Leading Well: Staying Emotionally Fit

Leading and managing are both exhausting and rewarding. There is always an emotional investment whenever we take on the leadership hats.

How do you stay healthy emotionally?  Try the following:

1. Set boundaries. Learn how to identify what important pieces of work that could spill over to your personal time. Hopefully, not very many. The rest could wait until Monday. There will always be more time to meet the demands of work. When you leave for the day or for the week, make sure you are ready to drop everything and enjoy your break. This is easier said than done, but has proven beneficial to one’s well-being. I always tell my team as I send them off to their weekends, “As soon as you clock out you don’t remember my name.”

2. Vent to confidants. We need to have and maintain a good group of people whose main job is just to listen. We need a strong arm to squeeze when we are frustrated. Sometimes, these confidants offer advise on a neutral point-of-view. These must be friends outside from work who can meet us up for a drink after a stressful day at work.

3. Choose your battles. Not all battles at work are worth fighting. Those small stuff that you can tolerate? Just let them be. Don’t sweat the small stuff; focus your energy, instead, on the big ones that really need your attention. You may also delegate to help lighten the load.

4. Infuse fun. It will help you and your team when you incorporate fun activities in your rather monotonous day. I have used Jeopardy, The Weakest Link, $25,000 Pyramid, Bingo and even the Olympics in my training & development initiatives and employee promotions.

5. Get immersed in love. Paul Faulkner said, “When I come home from work and see those little noses pressed against the window pane, then I know I am a success.” Take off your jacket, remove your shoes, leave that briefcase at the door and play hide-and-seek with your kids. Hug your significant other and enjoy a dinner or movie together.

6. Write it. Sometimes just writing your thoughts down help you unleash those emotions. You don’t even have to save or publish them. You can write them uncensored. Or, you can simply write a poem or a prayer. While tapping on the keyboard you might also opt to play a soft music in the background. Write. Meditate. Ponder.

7. R&R. It is always good for any relationship to have mini-vacations here and there. You don’t have to spend lots of money. Have you thought about museum or zoo memberships? A walk on the beach on a sunset? Sometimes hanging out with your team outside work helps relate on a personal level. When I worked at the credit union, we had an Employee Recreation Account and Employee Recreation Program. The team decides what to do with that money, such as doing picnics, dinners and even some drawings.

As we mentor and lead our team, we also need to be able to care for our soul. We can model a healthy emotional well-being to our team, so that they can mirror the same.

Take care now!

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