This week we examine the skill of “expression” in a series of blogs in May and June.
Emotional expression is the skill of effectively expressing your own emotions. It involves expressing how you feel at the right time, to the right degree and to the right people or person. This skill helps leaders create an environment of understanding, openness and trust.
Why develop the skill of “expressing yourself?”
As you develop your ability to express yourself effectively you are able engage in conversations and give feedback to your team members much more effectively, you’ll be more effective at having those difficult conversations that will be more likely to result in positive changes, your team members will understand what you want and need from them, they will trust you and you’ll help build and lead a strong and united team.
How do you develop your skills in “expression?”
- Read - A wise man once said, not every reader is a leader, but every leader is a reader. Get a feel for how others express themselves and practice this yourself!
- Write – Practice a variety of writing. Letters, a daily journal and emails. Writing will help you organise your thoughts and will give you focus and direction!
- Don’t be fearful – Practice not fearing or worrying about what others think of you and what you say. To overcome this fear, ask others for help. Try… “I am having a hard time expressing myself and thought perhaps you could help me”
- Take a deep breath – When you’re upset take some time out, go for a walk, sit quietly and take in your surroundings, breathe deeply. Consider what it is that is making you feel this way. By understanding this we can make better decisions about how to react
- Be the adult – Try not to rant and rave, swear or insult, mock or be stubborn. They are immature attributes that prevent and hinder the process of expressing yourself. Avoid gossip, insults and blame. Work on being thoughtful, considerate and be willing to listen. Show others respect
- Ask questions – Asking questions can involve you in others’ thoughts, feelings, worries and cares. This provides an opportunity for you to express yourself to them effectively. Seek to understand before you respond
There are many benefits to expressing yourself effectively
Leaders who possess this skill are perceived by others as being authentic and trustworthy. Leaders who are guarded, avoid conflict, or are inappropriately blunt about the way they feel can create cultures of mistrust, artificial harmony, and misunderstandings with those around them.
Being able to express your thoughts and feelings effectively is a critical skill in being a great leader. How effective are you at expressing yourself?