Leadership business concept with businessman hand on blackboardAs a leader, you set the example, the tone, and the direction for the people you lead either formally or informally.   Whether you realize it or not, your emotions carry tremendous power to impact others and affect performance for better or for worse.

It can be far too easy to get caught up in doing the day to day activities essential to the “bottom line”, and overlook perhaps the most potent access you have to improving the “bottom line” – your ability to leverage your emotional power and ignite the emotional power of your people.

Consider that the atmosphere at the office (as well as at home) begins with the emotional tone you set.

By attending to your emotional state you can tap into your emotional power and share that power with those around you.

Here’s a short list of how successful leaders set the emotional tone for a happier and higher performing work environment:

1. Demonstrate a positive attitude consistently by:

  • Staying positive, yet remain realistic.
  • Going out of their way to smile, engage an appreciate the people around them.
  • Focusing on possibility and learning from failure rather than fixating on failures.
  • Using challenges as learning tools and stepping stones.
    • They recognize that if people aren’t facing stumbling blocks they are probably not challenging themselves.

2. Demonstrate their belief in and allow the strength and abilities of others to grow and shine by:

  • Setting high expectations and communicate them clearly.
  • Challenging people to think and rethink in service of doing their best work.
  • Recognizing and acknowledging potential in others.
  • Encouraging personal growth and development through both positive and constructive feedback.
  • Offering encouraging feedback publicly and difficult feedback privately.
  • Holding people accountable in a way that encourages them forward rather than pushes them down.
  • Demonstrate a low tolerance for poor behavior and encourage positive behavior.

3. Take an active interest in the personal happiness of their team members by:

  • Acknowledging that team members are people first, employees second.
  • Recognizing that break time is important for productivity and mental health. If you constantly put your nose to the grindstone, eventually your performance will wane.
  • Showing caring for people’s mental and physical health even in the face of deadlines.
  • Encourage personal development and the pursuit of happiness.

4. Lead by example by:

  • Practicing what they preach and being mindful of the impact of their actions on others.
  • Admitting failings and miscommunications proactively.
  • Showing respect by listening to their team.
  • Demonstrating their commitment to be enablers of talent, culture and results in all they do.
  • Being an example of putting family, friends & health first and encouraging their teams to do the same.
  • Leaders who leverage their emotional power for the good of others and their organizations have a profound impact on the bottom line in business, yet perhaps most importantly, they have a profound effect on peoples lives.

As Howard Schultz of Starbucks says:

“Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible. Care more than others think wise.”   

What do you do to leverage your emotional power to make a difference for those you lead where you work and live?