Being a strong leader involves a high degree of emotional intelligence and emotional awareness. When it comes to developing leadership potential, especially among junior employees, there are often emotional ‘barricades’ that need to be dealt with in order to get future leaders into the right ‘headspace’.
Watch out for these false beliefs that can have a negative impact on the development of your future leaders:
1. Young Leaders Believe Perfection is Essential
Because perfection is unattainable, the people who seek it are simply setting themselves up for disappointment. Perfectionists blame the world (and everything in it) rather than doing what’s necessary to accomplish extraordinary results. Seasoned leaders realise that perfection is not necessary, and that moving forward even with a flawed, imperfect plan is often better than doing nothing at all.
2. Help Employees See Emotions vs Reality
Some people find it difficult or impossible to ‘get out of their own heads’ and see situations from different viewpoints. Junior employees may need to be taught how to manage their emotional responses to situations so that they can appreciate the bigger picture. Providing employees with feedback can teach them how to approach different situations with the right perspective.
3. Past failures determine future success (or lack of success).
When employees experience a series of setbacks, they often begin to assume that their goals are not achievable. Over time, they become dispirited and discouraged and avoid situations where failure is a risk. Because big achievements usually involve at least some element of risk, once-disillusioned workers often fail to make significant achievements at work because they’re too scared to try again. One failed project does not mean the death of all future endeavours. Guide young leaders through the process, and set an example that failures are an opportunity to learn.
4. Self-worth should not be based on what you assume others think of you.
Employees sometimes define themselves based on how they guess their boss, peers or direct reports see them. When they are convinced that others think poorly of them, they may lack the self-confidence necessary to keep growing and moving up the ladder. Constant feedback can prevent this from happening. Employess should always be made aware of how they are performing and where they can make improvements.
Breaking through individuals’ self-limiting beliefs can be difficult, especially in environments where constructive feedback is not requested or received often.
Developing emotional intelligence is, however, critical for successful future leaders. 360 degree feedback, which relies on input and honest comments from a range of sources, can be an effective tool to help people overcome their own limiting beliefs as it exposes them to real thoughts, comments, and feedback from the people around them at work.