Managing our emotional state as leaders

Managing our emotional state as leaders

93% of what we communicate is unconscious, and interestingly horses pick up on this so acutely which is why we use them as Leadership Facilitators in Hooked on Leadership!


Only 7% of our communication is due to the words we use, the rest is body language (55%) and tonality (38%). This means that our behaviours, conscious or not, play a very large part in what we are communicating. Unless we truly learn how to manage our emotional state, it will drive our unconscious communication which may lead to mixed messages to our people (or our horses!)

We interpret the world based on our filtering of external information through our senses. So it’s important to understand our filters, and whether or not they are conscious.


Our filters include:

  • Our Beliefs – what we hold to be true (our convenient assumptions of reality!) e.g. beliefs about ourselves, the world, life, other people
  • Our Values – what we hold to be important e.g. family, love, achievement, vitality, stability
  • Our Memories and experiences, and the meaning we have given them
  • Our Attitude – on what side of the bed did we wake up this morning!
  • Our Physiological State – our physiology affects our psychology. Doing strong power poses changes our hormones which change the way our brain filters (check out Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on this)
  • Our Meta Programs – the little defaults in our brain eg are we big picture or detail focussed, are we outcome or relationship focussed. Behavioural profiling helps us understand this further

When we are having moments where we know our behaviour could be better ie we know self-leadership comes before leading others! – there are two main questions to ask ourselves

  • Do my beliefs/values/memories/attitudes/states/meta programs resourcefully serve me in the outcome I am working towards?
  • How do I develop behavioural flexibility and curiosity, so that I can handle any situation with grace and authenticity, which then serves the people around me?

In this way, we can become conscious of our thinking and how it impacts our behaviour. And this means we develop a strong, consistent and resourceful emotional state, regardless of what is happening around us.