June 5, 2018

Why emotional health is so important for your team.

Good emotional health is critical to you as a leader and the team you lead. We often don’t spend as much time thinking about and being aware of our emotional health as our physical health. Without emotional health, conflicts arise regularly and are often left unresolved leaving a disgruntled or a disempowered team. Learn the foundations of emotional health below.

We see a lot on social media about physical health: “Shake Diets”, “10 Easy Ways to Get Fit”… the list could go on! Physical health is important, but many times we don’t spend enough time improving our emotional health. Good emotional health is critical in our growth as people, and especially as leaders.

Emotional Intelligence is defined by the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways. Having emotional intelligence gives us the ability to relieve stress, empathize with others, communicate effectively, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.

Two foundational elements of emotional health are Self-Management and Relationship Management.

Both affect the way we behave and the way we interact with others. How we manage ourselves and relationships make the difference on whether we have good emotional health or negative emotional health.

As leaders, it is critical to self-reflect and become more self-aware. In doing so, we are able to recognize the emotions and situations that leave us undone, and reasons why we overreact in a certain situation or with certain people. We can also identify scenarios where we handled ourselves well or were able to diffuse a difficult situation.

When we are aware of our own emotions and reactions, we can better understand the emotions and reactions of others. This can help prevent situations that may be regretted later, bad judgement calls, or even broken relationships.

Empathizing with others is another critical element we need in order to achieve good Emotional Health. In order to successfully control our own emotions and relieve stress on ourselves, we need to be able to understand other people’s perspective. Be careful not to confuse empathy with sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone, whereas empathy puts yourself in their shoes – it requires a greater maturity of understanding emotions than sympathy does. When we can effectively empathize with others, we give grace and understanding to people when they need it, relieving stress on both accounts – both within yourself and those you are interacting with.

Lastly, overcoming challenges and diffusing conflict are crucial in increasing good emotional health.

Life will never be without challenges or conflict. It is not always about our circumstances, but about the way we handle ourselves, which in turn affects those around us. Our attitude is a major element of how well our emotional health is. We need to see challenges and conflicts as opportunities to grow and develop. If there is tension in certain processes of structure within our business or teams, then begin to brainstorm new ways of handling them. Maybe we are having conflict within our marriage; rather than ignore the problems or begin blaming the other spouse, take the time to invest and see where there can be improvements in the relationship. When we successfully deal with challenges and defuse conflicts, our attitude changes and we gain a greater ability to deal with future challenges.

Emotional health affects many areas of our lives both internally and externally.

When we have negative emotional health, it hinders our ability to accomplish the goals and visions we have set for ourselves.

When we begin to lack confidence in ourselves, it affects our family, friends, and those we work with. The good news is: emotional intelligence can be learned! It is something that even if we are not where we want to be now, we can improve and work on it  (just like we can improve our physical health). By taking steps mentioned above, we can develop good emotional health, improve ourselves and the relationships around us, relieve stress, and leave us with an increased ability to become who we need to be and do what we have been called to do!

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