Improve Leadership Performance through Journaling
As leaders, you face tremendous pressure to perform each day. You must make decisions, motivate your team, resolve conflicts, and deal with difficult people. You must regularly take calculated risks, some of which don’t pan out as hoped. And when they don’t, you must recover well, re-group, and re-invent.
Though you are probably very skilled at handling such pressures, developing too much self-sufficiency can result in relational isolation and detachment. Emotional Intelligence expert Daniel Goleman, co-author of Primal Leadership, coined the term “CEO Disease” to describe what happens when a leader becomes overly self-sufficient and emotionally disconnected: The CEO’s people become afraid to say what they think, which adds to a leader’s insulated viewpoint and, in turn, leads to poor decision-making.
Moreover, being emotionally detached often comes across as a short temper, low empathy, and an inability to listen and resolve conflicts in a way that maintains good relationships—all of which reduces employee engagement and damages a company’s culture.
This is where the value of journaling comes in. By carving out 30 minutes each day, you will experience these three key benefits:
1) Self-Awareness: Journaling builds your understanding of what makes you tick, what triggers you, how your circumstances affect you, and what you’re feeling. Self-awareness contributes to building emotional self-control and enhances your ability to relate to and influence others.
2) Creativity: Stress is often a function of too small a frame of reference. The brain needs time to process life; journaling gives you a broader perspective on your experience. By giving yourself this quiet time, you are fulfilling the human need for stillness and reflection. Moreover, brain research shows that relaxation and reduction of fear elevates thinking in new and expansive ways.
3) Connection: “The lone ranger is dead,” one leader told me after returning from a week long leadership retreat. Being removed from his daily routine helped him understand that his soul, as well as his brain, needed quiet time. Connecting with your spirituality during your journaling experience will turbo-charge the effect. By viewing your daily concerns, challenges, and joys through your own spiritual lens, you will find the comfort and peace you need, as well as practical answers to your most critical issues.
Ultimately, journaling is about communication. When we fill our emotional and spiritual tank each day, we have access to a deeper and more authentic connection with others that improves our ability to perform at our best.
I encourage you to try journaling for a week and to share with us in the comments section below how it impacted your performance!
To learn more about how Elaine can help you improve your performance as a leader, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-244-2592. For other ideas about improving your performance, visit her other articles!