Diagnosing Your Emotions Can Make You a Better Leader

I am interested in any article I see on emotional intelligence or anything closely connected to it. Understanding it has helped me countless times throughout my life, with my family, my friends and at work. There are two key parts: emotional awareness and emotional control. I can freely admit I am very aware, but I am not always in control. As a leader, I am committed to seriously working on both.

Recently, I read an HBR article 3 Ways to Better Understand Your Emotions. I found the article valuable, as it provided another subtle piece of advice as it relates to practicing or playing with emotional intelligence.

The article describes the concept of “emotional agility.” Emotional agility, as I understand it, is the ability to understand our emotions on a deeper level so we can deal with the world, home and work more effectively. The article suggests 3 ways to get a more accurate sense of your emotions:

  • Consider your vocabulary — broaden your emotional vocabulary and deepen your understanding of what you’re actually feeling
  • Label your emotional intensity – which emotions carry the biggest weight?
  • Write it down – it forces you to reflect

I was encouraged to read about this, as I practice some of these ideas already. Specifically, I have been focused on reflection and writing. I highly recommend keeping a journal. You will be surprised what you learn about yourself. Keeping a journal has truly helped me appreciate how I am feeling and why. It has honestly helped me lead more effectively. After reading this article, I am committed to trying to expand my emotional vocabulary. I can see just by looking at the author’s emotional vocabulary list and reviewing my journal, I have mislabeled some feelings, which on occasion led to me acting and leading ineffectively.

Take a read. Are you practicing emotional intelligence? If so, what have you learned that has most helped you along the way?