Finding that Balance
The most important role of a leader is to find that balance between the emotional and the professional. The biggest challenge is for those who tilt more toward one method over the other. It’s rare to find a leader who can easily manage both at the same time.
I work in victim services and so I’m required to do what is expected in this industry, lead with my emotions. That’s fine, I’ve always had a high emotional quotient (EQ). Yet the challenge arises when it’s time to start drawing those boundaries and shift over to the technical and logical side of the brain.
I’ve come to learn that just about anyone will take me for granted if given the chance. I’ve run into several interactions where the balance of power shifts between myself and the clients. It’s not strange to find that after sometime, a client’s attitude will immediately shift to one of need to one filled with demands. It’s at this point that I must shift gears, to rebalance that power struggle and set things straight.
I’ve heard the same experience from peers who work the opposite. Where they start their professional relationships in a rational, technical mode, they wind up having a tough time using their emotions when the time calls for it. It takes as much effort for these individuals to shift from being super professional and rigid to soft and mushy.
It’s taken me time to balance both. I start all of my relationships with good intentions, meaning that there is an apparent goal that must be reached. But I’ve come to learn that when I’m feeling overpowered, it’s time to switch strategies and start using my more rational side. For one thing, I have a company to help run and you can’t accomplish that if you’re always in your heart. Second, too many emotions can eventually make my clients co-dependent and will only prolong their need to be self-sufficient and independent. So my constant quest for leadership balance serves both myself and the clients.
It’s worked well for me so far. I find that I like myself more when I’m able to step up and have control over my interactions with others. It wouldn’t help at all if I were someone who caved in to every whim and demand, and it would be less helpful if I were so rigid to want everything to go my way.