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In the current times of change and uncertainty, employees look to leaders for reassurance and conviction, which calls for effective Leadership. Leaders are mandated to address expressed and unexpressed fears of their team to keep them focused on the job at hand and prevent emotional turbulence from impeding productivity.
In 2001, a study by Daniel Goleman of 3,871 executives across organisations revealed that the leader’s style determines around 70% of the emotional climate, which drives between 20% and 30% of business performance.
It further reiterated that a leader who acknowledges and alleviates the employees’ concerns is able to get them to perform more efficiently towards their goals.
What is Primal Leadership?
Primal Leadership is a leadership style that factors in the leader’s emotional intelligence. It is grounded in the idea that an individual’s emotional state impacts their behaviour and, in turn, impacts the people around them. The same holds true for a leader. In their case, it affects peers, employees and the overall atmosphere of the company. Therefore, leaders must be cognizant of their emotions and learn to manage them for the best results. Primal Leadership, in a nutshell, focuses on enhancing emotional intelligence for positive results.
Every decision we make uses the emotional and intellectual circuitry of the brain. As a leader, your decisions have a larger area of influence; hence, understanding your emotions and harnessing them to make informed decisions is mandatory.
Primal Leadership approach to Leadership has the potential to positively influence not only the team but the atmosphere of the entire organisation.
How Mood Impacts the Outcome
Mood and emotional intelligence are two sides of a coin when it comes to Primal Leadership.
The science of moods focuses on how emotions become infectious and spread from one to another.
Emotional contagion refers to the phenomenon where people tend to “catch” the feelings of those around them, leading to a ripple effect throughout a group or organisation. For example, if a leader feels anxious or stressed, their team members may also begin to feel the same way. This negative impact on performance and productivity can occur even if the leader tries to suppress it.
On the other hand, positive emotions such as enthusiasm and joy spread equally quickly, yielding a positive sentiment and a productive impact on the team’s performance.
Influential leaders understand this phenomenon and consciously manage their moods and emotions to create an emotional climate that energises and motivates their team. They do this by monitoring their emotions, regulating their spirits, and creating a positive emotional tone that encourages and uplifts them and their team members to perform better than their best.
How to Strengthen One’s Primal Leadership
The four building blocks of primal Leadership are self-awareness, self-mastery, empathy and relationship management. By mastering these building blocks, leaders can enhance their Primal Leadership skills and improve their leadership effectiveness.
Developing Self-Awareness: The first step to adopting Primal Leadership is becoming aware of and acknowledging one’s emotions and their impact on their behaviour and, thereby, others. In addition, understand and recognise the driving beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, values and tendencies. This understanding is critical for leaders to better understand their motivations and reactions, thereby regulating their emotions for a productive and constructive impact.
Improving Self-Mastery – You will often be thrown into the deep end as a leader. Managing stress and stressful situations is a part of the job. The concept of self-mastery or self-management refers to the ability of a leader to manage their emotions and impulses, channelling them in a positive direction. Self-mastery is what defines an effective leader since it allows the leader to stay rational and calm under the most challenging of situations and take grounded decisions rather than running with emotions. One can employ mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing techniques to regulate emotions.
Being Empathetic – Empathy, or Social Awareness, as some call it, is the ability to understand and recognise the emotions, needs and perspectives of others. Empathy is an important quality to build trust with employees, communicate effectively and efficiently, and resolve conflicts in a way that is beneficial for the organisation. A survey of 900 employees revealed that 86% of respondents reported feeling more engaged as a team and yielding better results when their leaders were more empathetic.
Relationship Management – Leaders in an organisation require building and maintaining positive relationships with peers, stakeholders, and reports to create a positive work environment. They can do this by acknowledging and celebrating successes, providing constructive feedback and recognition, encouraging teamwork and collaboration, and striving to build an organisation that provides growth opportunities. Building positive relationships helps leverage the strengths and talents of others working towards a shared objective, which in turn can advance the organisation’s long-term success.
The Advantages of Primal Leadership
Increased Productivity and Collaboration – Primal leaders can inspire and motivate their teams to deliver their best work by enhancing engagement, cooperation and performance. By creating an open and positive work environment where employees are encouraged to share ideas and work towards achieving common goals together, Primal Leadership can substantially increase the organisation’s productivity. Research has shown that, on average, a collaborative, positive work environment yields a 12% improvement in employee productivity, so this can be the difference between creating a good and great organisation over the long term.
Improved Engagement and Employee Retention – Primal Leaders, with their heightened EI, are skilled at building positive relationships with their employees, which can help create a more engaging workplace. It also leads to employees feeling more committed to work with a sense of ownership in their roles, which leads to lower attrition and increased retention over the long run. It costs a company 50% of a worker’s salary to replace an employee. By reducing turnover rates, companies can save money and invest more resources in fuelling long-term growth.
Fostering Innovation: Primal leaders play a vital role in promoting a culture of innovation by encouraging creativity and risk-taking among their team members. Being inclusive, they encourage team members from different backgrounds and with varying perspectives to share their thoughts and opinions, providing a wealth of ideas and perspectives that can lead to innovation. By encouraging innovation and creativity, primal leaders can create a competitive advantage for their organisations. Companies that innovate are better able to adapt to changing market conditions and remain ahead of the curve.
Better Decision Making: In a recent survey by Gartner, it was found that 65% of the decisions made are now more complex than they were two years ago. Given the complex and ever-evolving landscape, it is crucial to have Primal Leaders who can regulate their emotions, steer the ship amidst the uncertainty and take decisions by weighing the pros & cons that are in the organisation’s best interests.
Summing it up
Primal Leadership is a practical approach that helps build a leader’s emotional intelligence. By developing self-awareness, encouraging the regulation of emotions, and creating a positive work environment, leaders influence the emotional climate of their team and the organisation.
A positive emotional climate can increase productivity, and retention and help build strong relationships.
In today’s world, where change is the only constant, emotional turbulence comes as part and parcel. Primal Leadership helps leaders manage the emotional YOYO for themselves and their team to achieve their goals successfully.