Are you conscious of the energy you emanate as a leader?
In this article I want to touch on some important areas for you to consider as you carry out your role as a leader. It is not just about your words and actions as we will see.
This is also the subject of my latest ‘Leadership Mindset – Think, See, Do’ podcast episode, which you can find on iTunes, Stitcher, podcast Apps or on my website by clicking here.
Making your energy a conscious choice
As a leader we’re constantly energised and energising others. But what form that energy takes can vary. The words we say impacts, but it’s also important to consider our tonality and body language in how messages are delivered, and how we behave from moment to moment.
In the podcast I touch on some research from the 60s (by Alfred Mehrabian) that has often been quoted – 55% of our communication is body language, 38% tonality and only 7% words. I dispute the stats but the important thing to take away is that all are important in how we get messages across. If you deliver an upbeat message with a slouched body posture and dull tone it wont hit home. People don’t just pay attention to the words you say.
Behaviour influences psychology
William James in the early 1900s developed the concept of ‘Act As If’. In short, our physiology and our body movement influence our psychology. I use this a lot in speaker training and networking. By holding a strong posture, shaking hands and smiling, you will not only influence others but you influence your own psychology! A UK professor – Richard Wiseman – has also carried out research to show that smiling alone will improve your own psychology.
This is all part of the energy we give to ourselves and others.
Your leadership identity and style
It’s important to have leadership energy as a constant conscious focus for how you behave. This can be driven from your very core identity in your leadership values. How do you want to behave and show up as a leader? What are the values that are most important for you to demonstrate and aspire to? This will often directly relate to the energy around you.
Remember also that emotionally intelligent leaders know how to adapt their leadership style and energy to meet the people and context they are in. Daniel Goleman (famous for his book on Emotional Intelligence) wrote a book called Principled Leadership that looked at 6 styles of leadership – Commanding, Visionary, Affiliative, Coaching, Pacesetting, and Democratic. These styles can all be effective at the right time with the right people. It’s about adapting your style and energy to suit.
I hope this article has stimulated your thoughts in this area, and please feel free to listen to the podcast to go into this in more depth.
Please feel free to give me a call on 07912 143040 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how I can support your leadership development.