Building a positive workplace culture starts with your leadership. When your leaders show emotional agility, your entire team will follow. This, in turn, builds a more resilient and centered organization.
So how can leaders foster emotional agility within their companies? It’s all about building agile mindsets into your everyday business practices. Here are some tips for getting there.
Lead by Example
Leaders define the atmosphere of the organization. Your managers need to show what emotional agility looks like. Leading by example isn’t always easy, especially when emotions are involved. However, when your leaders consciously adopt a positive, adaptable mindset, so will your employees.
To demonstrate emotional agility, leaders need to learn from their mistakes, manage negative emotions, and avoid dwelling on problems. Be transparent with your employees when you’re feeling frustrated so they can see how you move through the challenge. Setting the example will help your team move into a more positive headspace.
If your organization punishes mistakes, your employees will be more likely to fear their errors. This fear is a barrier to emotional agility and overall well-being. In a punitive culture, teams walk on eggshells to avoid making mistakes. And that limiting mindset prevents risk-taking and creativity.
Leaders can reframe mistakes as learning opportunities to encourage resilience and optimism. Empower your teams to do better next time. When employees grow from their missteps, your entire organization will move forward. Framing mistakes in a more positive light will also build trust within teams.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Burnt-out employees will struggle to maintain positive attitudes. If your employees are hesitant to take their PTO or log off at the end of the day, it’s time to make a change. Take a look at the culture and rethink the way you’re communicating with your team.
When your team is able to rest and recharge, they can face work challenges head on. Leaders can cultivate a more resilient and agile organization by encouraging work-life balance. Insist that employees take their vacation time and disconnect from work outside of business hours.
Of course, leaders need to take days off and set limits as well. Your employees will be less likely to maintain their work-life boundaries when they see the boss sending emails late into the night.
Hire the Right People
As a leader, your hiring practices shape the company’s culture. A new hire should be more than just a talented individual. They should also be a positive cultural fit. When you onboard a kind and positive individual, they will lift up the rest of the team. A pessimistic newbie, on the other hand, will bring the company’s energy down with them.
Leaders can hire better cultural fits by assessing personalities and behaviors during the hiring process. Including employees in these interviews can also help determine who would be a positive addition to the team. Watch how potential hires interact with existing staff and listen to your intuition. You’ll know who you want to work with every day.
Foster Open Conversations
Trust is a significant factor in building emotional agility. When employees can’t be forthcoming about their struggles, they won’t be able to grow. They may dwell on their frustrations in isolation and allow small work problems to take over their thoughts.
Encourage your company’s leaders to have open and judgment-free conversations with their team members, preferably one-on-one. These check-ins give employees an opportunity to talk through any issues they might be facing. Leaders can shape mindsets and reward transparency with encouragement.
Stick to Your Values
Most organizations have a set of values that drive their everyday practices. But it’s not enough to simply say “Treat others with respect” or “Make ethical choices.” Leaders need to act on them. If employees see leaders berate their subordinates or approve company initiatives that harm the community, they’ll know your company values are no more than window dressing.
Instead, strive to live up to the values your company espouses. Values like trust, learning, and positivity all foster emotional agility. Acting according to these principles will create a more supportive environment for your employees.
Provide Learning Opportunities
You don’t want teams to remain stagnant. Cultivating emotional agility involves reframing mistakes and providing positive feedback. Ongoing learning opportunities can turn these practices into life-long skills, developing future leaders in the process.
These learning opportunities might include training on emotional agility, specifically. However, courses on giving and receiving constructive criticism, managing stress, and cultivating positivity can all relate as well. The key is to empower your leaders and employees to show up for themselves and their colleagues. This will create a more supportive organization.
In today’s workplace, mindset is just as important as hard skills. When your team is able to bounce back from mistakes and maintain positivity, your entire company will benefit. As a leader, it’s your job to demonstrate and encourage emotional agility. That’s the key to a happy and high-performing workforce.
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