All of our actions flow from what we believe. Being unaware of these beliefs and how they can derail our emotions, thoughts, and actions, causing tremendous strife and difficulty.
Let’s say you’ve noticed a member of your team has been in a bad mood lately, their work is suffering and you need to talk with them about the situation.
If you believe the team member is purposely trying to sabotage the company (or you), your emotions may have you feeling hostile towards the team member. Once you find yourself in this mood, your thoughts about the situation and the person will be about how to protect yourself and others, resulting in a response or action based on an initial belief that someone is trying to cause harm.
These beliefs, emotions, and thoughts create a vicious cycle that leaves you with little or no control over your response to the situation. By the time you have reached the point to take action, your beliefs, emotions and thoughts have overpowered your ability to respond appropriately. Have you ever said something you later regretted when you realized you didn’t have all the facts? That is this process in action.
Alternatively, if you question your beliefs – “What else could be causing my team member to be in a bad mood? Family troubles? Financial issues? Are they struggling with the work load and perhaps need more coaching?” – You can work through the cycle from belief to response in a purposeful and positive manner.
Consciously examining our beliefs is a vital part of being an effective leader. Through this examination process one can take control of their emotions long before they’ve led to negative thoughts and unfortunate actions. Your responses to situations will be balanced and informed – your team will know that they can rely upon you to act with fairness, understanding and respect.
What do you believe? How do those beliefs bias your opinions and cloud your judgement?