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You don’t need to be positive all the time!

Have you ever received a comment on social media that really made you think?

I had just that experience this week after I posted some change management tips on LinkedIn.

One of my long-term client’s comments was:

“With so much change…I’m trying to stay positive and motivated, but I find some days are harder than others.”

This comment made me pause for a few reasons.

Firstly, the leader who wrote it is super gritty and resilient. She is highly motivated and IS a positive person generally speaking. If she is feeling this way, I thought, so many other leaders must be as well.

Secondly, I was struck by her belief that we NEED to be positive and motivated all the time as leaders.

I’m sure you’ll be relieved to hear that this is just not true.

How can you be?

Especially during a lingering pandemic.

So, I wanted to share some thoughts with you that I shared with this concerned client of mine.

  1. You are a human being first…and a leader second. It is only natural that you won’t feel motivated and positive all the time. Life is full of ups and downs and as a human you will experience many of those over the course of your work life.
  2. You don’t need to be positive and motivated all the time. But you do need to be transparent. It’s 100% fine to check in with your team and be transparent about how you are feeling. Your conversation could sound like this…“Wow, I’m feeling overwhelmed today with everything on my plate and all these changes. I wanted to check-in and see how you are doing. Are you feeling the same way? If so, let’s chat and see how we can minimize some of your stressors”.
  3. Demonstrate high emotional intelligence. This means that you are always conscious of your emotions and how they impact you and the people around you. It allows you to choose the most productive response to your emotions in any given situation.
  4. Don’t overstep the line. Keep it professional. While expressing your feelings is healthy, don’t go too far. Find a peer or friend outside of work to vent to rather than leveraging your team members in that capacity.

By following some of the above suggestions, you will be able to maintain your authenticity, manage your mental health and also ensure that you are effectively managing the relationships with your team.

Take the pressure off.

Be real…and always be kind to yourself.

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World.

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