manage resources rather than employees. But people ignore emotions at their own peril, notes Reynolds (The Discomfort Zone, 2014). To be a better boss—and a better employee—you need to first understand how your brain works, she says, and then use proven techniques for “outsmarting” hard-wired responses. This process, which involves analyzing one’s emotions, can be uncomfortable, the author admits, particularly for those who believe that they should tamp down, not tap into, their feelings. But in clear, concise prose, Reynolds shows how taking time to understand one’s instinctive responses can be empowering, especially when faced with conflict or crisis: “Being emotionally triggered by events is a normal reaction,” she notes, but she says that one also has the power to “slow down and contemplate your reactions and viewpoints.” Readers can use her various exercises, such as keeping a log of one’s emotions throughout the day or listing “triggers” that lead to anger or frustration, to help recognize patterns and feel greater empathy. This promotes better communication, she says, which, in turn, creates a safe, comfortable environment. Further lessons explore removing roadblocks to success and creating strong connections with others. Some readers may feel that the author’s methods are a bit touchy-feely, but her process, which involves recognizing emotions and actively choosing how to react, is individual and internal—that is, it doesn’t require soul-baring sessions with co-workers or trust falls. As a result, the tips seem simple and actionable and likely to produce positive results.
A self-help work that makes a strong case for its method of understanding emotions in the workplace.