Feeling a weight on your shoulders that you can’t quite put a finger on?
Trust me, you’re not alone. I’m diving into a topic today that might just have you nodding along, wondering why you didn’t address it sooner.
What’s the unspoken burden in the world of leadership?
It’s not the long hours or the constant decision-making. It’s a weight we all bear but rarely talk about: emotional labour.
This is the part that’s often left out of management courses. Surprise, surprise, it comes as a package deal when you step into leadership.
It’s not just about being the rock everyone leans on; emotional labour manifests in various ways. Consider this your hidden job description.
Examples of Emotional Labour in Leadership:
💪 Being the mediator during conflicts 🤝
💪 Offering emotional support – especially when you’re drained 😊
💪 Actively listening to team concerns 🎧
💪 Balancing the mood and energy of the room 🎭
💪 Keeping your own stress in check for the sake of the team 😌
💪 Becoming the face the client wants to see 😃 (“It’s not a problem. You approved the design, your boss approved the design, but the night before we go to print… the CEO wants to change it? Not a problem. We’ll call the team back in. And yep, I’m still the smiling face of the company you want to see.”)
Look, I’m not here to tell you that emotional labour is easy.
It’s a duty that many people (especially women) have been shouldering both inside and outside of work for years. Probably since we moved from foraging to farming (“For the last time, Pete, David has the plough on Tuesdays”).
And it’s something that needs to be accounted for when understanding contributions to a project or organisation.
However, what if we shift our perspective and embrace the positive side of emotional labour?
The truth is, embracing the emotional labour in leadership elevates us from mere managers to genuine leaders.
It’s not just about overseeing tasks; it’s about forging resilient relationships, fostering a culture of shared wisdom, and creating a nurturing environment where everyone can flourish and unlock their untapped potential.
So when the weight feels heavy, remember, you’re not just ‘getting through the day,’ you’re doing something extraordinary. 🌟
However, there are ways to ‘own’ your emotional labour…
Try These Tips:
🔹Try mindfulness 🧘♂️: Increased awareness helps you make more intentional choices
🔹Have a discussion about Emotional Labour with people in your organisation
🔹Take an acting class 🎭: Mastering emotional labour becomes easier when you’re acting at a deep level, not just putting on a superficial smile.
🔹Prioritise getting rest and breaks 💤
🔹Support team members in your business 👥: Standing up for your team when they’re disrespected (by clients or whoever) not only fosters a supportive environment but also helps distribute the emotional labour.
Ready to tackle this hidden aspect of leadership head-on?
Let’s face it—none of us are just here to ‘get through the day.’ We’re here to make a difference, one emotionally aware leadership decision at a time.
So charge ahead, Leadership Tribe, and make your mark on the world.