A client shared a testimonial with me the other day. It spoke to the core of what coaching is about: he gained certainty, which enables him to respond to the intense uncertainty he encounters as a health care professional, in a pandemic, with groundedness.
The certainty he spoke to was inner knowing. He reconnected to his compelling purpose behind an old longing which ignited the self confidence, calm energy, and agency to pursue his dream.
Leadership starts with Self.
In leadership coaching we first and foremost focus on our clients’ ability to lead themselves. Just like an inspiring leader attracts her followers through vision, leading ourselves starts with tapping into the future we want to create and uncovering the purpose underneath our aspirations.
Vision releases energy and inspires. Purpose grounds.
Purpose allows us to follow a clear path whilst staying flexible in the light of obstacles and unforseen changes in our circumstances which might force us, yes, to adapt our vision.
Leading Self requires bouncing back from being reactive as quickly as possible.
You can only lead others well if you can lead yourself. And for me that most of all means being able to own my reactions to my circumstances and to bounce back to responding to them in a non-reactive way. In any given moment, being a leader means not blaming other people or situations for my frustrations, setbacks, and disappointments. My leadership aspiration calls me to own my reactions to those circumstances and to learn how to leverage them for working through my reactions so as to develop more emotional mastery.
Every negative reaction is grounded in a fear.
How do my reactions create emotional turmoil? Easy – uncertainty generates fear. Will I be good enough? Will they like me? Will they criticize me? Will I look good? What if someone…? These questions have held me back from blogging for almost half a year. To overcome my deep fear of being ridiculed, or worse yet, ignored, took many coaching sessions. It also involved “publishing” 2 weekly blogs in a private space shared with no one but my coach for six months before sharing with a bigger audience!
Purpose is the antidote.
What helped me step out and dare to show myself was a deep connection to my purpose.
Purpose allows us to find that thing which is bigger than our fear. That which makes taking the leap worth the risk. That which gives us strength and connects us to our agency and daring.
This is how it works.
Just think of a conversation you are shying away from because you think it will be unpleasant, difficult, with an uncertain outcome. You might not dare ask for what you want, for fear of being refused. You might have to give someone feedback that’s uncomfortable, but for fear of their reaction you don’t.
Now tap into why it matters to have that conversation.
Why emotional mastery really matters.
Emotional mastery is likely the number one reason why most people in leadership positions fail to lead. To understand how our emotions are created, what information they hold for us, helps leverage them for creating what we long for.
Emotional Mastery and Uncertainty
What does emotional mastery have to do with uncertainty? Our response to uncertainty is, to a large extent, emotional. Not tending to those emotions, and just being hijacked by them, or numbing them leads to disconnecting from our Selves and those we desire to lead. In short, it lessens our impact as leaders in our personal lives as well as at work.