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011: Self awareness and leadership

Would you consider self-awareness as a leadership trait?

For many people, when asked to list the top leadership skills, we think of listening, communication, organization, strategy…

But self-awareness? Often not in that list.

If you’ve ever wondered what emotional intelligence (EI) is and what all the fuss about EQ is all about, then a large piece of that EI puzzle is self-awareness.

And in the first of two special episodes of the Leading Women in Tech Podcast on emotional intelligence in leadership, I am digging into the first piece of the emotional intelligence puzzle: self-awareness.

This is the piece that is most uncomfortable for many of us, requires time, practice and patience. And yet, self-awareness used effectively delivers the biggest rewards.

Great self-awareness doesn’t just help with leadership. It is also your number one tool for avoiding burnout and helping you come out of burnout. Not quitting your job, not throwing your toys out of your metaphorical pram, not pivoting… no, it is self-awareness.

So if you are ready to learn how to use self-awareness as a leadership tool and how to cultivate more of it in you (because none of us is as self-aware as we think, and honestly, we are never done on the self-awareness work!), it’s time to tune in to this episode of the Leading Women in Tech Podcast.

Show Notes

Useful links!

Get access to the Leveraging LinkedIn Kit: http://tonicollis.com/linkedinkit

If you are ready to uplevel your career and get a boost (and a salary bump) by shortcutting your way to success, find out more about Toni’s Coaching at:
https://tonicollis.com/workwithtoni 

Alternatively, go straight ahead and book a free Discovery Call, to find out more and discuss the type of support you would most benefit from:
https://bit.ly/DiscoverToni

Join us in the Leading Women in Tech Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leadingwomenintech/

Join us in the Leading Women in Tech LinkedIn group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12391391/

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Want to read instead of listen? Here’s the transcript:

Hello, how are you doing? Welcome to the Leading Women in Tech podcast, or welcome back. How are you all doing, how you getting on? I’m having a great day around here. I’m recording this a few days ahead so I am about to dive into my leveraging LinkedIn master class and I’m so blinking excited about it. If you missed it, I’m so sorry. Let me know if you missed it and you want me to do it again, but what I can say is that because of that, leveraging LinkedIn kit, which is a course that takes you through step by step what you need to do in LinkedIn is now available. But here’s the deal, the cart closes at midnight, tomorrow. Midnight, anywhere on earth. So if you’re listening to this the day we drop, Tuesday, it’s closing at midnight or Wednesday anywhere on earth. So that’s like Thursday. Lunchtime if you’re in Europe or late on Wednesday if you’re in North America. Australia, I think you have a whole extra day. You’re awesome people.

And by the way, this works for everyone, as far as I’m aware, I haven’t tested it in every single country on the planet, but I do have clients worldwide so this is a system that works. So if you’re wondering why LinkedIn is not working for you, why people don’t approach you for opportunities or they’re approaching you for the wrong opportunities, or you’re looking at your profile and you’re like, “Where on earth do I get started?” This is for you because here’s a bit of a truth bomb, there’s someone out there right now that is not as good at what you do as you are but they’re making more of an impact and probably making more money because they’re more visible. And I need that for you, I want that for you. There are 700 million people or more on LinkedIn, all competing for attention. If you’re not there, you didn’t get any attention because that’s where people expect you to be.

But you need to stand out from those 700 million people. What I’m doing in the leveraging LinkedIn kit is I’m breaking it down step by step, showing you what to do to supercharge your career so you can spend more time getting on with what you love doing and power gliding to the top to get noticed and get those career results. I’m just breaking this down and making it super quick for you. If you follow my process you can have your LinkedIn profile done in an afternoon. I’m not kidding. Most people can do this totally in a weekend, you might do it in a couple of chunks, but four hours. I’ve had somebody do it in two and a half. I think that’s pushing, but you can do this in an afternoon. There’s some then additional information I share with you in the kit about what to do going forwards to maintain your presence, and I’ve made that super simple too.

