Certain situations seem to bring out the best (or worst) in people. Some people can handle emergencies with a relaxed, calm attitude, and others tend to run around screaming that the sky is falling. Leaders can’t afford to have the panic-button way of thinking, but what can be done about it when they do?

Take A Step Back And Assess Your Emotional Reactions

It’s natural, when we hear bad news, to have a visceral, emotional reaction. But when you are in the leadership role at work, your reactions have to be tempered. Your employees will be looking for you to provide guidance. There is a time and place to be emotional, and being able to judge when you need to be strong is essential for an effective leader.

Emotion regulation is a fast-growing area in science, and new models are now being used to assess emotion regulation. Using one model, the Mentalized Affectivity Scale (MAS), researchers have shown that three components are useful in understanding how we regulate emotions. These include identifying, processing, and expressing emotions (Greenberg, 2017).

I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.

Oscar Wilde

Developing the mindset needed for quality leadership takes time. Neuroscience is continually unlocking the whys of our brains, and using this knowledge can improve how we think about being and training leaders. Exercises that strengthen access to the prefrontal cortex (responsible for slower, but more logical and deliberate thinking) and reduce distractions will improve short-term memory and attention levels.

Your emotional health is just as important as your physical and mental health. Integration of body and mind can only happen when you take care of the whole package. Your gut, how you sleep, breathing, and the movement of your body all help develop your leadership skills. Being able to identify your emotions and then process them and appropriately express them will be easier when you have control over the total you.

If you find yourself strongly affected by events over which you have no control, your brain is not going to operate at optimum capacity, and your leadership role will suffer. The negativity may even spill over into your personal life, affecting those you love.

Increase Your Performance Using The Methods From The i4 Neuroleader Model

If you are unsure how to rein in your emotions, the i4 Model can help. Your brain is never ‘too old to learn,' and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a leader for decades or for a few weeks. A leader that can remain calm in a stressful situation will positively impact the office environment.

The i4 Neuroleader Program will give you the information you need to become a cutting-edge leader in the fluid, global, high-stakes business world. You will be able to control your emotions when you strengthen the integration of your mind and body to build balance in your brain. Your role as a leader demands more than survival thinking in this new world of work.

Greenberg DM, Kolasi J, Hegsted CP, Berkowitz Y, Jurist EL (2017) Mentalized affectivity:A new model and assessment of emotion regulation.PLoS ONE 12 (10): e0185264. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185264

Originally posted on: 8 February 2018
Last updated on: 18 February 2024
Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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