VUCA. Heard of it?
It’s a U.S. military acronym that aptly describes our current world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. Every day is a moving target. Ugh.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a sci-fi film, waiting for the hero to save the day.
Except, through my work with leaders since March I’ve noticed some organizations growing stronger despite the COVID-19 cryptonite.
They’ve realized inspiring VUCA leadership depends on Emotional Intelligence–a buildable skill that enables you to respond effectively to the unique challenges of each moment.
Zooming in and out.
Emotionally Intelligent leaders consider both micro and macro conditions . . .
What’s happening in their immediate world (zooming in) AND what’s happening in their local community, marketplace, and country (zooming out).
They’ve developed in-time awareness of their own “emotional speed-up” and self-management to hear inner alarm bells, take a breath, and look beyond themselves.
Then they communicate and act accordingly–whether shifting from “we’re all in this together” to “yes, I’ve got you” to “let’s see how this can work”–depending on what they sense will best serve that moment
The thing is, you don’t need to be Superman to be that kind of leader.
You already have some level of Emotional Intelligence. And unlike IQ, EI is growable.
If ever there was a time to showcase and expand your Emotional Intelligence, it’s now.
Here’s research-tested ideas to nourish your inner hero . . .
Breathe, just breathe.
During crises it’s completely normal to trip up under pressure from our own and others’ emotions and competing priorities.
Fortunately, mindfulness can bolster our self-awareness and self-management abilities. And no, it doesn’t require becoming a Zen Buddhist.
Try this simple six-breath technique:
* Take three deep diaphragmatic breaths, inhaling to fill up your tummy and then exhaling to make your tummy flat. It’s a physiological “system interrupt” that soothes your nervous system.
Letting your breath return to its natural rhythm . . .
* During breath No. 4: Notice your body.
* Breath No. 5: Notice your emotions.
* Breath No. 6: Notice your thoughts.
You’re breathing anyway. So why not use the next six breaths to hit the pause button, gain distance from the hub-bub of the moment, and connect to your calm and wise self?
Choose your thoughts and feelings.
Maybe you sometimes notice your breathing is shallow, or you’re feeling impatient or anxious, or your inner critic is having a party.
That’s OK. You are indeed a mere mortal. Welcome to humanity.
Mindfulness teachers say what’s more important than these challenging thoughts and feelings is the next moment after you notice them.
That’s when you can choose to let go of your inner turmoil without rancor or blame.
Simply begin again, noticing this time what’s happening in the wider context beyond you.
Bottom line: Practicing mindfulness helps you shift perspective, create options, and choose wisely.
Flex your superpower.
Yes. These are tricky times.
Sometimes you share decison-making, and sometimes you need to take charge. Sometimes you need to look to the wisdom of the group, while other times you must take your own counsel.
No. Leading in our VUCA world isn’t easy . . . and with the world re-opening it’s not over yet.
The best news?
Expanding your Emotional Intelligence equips you with a reliable superpower that brings the best of you to bring the best from others.
Especially for Leaders & Teams in Seniors Care.
You’ve got VUCA up the ying-yang. COVID has been deadly for you, your teams, and the people you care for. And then there’s the ever-changing guidelines from health authorities. Oy.
If you sense that expanding your Emotional Intelligence will help you as a Seniors Care leader to navigate through this with grace and confidence, you’re on track.
Not sure how to do that? Not a problem.
- Our Seniors Care Leadership Academy is all about fostering leaders’ Emotional Intelligence.
- And our clients who have hosted Search Inside Yourself training for their leaders and teams have reaped the benefits of staff being grateful for the support, and participants’ increased Emotional Intelligence.
Whether or not you’re in a formal position of leadership, harnessing and growing your Emotional Intelligence helps you and those around you bring their best.