But my idea is I’m taking away all the hard work, all the Googling because yes, you could totally Google your way through this. That’s what you could do, totally get that, but let me tell you a secret, not much of a secret, that’s how I did it the first time around. And I had to tweak and play and test and do all that work. It took me a good year to figure out how to use LinkedIn well. I want you to do it in four hours. Why wouldn’t you want that? Okay. So that’s the thing. If you are interested in that, go to tonicollis.com/linkedinkit before Wednesday midnight, and grab yourself it. I don’t know when I’ll be opening the cart next, because I really want to make sure that everybody who gets it this time around gets my full support. So I am totally focused on supporting them. So I do not know when I’ll be opening the cart again, so go grab it.

But let’s crack on with today’s episode, emotional intelligence or EQ. You kind of need shit buzzwords, and yet most people don’t know what they are. What I will tell you is that this is something that can be developed and measured. It’s not set in stone. A lot of people think, especially when you talk about EQ, that it’s like IQ, that it’s set in stone. By the way, we should talk about the growth mindset and the fact that IQ is not set in stone at some point, but that’s a whole different thing. But what I can tell you is with emotional intelligence, it is absolutely something that can be developed. It can be measured, it needs to be nurtured. And I’m also going to talk about why it impacts leadership and how it makes your life easier when you have this.

But first of all, let me tell you a little bit about the two key components in emotional intelligence, and which one we’re focusing on today. So emotional intelligence is comprised of two things. Firstly, the ability to recognize and control your own emotions, how you react, how you behave and optimize the situation you’re in. That self-awareness piece, okay? The second component of EI, EQ, emotional intelligence, whatever you want to call it, is your awareness and sensitivity to other people’s states, other people’s emotions. We’re going to cover that one in next week’s episode because there’s a lot to cover just on the self-awareness piece. So let’s dig into self-awareness. This is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and how you use that, how you are able to manage your behaviour and your relationships. Because here’s the thing, success requires you to make the most of your team.

Have you ever walked into a team meeting and somebody is really angry? Someone’s shouting at everyone, someone’s super stressed and who’s had a bad day. And it changes the dynamic in that team and everybody just sort of goes a bit off. Nobody works hard, everybody has a bad day. One person getting out of bed on the wrong side. Maybe that’s a British phrase. We talk about getting out of the bed on the wrong side of the bed. I don’t know if anybody else in the world does that, I apologize if you have no idea what I’m talking about. The idea being that one person having a bad day can ripple into everybody having a bad day. If you had to self-awareness or if that person you’re thinking of right now had the self-awareness now to dial that back and not just impact those people with those emotions and turn everybody else off, but if in addition they could change it, flip it around completely and turn themselves into a better operating place. That has to be a good thing, right?

I’m sure that you’ve had times when you’ve completely misread the room, said something that just threw everyone else off, pivoted an idea that just made everyone else distraught, distracted or feel worthless. Hey, I’ve seen extreme examples where they just lose their temper and then don’t know why their teams are upset. That’s not leadership, but to realize that you’re doing that you need self-awareness, otherwise quite often we realize after the fact. Have you ever come home from work and regretted some stuff you said? What if I told you that good self-awareness could massively decrease how often you’d have that feeding? How often you put your foot in it and you think, “Oh gosh, did I do that?”

Now I’m a big believer in no regrets, as you know if you’ve been here for very long. But here’s the thing, what if I could also say to you that one of the reasons you should have no regrets is because every single thing you learn from and you can turn that into better stuff next time? That’s what we’re really talking about with self-awareness. So here’s the other thing with self-awareness, there are studies after studies after studies that correlate self-awareness with profit, okay? And whether you are working for a nonprofit, for academia, for yourself, one of the things that people care about is profit or return on investment, even for a nonprofit, because what’s actually going on is, how much am I getting for the dollars I’m spending? Until we get rid of currency, that is a measure of productivity. So there are studies, one in particular by Korn and Ferry International, that correlated companies that did well financially with having senior management with extremely high levels of self-awareness.

