Ignite High Performance Emotions
She said, “I think you want people to be afraid of you.”
The higher you go the more serious your face looks. You may mistakenly believe a serious look makes you appear important. On the other hand, it may be a tool of intimidation. It may make you unapproachable.
What to do and what to feel
You meet with individuals and teams to solve problems, develop strategies, and create forward movement. You’re always asking yourself what needs to get done next.
All successful action-meetings include the powerful question, “Who does what by when?” I’m suggesting you ask a question that goes beyond assigning responsibilities and executing plans.
Have you asked yourself how you want others to feel when the meeting’s over or your exchange ends? Are you intentionally creating emotional states that lift others higher and take your organization further?
Don’t leave emotions to chance.
Leaders depend on the competence of others to achieve organizational objectives. Shouldn’t you want others to feel confident and competent? Does your tone, facial expressions, and body language tell others you trust them, you believe in them, you support them?
You have the power to motivate through fear and intimidation. You also have the power to ignite inner energy, to enable and ennoble. Are the people around you just collecting pay checks or are they passionate contributors? A pay-check culture lacks emotion. If you’re leading a pay-check culture, chances are you either created it or you’re feeding it. Perhaps they reflect you.
Stop being distant and oppressive in order to be impressive. Inspiring others makes you impressive in new ways. Expressing confidence in others bolsters their confidence in themselves and in you. Is it time for you to intentionally ignite high performance emotions?
What emotional states best enable achievement?
What can leaders do to create high performance emotional states in others?
You just wrote the truest soundbite about leading people:
“Stop being distant and oppressive in order to be impressive. Inspiring others makes you impressive in new ways.”
There are still many leaders who struggle with this concept and I write about one in my post that goes up tomorrow.
It must be the week for this topic! Bravo to your encouraging leaders to “ignite energy and ennoble”. Love it.
I appreciate you encouraging words and look forward to tomorrows post. Be sure to stop in and give us a link back to your work.
Have a great week,
Kate is a featured contributor on Leadership Freak. Read her bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/kate-nasser.
Good morning Dan,
Here is the link to the post I mentioned yesterday.
Missteps & Smart Steps in Communication — 3 biggies!
I welcome comments and additions to expand the list.
This is an area that I have struggled with and I appreciate your perpestive on this issue. I have found as I transition from a sales environment in corporate America (think “Glengarry Glen Ross”) to work in the realm of non-profits, it has been difficult to change my demeanor to motivate those that I am leading.
Not all groups are lead the same way. That concept is one that a sales professional knows but does not truly believe. As a sales person you become a student of people. You like to think that you have zeroed in on the 2 or 3 common motivating factors that we all share. A successful sales person knows that this is all a bunch of horse-puckey.
You can not lead a group of sales people the same way you lead a group of people who are motivated by money – not for personal gain but to help others. Different game face. Different game. Thanks for the post!
I think this is your first comment on Leadership Freak. Thanks for sharing your story and insights.
I’m with you, for some reason I forget to tell my face what my heart hopes for. My personal experience indicates a positive, forward facing orientation takes relationships and productivity in the right direction.
Success to you in your new endeavors.
As a consultant/trainer/team builder, I do most of my work for large corps and mid-size businesses. A few years back I started doing some work for non-profits.
Key difference, the people are motivated by making a difference as well as earning a paycheck. So I put far more focus on their “personal branding” and call to help than the biz focus.
There are many struggles in non-profit work. What keeps them going? Why do they work there? etc…
Best wishes to you and reach out for help when you hit a block!
It is possible to create an emotional state/climate at work that enables achievement without it having a hokey “rah rah” feel (ever been at a WalMart around 8 am when they are doing their “pep rally” for the day? Whenever I have been witness to one, I have walked away not fully convinced that everyone feels as rah rah as the leader). I think sometimes it’s not the tenor of the emotion so much as the sincerity of the leader and his/her ability to clearly lay out the objectives and convey support for the team that makes the motivational difference.
To create high performance emotional states in others, it is necessary to start at the beginning. Some people are in a position that is the wrong fit for them, either task wise or because something has changed about that individual’s motivations that has led to them losing focus.
