In working with hundreds of managers and leaders over the years I have observed that one of the common characteristics of those that are the most successful is their ability to remain comfortable and communicate confidently in handling uncomfortable or awkward situations.

In these moments, situations can either rapidly improve or deteriorate depending on the ability of the leader to respond appropriately.

So where does this skill come from?

Building on our last blog post, this ability comes down to a combination of the four Emotional Intelligence (EI) competencies which include:

Social Awareness and Social Skill, as well as
Self Awareness and Self Management.

Keeping a level head in a stressful situation takes a high level of Self Management and to adapt to the most appropriate leadership style requires a high level of Social Awareness and Self Awareness.

The key to developing these competencies is conditioning, that is, having seen the skills effectively demonstrated by others and having experienced situations that allow you to practice and develop these skills.

Being comfortable in uncomfortable situations or living life ‘out of your comfort zone’ as it is often termed has many benefits for leaders including:

– Increased self-confidence and ability to take action
– Ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ and gain the agreement of your audience
– Ensures the development of new skills and knowledge
– Stops your career and team plateauing
– Allows you to break through in difficult situations by being adaptive in your approach
– Allows you to have the hard conversations with people to help them be their best
– Earns the respect of the people around you

Even the most effective Managers and Leaders will still experience some nerves or fear but instead of letting it hold them back, they use it to get focused, present and to respond appropriately to achieve the best possible outcome. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is deciding that something else is more important than fear. In other words, feel the fear and just do it anyway!

Our most popular intensive Leadership Course, Leadership Breakthrough One, for instance, is renowned for providing an experiential training environment that allows Leaders to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, and in turn is instrumental in helping them take the next critical step in their leadership development.

If you’d like ideas to help you develop the skills and traits that will help improve your leadership performance, and conquer some of the common barriers to leadership success, like getting comfortable in uncomfortable situations, contact us today.

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