They also found a strong correlation with low-performance companies and a low self-awareness in senior management. But here’s the thing, self-awareness is actually in really short supply. Partly because people don’t realize how important it is, and partly because self-awareness, the journey towards it is actually really uncomfortable. So there are some other studies that also show, this might not surprise you, I think it was the Hay Research group and they studied 17,000 individuals internationally. And they found that 19% of women executives exhibited high self-awareness compared to 4% of men. Probably doesn’t surprise you because we’ve all come up against the issue where we know it’s hard as women to get promoted. It is hard in any industry, you add on that layer of tech and, oh my goodness me, it’s so hard to get up there. It’s so hard to get to the C suite. The barriers are so much bigger for women than men.

And if you don’t believe Mika, look at the data. There’s a reason there aren’t that many women at the top. People, including women, put much higher requirements on women to get to the top than men. It’s sad, but it’s true. The flip side of that is that the women who do make it tend to be truly exceptional compared to their male counterparts, and one of the ways that play out is more self-awareness. Okay, so I’ve hopefully convinced you that self-awareness is important. It is a good thing for you, it is a good thing for the business, it is a good thing for your leadership aspirations, it’s a good thing for wherever you are, whether you are working your way up, or you already own your own business. So how can you cultivate it? Well, let’s go back to what it is. It is recognizing and understanding emotions in yourself and in others and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and relationships.

So let’s talk about how you can grow and develop this. Of course, I have some stats here for you because I always do. There are five steps to developing some self-awareness because you could spend forever doing this. It is really hard to do this by yourself if you don’t have some ways to actively develop it. So here are things that I typically get my clients to do, they’ll then talk it through with me, which obviously speeds this up, but here’s what I generally recommend is a five-step process to really developing your self-awareness. And as I said, it’s never done. Step one is identifying external factors, the triggers and the emotions, the things that mean something’s going on that has an emotional reaction in you, the positives and the negative. It is much easier and also more important to get a handle on the negative emotions. We quite often notice those because as humans, we spend an awful lot of time focusing on negative situations.

It’s why gratitude journaling is so important because we spend far too much time on the negative, and the gratitude journaling, as a side note, is a really good way to shift that and get us out of that depressive reflection where we spend a lot of time thinking about the things that have gone wrong when actually a lot of stuff’s gone right. Gratitude journaling just helps you recalibrate a little bit. But all that aside, that does mean it’s much easier to recognize the negative emotions, and quite often those are the ones we need to tackle most urgently, in our leadership anyway. So here’s what I want you to do, I want you to start reflecting on situations when you have felt an emotion, anger, shame, a worry, hurt. Also the good ones, happiness, enthusiasm, brightness, a lightness. Think back to a time when this has just happened, ideally something quite recent.

So take one thing at a time. Maybe you’ve got home from work and that was just a bad day. Try and think about what happened. Go backwards. Hindsight is a great thing to start this self-awareness journey because you need to understand what’s going on in order to then change it more rapidly next time. So here’s the thing, we quite often notice that we have some emotional reaction after the effect. What I want you to do is think back to what happened. What triggered it? What went on? Then go back a little bit more, what happened before that? Now I want you to start thinking, what physical reactions did I have? That is where the goals come in because your physical reactions will quite often show up before you recognize the emotion itself. The physical reactions come from that push of hormones that are coursing through your veins, that are actually causing that emotional reaction.

So the physical reaction comes first. For me, for example, I quite often feel quite sick. I get a knot in my stomach and I even feel a bit nauseous when I’m stressed or anxious. And that’s why I knew I had to get help with jokes because I was waking up every morning, thinking that way. By the way, side note, if that’s you, we need to chat my love. But have a think about what physical reaction, you might feel flushed. I get that when I’ve done something I’m embarrassed by, or I don’t know how to react to a situation, for example. You might get a tightening in your chest, you might get a tightening in your brow or anything like that. Have a think to it, a physical reaction that you have. So that’s your first step. That’s actually helping you understand the triggers. I want you to note them, understand them and start looking out for them.

So here’s the second step, reflecting on the impact of those emotions on others. So again, you can do this as a hindsight thing, but this also gets easier now that you know your triggers, because every time something like this happens, you can start looking at what’s going on around you even before you start changing how you’re behaving. So how did others respond to you at that time? That’s quite often really hard when you’re in the middle of the emotion. So also have a think about what you were noticing afterwards, maybe once you’ve calmed down, how are people reacting then? It’s really important to not only understand the particular situation but how something is impacting everybody afterwards. Also don’t forget that just because you had an emotional reaction, it’s seven o’clock in the morning. That doesn’t mean that we’d let that go and didn’t turn over that baggage when we go to work.

