You might think this is a blog about the human anatomy and that I am about to go into the intricacies of the use and benefits of the tongue as a muscular organ. Well; this blog is about the metaphor – the tongue….as a symbol of what comes out of our mouths and how this in itself is an act of leadership.
I have chosen to write about this as a way of making sense of a recent experience where I was facilitating a board strategy session for a public entity. It is a note to self (not to dish out what I experienced in that session); a healing point (letting it all out; journalling and meditating helps with healing) and a teaching point (to raise awareness to those in power and authority to be conscious of the impact on others).
I will not bore you with the details; suffice to say that in my twelve years of running a consulting business and being an experienced facilitator of strategy sessions; I have never experienced anything like that. The level of personal attack; (of course accompanied by this is not personal) and lack of professionalism in raising concerns (might have been justified I don’t know – history will judge) was a first for me. How I kept my cool and remained highly emotionally intelligent is worth an Oscar award. This was a real case of pull her down ( PHD) syndrome.
This left me thinking on how can I turn this experience around into something positive and hence I am writing this blog. I want to share a couple of point for leaders to take on board as they show up in a professional setting and they use their position to articulate their views. I will discuss these below:
- Be conscious of your impact – Prof Daniel Goleman writes extensively about these matters in his Emotional Intelligence Model i.e. Self awareness; self management; social awareness and relationship management. The essence of this is that you need to be fully aware of your internal feelings and triggers and consistently seeks to manage how you act on these in a manner that builds and nurtures relationships.
- Be the change you would like to see in the world… I am a firm believer that “leadership is an inside job”. The most effective leaders today are inclusive; self aware; seeks to serve and lead by example. As leaders we need to build a culture of respect and trust and we will not be able to get the results we want if we lead from positional power as opposed to being inclusive and act as change agents.
- Leave a positive impression – We live in a world where everything is connected and every time you step out or open your mouth to others ask yourself the question – am I making friends or possible allies into the future OR am I creating future enemies. In a networked world you will never know when and how your paths will cross again so make it your business that you pay forward; you create future friends and allies and you are building your own legacy as a leader.
Another way that I intended to turn this situation into a positive will be to run a workshop in the month of May on Emotional Intelligence. It will be a one day workshop online called “How do I show up as a leader today – being emotionally intelligent” We will be opening doors to this workshop very soon please send any enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on social media so that you get front row seats.
In closing I am reminded of one of Dr Maya Angelou’s quote “People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel”