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Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Challenge Number 8

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Challenge #8: people are better motivated by positive emotions, but leaders prefer to motivate with the negative

Negative drivers, such as ‘burning platforms speeches’, or ‘carrot and stick’ methods are poor motivators – but seem easy and immediate.

According to Goleman “We’re better motivated by positive emotions: it feels more meaningful and the urge to act lasts longer.”

The challenge is to translate this into action.  At the Forton Group we train Leaders to create a clear vision of the future intended outcome – as a vision statement – that they can share with their teams.

when leaders try to know everything

when leaders try to know everything

This doesn’t mean that leaders don’t have to have a plan.  Or that they aren’t committed to making that vision a reality.

It’s just that, if the leader does everything s/he leaves nothing stimulating, inspiring or motivating for the team to deliver.

Having a clear vision means that it’s so much easier to prepare for a particular journey when you know where you’re going to end up.  It’s also easier for leaders, because it reduces the need to micro-manage how to get there and what to do.

So many leaders believe that it’s their job to think up all the solutions.

This is a lonely, stressful and isolating place to be.

One of my coaching clients was regularly demotivated by her boss, who told the team “Don’t worry, it’s my job to work out the solutions.”

Many micro-managing bosses believe that they need to understand, fully, what their team members ‘do’.  They don’t understand how this, in itself, saps peoples’ morale.

Particularly because it gives bosses a false sense of power over their team members – to wield threats like sticks to beat people with.

Far better to build relationships of trust and delegation.  Where every member of the team knows that they have a valuable role to play and contribute to the success of the whole.

Read more about getting the best out of your team.


Author: Helen Caton Hughes

Leadership and Team Coach based on inspirational and practical tools. Works with leaders around the world; trains coaches to International Coach Federation standards. Passionate about finding best ways for leaders to inspire themselves and get the best from their teams

One thought on “Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Challenge Number 8

  1. Pingback: Developing Emotionally-Intelligent Leaders – Learning the lessons | The LeadershipZone for better leadership

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