Being a leader –manager, supervisor , team lead – can leave you feeling reluctant to face a work day.
It can feel like you’re between a rock and hard place because you get your directives, and then you have to whip a bunch of people, who are either disengaged, reluctant themselves, or too overworked, towards that goal.
This can then leave you feeling disengaged, overworked, and de-energized. It’s a kind of self-supporting cycle.
So to throw a metaphorical wrench in it: insert some deliciousness.
Leading with Deliciousness means the opposite of that feeling.
- having fun at work
- being eager to go to work
- feeling refreshed and renewed by the work, not exhausted
- feeling connected to the people you work with and to your own inner spirit
- a feeling of wellness, lightness, openness and freedom (think “shackles off”)
- feeling fired up and passionate about the work you do
- feeling the results you accomplish are actually worthwhile
If you’ll notice, I use the word “feeling” quite a bit on this list. I’ve come to see over the years, that what matters is how you feel and how you lead others to feel that really counts. If you have heard retirement speeches, or even eulogies, you’ll notice they focus on the difference people have made to others, versus the difference they made to the bottom line.
So these tips will be aimed at the level of emotions. And if you try some of them out, I hope they might help shift the trajectory of leading with reluctance to leading with deliciousness. Does this resonate with you? Let’s get started with Tip #1, and next week I’ll publish Tip #2.
Tip #1: PEA is delicious
Dr. Richard Boyatzis, of Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, in his Cousera Course: Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence talks about PEA and NEA.
PEA is Positive Emotional Attractor and NEA is Negative Emotional Attractor.
The concept is that people tip between PEA and NEA and there are signs of when someone is in PEA vs. NEA. For example in PEA, the person could be smiling or have open body language. In NEA, they could be displaying a host of negative emotions and body language. PEA sounds more delicious doesn’t it?
The message I like from Dr. Boyatzis is that it’s normal to be in NEA. The research he cited suggests a 3:1 ratio of PEA to NEA at work, and even higher ratio of 5:1 PEA to NEA in your relationship with a significant other. If you can start to notice, and tip the scales in PEA favour, then your stress levels will go down to a level that your body can balance “fight or flight” (aka Sympathetic Nervous System) hormones with the “good” hormones that foster a better immune system, better blood pressure, and better digestion to name a few.
Not only is there better health, but I believe major decisions, or introducing change is less stressful when approached by people who are in PEA. So my tip is to delay and defer stressful discussions until participants are in PEA. There will be more creativity and less resistance.
Try this: Ramp up your PEA: NEA ratio by noticing when you or your colleagues are in NEA, and saying or doing something that is “open”, giving space to rest a few minutes, go for a walk, or whatever resonates with you, to tip back into PEA.
Extra Bonus Tip: PEA is contagious!
More on Emotions:
State of emotions is a continuum, and Ester and Jerry Hicks in their book, “Ask and It Is Given” outline an emotional guidance scale. I’ve listed them here because I’m a nerdy fact finder, and I like lists that are ordered. You may not agree with a list like this. I use it to gauge where I am. I find that if I can “name” my emotional state, and picture where I’d rather be, that’s often enough to trigger a shift.
The Emotional Guidance Scale
4. Positive Expectation/Belief
From the book “Ask and It is Given”, pg. 114