By Lauren Williams, SPHR Founder & Chief Boss Lady of Workplace Harmony
Editor’s Comment: Lauren will lead a session at the Philly SHRM Symposium, March 22, 2023, 1:00pm at Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel on: B.E.A.S.T. MODE: Beating Everyday Annoying Stress Together

To better understand the type of leader you are, you must ask yourself: How emotional am I?

People who experience their emotions — happiness, sadness, fear or anger — strongly are said to have high emotional intelligence. They experience situations intensely, feel passion for causes, examine themselves and can even feel another person’s highs and lows.

Others are innately even-keeled. They are seen as stable and consistent, possessing an inner steadiness that lets them move through life less rattled.

Neither is inherently better than the other, but growing as a leader for your company involves harnessing both.

One strength comes from your ability to recognize how much you and your team members are governed by emotions. The more you examine your emotional responses, the better you will be able to lead your company. Likewise, to understand how emotions drive your employees will help you tap into their strengths and navigate situations that are challenging for them.

Training yourself to recognize emotions can be like a superpower. It helps you infer information about what someone is thinking or feeling. You can pick up on cues from their facial expressions or how little they’re talking.

Identifying and channeling passion into performance is only half the job. A leader must also provide consistency and an even temperament. Experiencing emotions is good, but letting them overwhelm you will derail your company.

I’ve got three keys to survival for helping you manage the strong emotions — such as fear and uncertainty — your employees may be experiencing.

Survival Tip No. 1: Focus your team on routines and responsibilities. This will provide your team with a sense of normalcy. Routines put people at ease by giving them a focus. Consistency in practices and tasks reduces anxiety. Your team will be relieved to have something familiar to focus on.

What types of routines could you establish for your employees?

Survival Tip No 2: Communicate that a delay in goals is not a disaster. Your leader demeanor and steadiness is critical during times of turbulence and change. Having a growth mindset reminds you that setbacks are only temporary. Failures are learning opportunities.

What message does your demeanor during a setback send to your employees?

Survival Tip 3: When you’re feeling a loss of control, do not lose sight of your character. There is a reason you became an entrepreneur and a reason why people believe in you. Show up as your best self.

Focus your team on the mission at hand and the end goal. When they are weary, stressed, frustrated or confused, lead them and guide them. Celebrate everyday success.

Try implementing one of these practices starting today. See what happens with your team, with your own emotions, with your own feelings of stability and calm.

Wanna dive deep into this leadership lesson and a few others? I’ll be at Philly SHRM Symposium leading a session on March 22nd 2023 sharing this and more!

About the Author

Lauren Williams, SPHR has over 15 years of progressive Organizational Development & Organizational Change Agent experience working for fast-paced, exponentially growing startups. Lauren started her career in Finance for small companies and start-ups. She eventually developed a passion for people and culture and transitioned into Human Resources. What started out as a fun part of her job, quickly became a passion to better the workplace and encourage a positive evolution of the employee experience. Lauren holds an undergraduate degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in Finance and Economics and a Master’s of Arts from Immaculata University in Organizational Development & Effectiveness.

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Editor: Dennis Paris