In their book “Immunity to Change,” Lisa Laskey and Robert Kegan talk about the factors that make people (leaders and followers) immune to change – meaning you could tell an employee “stop cutting people off mid sentence” and they could try that simple behavioral change with some short term results but if they don’t recognize the “unconscious commitments” (in this case, perhaps to having control over interpersonal exchanges) behind their choices, they can never make lasting change. A leader who can, as Laskey and Kegan recommend, help their people “Recognize the competing commitments that cause you to do the things you do rather than the stuff you should be doing” is a leader who has gone a long way toward creating a high performance emotional state.
Thanks for a great comment. I’m going totally off topic and telling you that one insight you offered kicked my butt.
People who interrupt others are controlling… hmm … I’m stopping right there.
Paula is a featured contributor on Leadership Freak. Read her bio at http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/paula-kiger
Love this direction! I am experiencing the importance of what you’re talking about with my clients. Conveying it is another challege but it is genuine. Emotionally healthy people can radically impact the bottom line. Less turn over, more productivity, less distractions, greater trust. Instead of a negative spiral down you can establish a strong foundation to go up and when necessaary weather the storms.
Thanks for dealing with the “touch feely” stuff 🙂
Thanks for your comment. For years I rejected the touchy feely stuff! Now it’s essential. I love seeing how useful and motivational it is to intentionally work to ignite positive emotion in others.
I can sense your enthusiasm.
Best to you,
Leading through intimidation is one technique. Not one that I personally prefer. It yields little fruit in the long run.
But igniting a small flame of empowerment under a person or team can start a wildfire of creativity and productivity to wildly successful mission accomplishment.
I’ve worked with and worked for dictators. They can typically get adequate results for a limited amount of time. But long term success always eludes them.
Team members must be treated with respect and dignity or else those team members will leave and find a new job/career. People quit bosses, not jobs.
(I love this blog!)
I believe in the same way. People at higher position look more serious and often this is strategy to become unapproachable. I also believe that this makes others to know less about leader. And the less others know about people at the top, the better is the chance to lead them. The other perception is that people at the top do not want that others should know more about them. People fear being exposed if they connect more with the people at lower level.
I agree that pay check culture lacks emotion. Pay check culture also creates cut throat internal competition. I think Sensitivity best enables achievement. And leaders can create high performance emotional state by sensing other needs, requirement and inspiring others to achieve their goals.
Sensitivity is the most desired component leader should possess. Leader in and out the organisation should know the emotional state, desire and expecations of people. It means leader should be emotionally responsive. Now leader should use his potential and capabilities to direct the need of people. To do this, leader should have emotional intelligence.
Therefore, any leader having emotion and intelligence has edge over others to lead.
funny I can’t picture you without ‘touchy feely’ – so you must have mastered it now.
I take a simple view of this. What i demonstrate is what I get. If I don’t demonstrate fun and enjoyment, a love of love and a love of my wife, I’m only going to get it from my staff if they don’t need me to ignite it. Equally those that don’t will soon tire of me and leave or be unresponsvie in my presence.
Be happy, get happy. If you want to be surrounded by unresponsive bores, bore them.
Thanks for being happ Dan and the leadership community.
This is another great post!
I would like to point out something I don’t see mentioned in the other comments so far. This post doesn’t only offer great advice for leaders. It also serves as guidance for anyone having to meet with superiors and executives, about how they come across and how to interpret their behavior.
I’ll be thinking about your post later this week when I meet with a group of VPs to explain one of my projects.
Dan, when you have a chance read Simon Sinek’s recent book “Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.” I believe it is one you would want to feature and has a lot to do with this post.
Awesome post Dan, successful leaders don’t distant themselves from their followers. If you want to be a great leader, consider relating with your followers in order to get things done and make the trust stronger. Thanks so much!
It’s good and to some extent it is desirable to have serious face looks as you move up in the corporate ladder. It’s natural and a sign of maturity to take things bit seriously. Keep a distance and concentrate on big tasks and work on priorities.
High performance is dependent and outcome of meticulous planning, focused efforts, hard-work and the positive environment of excellence. It’s through committed, self-motivated and forward looking followers the corporate vision is met by achieving the set mission.