Executive Leadership Training: 3 Mental Skills You Want to Develop
Managers, C-Suite executives and employees hoping to advance their careers and take on more responsibility are often looking for ways to become more effective leaders. Research has shown that executive leadership training is a worthwhile investment. Here’s the thing: It’s up to the existing and emerging leaders to develop the skills they are taught in training.
Skills like public speaking and management tools comprise the tangible side of leadership training for executives. However, the mental side is incredibly important, too. Here are three mental skills you want to develop so you can be a strong leader.
Read on to learn more.
No. 1: Self-Awareness
Highly emotionally intelligent people are aware of their own strengths, weaknesses and emotional responses in day-to-day situations; therefore, executive leadership training facilitators help individuals develop self-awareness. Without it, there is low growth due to low introspection and self-discovery. Self-aware people understand the “why” in their reactions to certain contexts, people or thoughts because they have looked inward and worked to understand themselves. That familiarity with their own emotions often leads them to self-regulation, which is another strength in effective leaders.
No. 2: Self-Regulation
An added advantage of self-awareness is self-regulation. Self-regulated individuals cultivate the discipline to control their emotions or, at the very least, manage the emotions enough to maintain a professional presence. For example, if you feel scared of a coworker but are self-aware enough to know that the fear stems from personal insecurities, you can take action by practicing positive self-talk or using the thinking tools of top performers.
Self-awareness is often the first step to self-regulation, which is another skill possessed by people with high emotional intelligence. This is why executive leadership training facilitators work on self-regulation because it also boosts performance at work. After all, leaders must self-manage in order to balance work and life while still accomplishing all their tasks.
No. 3: Heightened Empathy
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone’s shoes and feel how they’re feeling. It is a quality that makes people feel seen and understood, which is beneficial for everyone involved. Studies show that empathy is one of the most important qualities of a good leader, one that leads to enhanced interactions with professional colleagues and a more satisfactory work environment. Empathic people are naturally trusted to lead, and their advice and counsel are sought after because they try to understand how people’s experiences shape their perspectives.
No. 4: Boosted Cognition
Brain activity in one area tends to spur activity across the rest of the brain as well, which boosts overall cognition and benefits your work. This is the snowball effect from developing empathy. Viewing a situation from another perspective—and broadening your mind—results in the ability to see many different viewpoints. We call this subsequent expansion, which is a key element of a high emotional intelligence. Challenging your mind to be flexible effectively keeps you dynamic and quick on your feet.
No. 5: Increased Motivation
There are few things more satisfying than accomplishing a goal; and adrenaline is motivating. Of course, it ties back to self-awareness because self-aware people understand that the source of their motivation lies within, and they can channel that motivation into action items to help reach future goals. Motivation is what keeps employees and leaders going when there are difficult tasks, workplace emergencies and other hurdles—which makes it a crucial part of any professional environment.
No. 6: Enhanced Social Skills
Successful leaders did not get to where they are without possessing strong social skills. From navigating daily interactions to complicated negotiations, there is a certain etiquette for developing and maintaining professional relationships. Social skills also include communication and collaboration, which are both essential in the workplace. Highly emotionally intelligent people make good leaders because they communicate without seeming dominating and can negotiate so all parties are happy with the outcome and will work well in teams from there out.
No. 7: Stronger Leadership Traits
Politician and retired four star general Colin Powell once wrote, “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
This quote ties all the above together by stressing the importance of emotional intelligence. Your team needs to know that you understand yourself and can use that self-awareness to take action, keep everyone motivated and stay mentally flexible.
Executive leadership training benefits companies by developing their employees’ emotional intelligence quotients. As you can see, emotional intelligence is equally as important as the “hard” skills found on a resume because people with high emotional intelligence are more efficient coworkers and are, therefore, also stronger leaders. This positively impacts the workplace and strengthens teams, resulting in higher productivity levels and more profits.