Obviously, in the days of social distancing, we are turning up to Zoom instead, it’s a little bit different, but it might turn up in your emails. So just because the emotion was several hours ago, doesn’t mean that the way you are behaving right now isn’t impacting people around you. Because quite often, if the kids had a really bad morning, everybody was sick on each other, the cereal was thrown around the kitchen, the cat was sick on your head. Yes, that has happened to me. Seriously. It has not for a while mind you. Then you’re going to turn up in a less refined state when you do turn up to work. I want you to reflect on whether that is impacting others. You might not think it is, but see if you can notice people behaving differently to you and you might think, “Oh, it’s just in my head.” It might be. It might not be.

It’s a really worthwhile thing to get used to reflecting on the impact of your emotions on others. When you first start doing this, you won’t notice anything, but I want you to get used to doing it because as you improve your self-awareness development, you will get better at noticing that impact on other people. Which brings me to step three, gathering feedback, but gathering trusted feedback, not just from anybody. Feedback is a double-edged thing. I quite often, with my clients, will do a 360 review and I always take those very sensitively, very carefully because it’s very easy for us to criticize each other. But good trusted feedback can really help you understand the impact of your emotions and the resulting actions that you took because of your emotions on others. You might think your emotions are already under control but are they? I want you to ask for feedback about specific situations. I want you to think back to those times, which you’ve identified when you had an emotional situation. You’ve got a trigger, you felt flushed, you felt angry, whatever it is, you’ve noted that something happened there.

Even if you think you let go of it quick quickly, I’d like you to ask somebody you trust if you were noticed being in a particular state, if they have anything specific about you and the way you were operating. You don’t have to tell them how you were feeling, but I would like you to ask them, “Hey, in that meeting, how was my communication? What did you think I was delivering to the table?” This is a really great way to get an understanding of your blind spots, and a great leader is always actively working on developing their blind spot areas so that they aren’t blind anymore. This is really big. One of the things I do is a bit of a side note here, a lot of people say, “You should get a job where you act to your strengths.” And I totally get that, I want you to operate and use any genius where you are just lit up, but the best leaders, they don’t work on their strengths.

Those are already awesome. They work on developing their shadow side, the things that they’re weak on. And the self-awareness piece is a great thing to do this on because when you get this trusted feedback, you will see blind spots. And those are the things that take you from great to simply exceptional and outstanding. If you’re not prepared to work on those, you’re not going to get to outstanding and exceptional. These aspects, whatever they are, all of us have them, by the way, they limit us. They limit how we behave, how we act, how we react, how we believe in things, how we trust people.

If you’ve ever had a situation where you know one member of staff really doesn’t trust the other, they have a blind spot unless nobody trusts that individual. I want somebody to call you out on those, okay? This is really, really powerful. When we develop this, we’re no longer held back by the way we’re reacting to others. We can impact others positively. We know what works and what doesn’t work. We know not just when our negative behaviours impact others, but how we can spin our positive behaviours to get what we need from others to do great things and have an impact on the world. Because at the end of the day, if you were trying to change the world, make it a better place, you can’t do that alone. You need a team. To have a team, you need to know how to positively influence them so that they are also doing good for the vision that you have.

And to do that, you need to know the things that are negatively impacting them because of how you’re behaving, which brings me in nicely to number four. Consciously choose and when to use that information. So you’ve got the information, you are able to identify when you’ve got a trigger and you have an emotional reaction, you’ve got the physical symptom to watch out for, the types of situation to watch out for. You’ve figured out how you impact others, both reflecting and gathering feedback. What do you do with that? You choose when to use that information to improve yourself. Because self-awareness isn’t just about getting to know you, your brain and body better. That is really important, but it’s also then deciding what to do with that information, and deciding what to do for that information is what sets you apart, why it’s such an important part of emotional intelligence as a leader. This isn’t about changing who you are, by the way. I don’t want you to turn into something you’re not, but this is showing up as the best version of you, consciously and consistently.

