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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP220: Leader, You Are Being Watched

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Like it or not, your team constantly observes your tone and actions. How you respond to positive and negative situations dramatically influences your team's confidence and outlook toward the future. In today's episode, we'll share the practical strategies you can use to develop greater leadership composure and become better equipped to handle challenging situations with grace and professionalism.

"People are changed by your example, not your opinion."

Imagine this:

  • A high-performing employee quits.

  • You get a performance-based bonus.

  • You may need to terminate a well-liked employee.

  • You lose a big customer.

  • You gain a big customer.

  • You make a huge mistake.

How you respond matters! Influential leaders are always aware of their surroundings and understand the impact their reactions and language have on the environment and the team's morale. Celebrating wins and creating a positive environment is easy when everything is going great. However, when your organization is tested, your true character as a leader will show. As the leader goes, so goes the team.

How to Keep Your Composure as a Leader

Practice Self-Awareness

Be aware of your own emotions and how they may affect your behavior. Take time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, and work to identify triggers that may cause you to lose your composure. Once you learn these triggers, you can better prepare for them.

Q: What triggers do you have? What typically happens when you feel triggered? How can you slow down the pace and ensure you respond instead of reacting when you are triggered?

Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and understand and influence the feelings of the people in your circle of influence. By developing emotional intelligence, you can better control your emotional reactions and respond to situations in a calm and composed manner. Developing a high EQ is one of the most critical components of leadership.

Q: Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness, motivation, social skills, self-regulation, and empathy. Which of these do you think you do well? Why? Which of these do you need to improve? What steps can you take to improve?

Maintain a Positive Mindset

Being positive is not a skill; it is a choice. Maintaining a positive mindset can help you stay calm and focused, even in stressful situations. Practice gratitude, focus on your strengths, and seek out positive experiences to help you maintain a positive outlook. Fighting for a positive mindset can require you to take a time out and get out of the heat of the battle to reframe your mind.

Q: What do you think of when you hear the words "positive mindset"? Do you think you can have a positive mindset while being realistic about your situation? Why or why not? What do you do to keep a positive outlook?

Seek Support

Finally, don't be afraid to seek support from others when you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Try talking to a trusted friend or colleague or seeking feedback from a mentor or coach. Don't make the mistake of trying to go it alone.

Q: Who do you go to when you're feeling overwhelmed? What do they do to help you process what is going on and how to show up for your team? Describe the difference (if any) in how you feel and act after talking to them.

Application Activities

  1. On a scale of one to ten, how would you grade yourself on your level of leadership composure? Consider your internal reactions, facial expressions, tone, word choices, and actions. Do you sulk in your office when things aren't going well? Do you have a calm and confident tone when you address your team? Think about how you can build self-awareness when facing a difficult situation. What will you do differently in the future to develop your composure?

  2. Improve your ability to show empathy and have positive thinking by practicing cognitive reappraisal. The next time you watch TV or a movie, try to find the good in each character and their situations. By practicing seeing these perspectives, you will increase your emotional intelligence and ability to understand people while training your mind to think more positively.

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