Our comparison of anabolic and catabolic leaders continues with an exploration of how aware they are of their own and others’ emotions, how they express their emotions and how they manage them in the work environment.
Anabolic leaders understand that emotions are important messengers and essential contributors to what it means to be human. As such, it’s neither practical nor useful to expect emotions to be left at the office door.
Oddly enough, though catabolic leaders typically say emotions have no place at work, when they become frustrated or are unpleasantly surprised, they often demonstrate a tremendous inability to apply that prohibition to their own emotions at work.
Awareness, expression and management of emotion are the three main aspects of emotional intelligence. In Energy Leadership™ terms, emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to distinguish, understand and have an awareness of how thoughts and feelings connect with outward displays and behaviors, as well as the ability to manage and express emotions constructively and help others do the same.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the components of emotional intelligence to determine how they manifest differently in catabolic and anabolic leaders.
Awareness of Emotions
Catabolic: These leaders are often oblivious to their own emotions and the emotions of others. In addition, they are unaware of the effect emotions have on themselves and others.
Anabolic: These leaders are aware of their own and others’ emotions and they’re able to step back and recognize that their emotions are not automatic. They know their emotions are shaped by their thoughts. Anabolic leaders get curious about the genesis and ramifications of their emotions. The look for any fear-fueled energetic blocks they are carrying in the form of limiting beliefs, interpretations, assumptions or gremlins. And they dig deeper for hidden opportunities by asking themselves:
“What thoughts are fueling my response?”
“What is my real objective?”
“What better choices do I have for achieving my goal?”
“In what other areas of my life
could I apply what I learned from this experience?”
Expression of Emotions
Catabolic: As we mentioned at the outset, many catabolic leaders think emotions should never be expressed at work. They don’t want others to see their emotions and don’t want to have to deal with the emotions of others. Their attempted suppression of emotions actually helps fuel overreaction and inappropriate expression (such as yelling and eye rolling) when contained unpleasant emotions reach the breaking point. Alas, when they do express emotions, they do so in ways that can make difficult situations even trickier.
Anabolic: Anabolic leaders understand that emotions are a part of each of us, and that they can’t be “turned off” at will. They know how to express their emotions in the appropriate time and fashion. By sharing, acknowledging and validating, they create an environment in which their colleagues feel valued and understood.
Management of Emotions
Catabolic: When exposed to the unexpected and other stressors, catabolic leaders become easily frustrated, angry and resentful. Because they have difficulty managing their own emotions, in times of crisis the people around them are inclined to look elsewhere for sound guidance and genuine support.
Anabolic: These leaders have the ability to manage their own moods constructively and help others do so as well. They also are able to control their own emotions, even during stressful situations. When they respond mindfully, instead of reacting automatically, their calm, confident, optimistic attitude promotes a work environment conducive to solutions and success.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is directly related to interpersonal effectiveness (IE). The higher your emotional intelligence, the more effective you’ll be as a leader and communicator in all areas of your life. Click here to download a special report that further explores the relationship between EI and IE.
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Very interesting, Deborah, particularly because it accurately describes the approach to emotions that the catabolic leader I mentioned last time had. She certainly appeared to be “oblivious to [her] own emotions”. Although she tried to be open to the emotions of others, we all felt her efforts to be fake/insincere i.e. almost like she had an inability to connect emotionally and authentically with others. Energetically, it was incredibly draining for “members of her team” since she wasn’t at all effective in creating a team spirit. Although she was young, she seemed to have an old-fashioned approach to leadership – she was the boss and the “team” were there to carry out her micro-management orders 😉 How un-inspiring 😉 Love & blessings, Sam 🙂
Glad you enjoyed them.