Those good days, if you are really good at self-awareness, you cultivate more good days because have you ever noticed when you’re having a bad day, it just seems to snowball. What if I told you that actually choosing to turn that negativity off, you could turn a bad day into a good day? That is what the greatest leaders do. That is what the superstars do. I’m not saying you’re not going to have bad days, I’m saying we can decrease them. I’m saying we can decrease how long they last. I’m saying you can go from a bad day to a bad hour, and self-awareness is the key to that. So this isn’t just about improving relationships with others and making their lives easier, this is about having a better day at work. Who wouldn’t want that, right? I want you to love your job. That’s why the Leading Women in Tech podcast exists.

I want women in tech to really genuinely thrive. I want more women in tech at the table, changing the world because I think when we do that when we actually get something close to parity in tech, the human race on Planet Earth, will hugely benefit. That’s my entire operating procedure over here, okay? So believe me when I tell you that if you develop self-awareness, you are going to have more good days. That’s what I want for you. Because here’s the thing, a great leader is conscious of how to get others to help them do great things. They aren’t threatened by superstars. Instead, they know how to surround themselves with superstars and leverage them for good. So if you’ve ever worked for somebody who’s threatened by you, don’t turn into one of them. And that’s one of the negative emotions that poor self-awareness can impact. You feel threatened, but you don’t even know you’re threatened and so you start behaving negatively.

If you’ve seen that in others, I want you to consciously work on not being that person because greatness requires other people to help you. And you can’t do everything. You can’t be a superstar at everything. You need other superstars to help you. And to do that, you need to be an exceptional leader. So it’s a matter of reflecting, not just on the feedback that you got and the stuff that you figured out privately, the cause the impact and whether it’s good or bad, this is also about turning up consciously. Sure, we have to work on our anger, our worry, our shame, our sadness and anything we can’t easily control. I’m not saying suck it up. I’m really not. But awareness is a huge part if you’re aware of what’s going on, if you can notice that physical symptom quickly, and you know that when you have that physical symptom, it can turn into negative behaviour, you can remove yourself from the situation. You can find a way to control your emotions. There is no one size fits all.

I am going to talk about in the leadership mindset moment at the end of the podcast, some tips you can use to control the emotions, but I just want you initially to consciously choose, “Hey, so I’m getting that physical symptom of when I get angry, now might be a really good time to step back from this situation.” Find an excuse, make some excuse to extract to yourself. That’s your first step. Once you are better at then controlling and cultivating the positive, useful emotions in you, you won’t need to do that quite so quickly, but initially just choose to step back. I want you to do the best you can do. Find out what tendencies bring out the best in you and surround yourself by those things, cultivate them, nurture them in you, bring them out. You will be happier, and the people around you will do more great things when you’re happy.

Figure out what makes you great. Figure out that uniqueness that I talk about at the end of every episode, because that uniqueness is what makes you so important to the planet. That uniqueness, you are one set of atoms, there is no one else on Planet Earth like you, there has never been this configuration of atoms and life experience that you are. So figure out that uniqueness and bring it out in yourself and all the good side of that. Sometimes that uniqueness can come from negative experiences. And I want you to then channel that into, “Yes, but it’s allowing me to be the great person I am today.” When we do this, we turn up as better leaders and we happier, which brings me to number five.

This one is short and sweet. I want you to seek out what is negatively impacting you. Those around you are negatively impacting your desired outcomes, and I want you to reduce them or to entirely get rid of them. This is a work in progress, you can’t usually do this overnight. I often work with clients on, “Here’s the stuff you don’t want to be doing. How can we remove this from your job description? How can we create a job description where you do less of this or get rid of it?” I know this takes time and effort, but really figure this stuff out and get rid of it. It’s not doing you any favours, it’s not doing your team any favours. So just to recap those five points, I want you to first identify the external factors, the triggers and the associated emotions, the physical symptoms. And number two, I want you to reflect on the impact of your emotions on others, as far as you can see. Number three, take that a step further and get some trusted feedback about what happens. Then number four, consciously choose when to use that information, that feedback, that knowledge you’ve now got, you’ve cultivated, consciously choose, and when to use that, to make things better.

