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Will Emotional Fitness help me be a better manager? Isn’t it the most important thing in management to focus on performance and getting your team to meet the targets?

What makes ‘better’ managers?

Being a better manager entails more than simply pushing your team to perform and meet its goals.

Emotional fitness is a term I use in my training and courses to help managers and teams in bringing and maintain positive mental health into the workplace.

But what does emotional fitness mean?

So often people ask me, ‘what does emotional fitness mean?’

As with physical fitness, we must work on our emotions and look after our emotional fitness. We exercise and eat healthily if we want to get in shape and be physically fit. If we want to improve our emotional fitness, we should strengthen our resilience muscle by shifting our thoughts from the primitive brain, the amygdala, to the positive brain, the pre-frontal cortex.

To accomplish this, we must TAKE ACTION.

Being pulled in different directions

Emotional fitness is extremely important for a manager when managing a team. As managers, we are constantly being pulled in different directions. We must answer to both those above and below us. Stress and demands of people and the job itself can cause our emotions to be all over the place. If we are to lead a team positively, we need to make sure our emotions are on an even keel. 

Here are 3 Ways to incorporate emotional fitness while managing a team:

  • Value yourself

So often we can be so self-critical as a manager, asking questions like, ‘What are my weaknesses? What did I do wrong in that situation? Did I fail?’ When we are only thinking of the negatives, we are in the primitive brain. We need to realise we have been promoted as a manager for a reason. We have the skills; we have been seen to be a leader. We should be celebrating our strengths and using our strengths to be better managers, not looking at our performance critically and staying stuck in the negatives.

  • Identify what your emotion is

If we can spot the signs of anger, worry, sadness, or excitement, we can work with the emotion and deal with it. As a manager, this is of extreme importance as we often do not understand when we are under pressure and stressed. We then react in ways we would not normally react and then have to deal with the consequences.

  • Be kind to yourself

This resonates with managers because as a manager we are in the middle of the organisation. We are answering to those above us, as well as trying to accommodate those people on our team. The knock-on of not being kind to ourselves is detrimental to our performance. Many of us have been raised in the world of ‘work, work, work’ and feel guilty if we take ‘me time’ and treat ourselves well. To be able to perform well as a manager, we must look after ourselves to lead ourselves and others to success.

Oliver Dingley, an Olympic Finalist representing Ireland, shares his tips on how to be kind to yourself which can lead to better emotional fitness in my Mental Health Chats YouTube interview.

Stop putting yourself last

As managers, why do we often put ourselves last? Why do we feel guilty when we are kind to ourselves and why do we push ourselves more and more and more? So often it can be due to fear. We may be scared that if we do not perform, we will not be recognised as being good managers and others will do better than us.

Be a positive role model
Remember, you are leading a team. You need to make sure your emotional fitness is managed because if it isn’t you will not be able to lead others. Take time to look after yourselves. If we can bring positive emotional fitness into our lives, we will be much more effective when leading others.

Remember, ‘Behaviour breeds behaviour. If we behave in a way with positivity for our team, they will behave in a positive way too.

“If you live your life on an emotional rollercoaster, you may end up not living your life.”  This is a quote from my published book ‘Emotional Fitness A-Z for Positive Mental Health’. It explains what emotional fitness means and how you can implement it in your team or in your business and be a better manager. Life is too short. Do not waste your time being stressed and pressured due to your role as a manager.

Managers, if you need help in bringing emotional fitness and positive mental health amongst your team, message or book a call here so we can strategise together.