The Yes Blog

Leaders, You Must Manage Your Outsized Emotional Impact on Others

What’s this?

This is episode 2 of our new show… It Ain’t Easy Being a Human.

In this episode, we explore the importance of the tremendous impact leaders can have on the emotional experience, and the sense of wellbeing of the people in their care.

Main Points…

1. When your people believe you may be displeased with them, their brains experience this as a life-threatening event. 

Our brains’ threat detection centers are not nuanced. As a leader, you control whether people are in or out of the “tribe.” And as such, you control their ability to survive and thrive. The brain responds to your perceived displeasure just as it would to a gun!

2. Your intention is NOT everything. You’re responsible for the impact. 

We’ve all had the experience that people misread our intentions. They misunderstand what we’re saying and the attitude behind it. You are responsible not only for what you do and say, but also for how what you say lands on the people around you. And it’s seriously challenging to be responsible for something you don’t have complete control over.

3. You’re the boss, so you’re the boss.

You have the most power in the relationship — how and if the relationship even continues at all. You cannot put that role-power down. It is present for the people who report to you in every interaction.

4. Work is more than work for your people. 

Work is the source of food, shelter, and clothing for your people and their families. And, work (for many, many, people) is increasingly where people have a sense of community at all.

5. What we tolerate is a message — a signal — to others. 

Your actions speak louder than words. Consider please that where there’s no consequence, there’s no actual accountability. “Your culture is defined by the worst behaviors you tolerate,” a true quote attributed in various forms to lots of different people.

6. You must have the difficult conversations. And you must have them with compassion

The message is, “I love, support, and trust you. Also, I have faith you can do it. And this is the standard I require that you meet.

7. Informal signals and communication are at least as important as the formal ones. 

We humans are meaning making machines. We interpret — for better and for worse — we interpret everything. One implication of this is that it is incumbent upon us to check our assumptions and verify that our impact matches our intentions.

Your hosts

Thanks to your co-hosts, Aaron Schmookler and Kristin Graham!

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