As a Leader, do you know what your Emotional Wake is?

by The Architect on Apr 9, 2018

I have been listening to Adam Grant's latest episode of the podcast 'WorkLife', and have pulled out some of the best bits to feature in this blog as we continue to explore our emotional impact as a leader.

Here's last week's post on how you can actually LEARN Emotional Intelligence over time.

Mike Harris, founding CEO of First Direct, said “A leader’s mood is contagious”

You can instantly lift or flatten the mood of those around you. As social creatures, our bodies have evolved to react to the emotions of others and mirror them. So much so we even change our hormone levels and cardiovascular functions temporarily.

Once everyone starts reflecting it, that means the mood of the Leader becomes part of the organisation's culture.

Do you know what your 'Emotional Wake' is?

That phrase comes from Danny Myer, a renowned restaurateur that Grant interviews:

“What I’ve learned is that, in any organisation, everyone is like a little canoe. Or, speedboat, in some cases. Travelling through the water leaving a wake in our path.
And that wake is part of our empathy, because the wake is having an impact on every other boat in the water. It might even be having an impact on the docks along the shore.
If that boat is a person in the organisation, and they care to make sure that that wake makes the other people feel better, that’s such a huge difference.”

And what impact does managing a positive wake have on performance?

In one study, Doctors were randomly assigned a bag of sweets before seeing a patient. Remarkably, these Doctors diagnosed the disease faster. The positive lift helped them problem solve and piece together patient information.

(No, it wasn't a sugar high either, as they didn't even get to open the bag. Maybe children should be giving Doctors lollipops instead...).

"What is the greatest misperception other people have about you?"

That is an amazing question that Danny the restaurateur asks his leaders.

Emotionally Intelligent leaders know the answer to that question. They are self-aware to an amazing degree in terms of the impact they have on others. This question is so good because it gets you into that right self-awareness immediately in order to answer it.

If it's the first time you've truly considered it, make answering this question part of your daily ritual.

Real-time development of your leaders. Just in time.

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