Leading Attitudes – The Hidden Skill of Leadership

We mostly recognise a ‘bad attitude’ in others. Most of the time we just grin and bear other peoples grumpy, opinionated, selfish attitudes and the resultant behaviours. Or if it all gets too much, we may explode and order someone to “change your damned attitude” after all, short of telling someone; how exactly do you change an attitude?Attitude

If we’re lucky to be self aware enough, we might notice that we often have our own bad attitudes too. What?! Surely only other people have bad attitudes, don’t they?! Well, no. We’re all human and if we’re psychologically healthy enough for Coaching we can discover the mental blind-spots that hold us back from being the best versions of us. We can discover a bad, erroneous, or just plain un-useful attitudes lurking in the backs of our minds. Finding it in ourselves is one thing; changing it in us or someone else is another matter! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to change our own or another person’s bad attitude? This is a key skill of effective Leaders.

Attitudes have a strong emotional content (that’s often hidden), and that’s the key to changing them. So first we have to understand how attitudes are formed. People are emotional creatures. Emotions lock things in place in our minds, are essential for memory and shape our behaviours. However most people don’t really understand all there is about emotions. To fully understand and gain mastery over your emotions, come along to my or any other Neuro-Semantic Trainer’s Self Leadership Course; ‘Accessing Personal Genius’. An attitude is described as a ‘person’s manner, disposition, tendency or orientation of the mind’ and can be simply described in the formula; Emotion=>Mood=>Attitude

Basically, if we experience the same emotion strongly and consistently enough over a period of time it becomes our general ‘mood’. This mood then starts to become a ‘perceptual filter’ in our mind – we literally see the world through the lens of our mood – and how we filter our experience of life develops into our attitude. This is a much more involved process than described here, but you get the idea, don’t you?

So how do you change a negative attitude? Change the emotions! If you find you have an attitude that doesn’t serve you well, identify the habituated emotions that drive it, and change them. How do you do that? Well you could come along to ‘Accessing Personal Genius’ and learn how to master your emotions. Or Meta-Coaching can be extremely valuable. But as a leader (of an organisation, team, or your family) how do you change someone else’s negative attitude? The key is effective communication. Instead of demanding they change, do things and behave in ways to help their emotions change. After all, living with a negative attitude – yours or someone else’s –is not exactly fun is it?

So it sounds simple, and it is, but… changing emotions requires an entire systemic change of the frames that hold emotions in place. This is why Meta-Coaching is so powerful; as it is ‘Coaching to the higher frames of mind’, not just remedial or behavioural coaching.

To find out more about coaching and training for change and emotional mastery, contact me to find out how. Phone (+64) 03 942 2103; 021 260 5486 or email talktoalan@optimum-mind.com

What emotions have you had trouble with? And do you have any strategies for dealing with them? Leave a comment below, I’m keen to hear from you.

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