And then finally, seek out and remove and eliminate those negatives that trigger you, that makes you less happy, that means you don’t do your job the way you want to be doing it. In summary, though, I want you to stay curious. You aren’t done, I think I said this at the top of the show, you are never done on self-awareness work. Once you realize the power of this and the change it can bring to you, you will realize that you are always going to be learning more about yourself. Life changes, life throws us curveballs, but the more self-awareness you’re cultivating, the easier it will be each and every time to tap into a change, to understand something different about yourself, and make sure that you’re acting on it with the best of intentions. This will become second nature.

If you’re wanting some help to up-level your self-awareness, this is one of the things I love to do with my clients, as I said, this is one of the key things to become an exceptional leader. If you would like to find out more about working with me, head over to tonicollis.com/workwithtoni, read more about working with me. Or just go straight to the bottom and book a free, no-obligation discovery call, so we can have a chat about what you’re struggling with right now, where you want to go next, and whether coaching with me is the right support or indeed if something else would be better. I’ll pop the link in the show notes or it’s available at tonicollis.com/episode11.

But let’s finish up with a leadership mindset moment. I did promise you that I’ll be talking about how to tackle your emotions. In case you are new around here, a leadership mindset and legitimize is an actual tip to help you act or think, make it easier to take action on today’s podcast to up-level and change the way we’re behaving for the better. So I want to talk about your self-awareness and I want to talk about doing something about those negative emotions, how to switch them off. Yes, I did just click my fingers. So let me tell you, first of all, that little bit about me, I am a recovering worrier. I can worry about everything. I have in the past, got stressed about being stressed. I was one of those, seriously, to the point that my loved ones who were my parents, my siblings, my husband would be like, “Just stop worrying.” And I’m like, “I’d love to. Tell me why the off switch is.”

I actually was telling one of my clients about this just yesterday, and she said to me, “Yeah if I knew where the off switch was, I’d have my finger permanently pressed against it.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I know.” I know that feeling. The thing is, there is something we can do about it, but for some reason, most of us don’t know. So what I learned to do is to recognize those physical emotions before I started to get worse, before I started to get worried and stressed, I had that knot in my stomach. It was like, “Oh, okay, that’s coming. Right. What can I do about it? Before I actually consciously knew what I was worried about. Because here’s the thing, when I was worried, I was making irrational decisions, I wasn’t sticking to my strategy, I was pivoting, I was blurting stuff out in meetings that weren’t really solving problems. I was just being the over-achieving version of me, who just said all the things, which by the way, doesn’t work.

So what I had to do was get all my emotions under control. First things first, notice the physical reaction. The sooner you can do that, the better. I actually use a CBT technique, that’s a cognitive behavioural therapy technique, that I cannot take credit for, but I do use it with many of my clients. But I am not a therapist, and I also know that one size fits all doesn’t work for everyone. So I’m not going to tell you exactly that, if you genuinely need help with this, please go and see a professional. But here’s what I do know about facing these issues. Whether it is worry, anxiety, shame, or anger, whatever emotion it is, those negative emotions are there to help us survive and to take action. That’s why they’re there. That’s why they’ve evolved, right? If they were just there to make us feel like terrible human beings, it wouldn’t be good for us, evolution would’ve got rid of them.

The problem is, in modern society, we have so many pressures that what we do is we push them away. We pack them away into a corner, we say, “I don’t want to pay attention to you. It’s too uncomfortable to pay attention to you. The anxiety is just killing me inside.” This applies to anger as well, we just like, “I need to ball it up, I just need to put it away.” That’s what we’re told to do. We’re told that we shouldn’t let these things get to us. It was when I realized I needed to face these things, that I went from really being very anxious and very stressed, to getting rid of them. And I’ve seen this, again, I’m not a therapist, but I’ve seen this in people who have panic attacks, who are really anxious. When they actually then face their anxiety, they can actually let go of it.

Because here’s the thing, that anxiety, that stress, that anger is saying, “Something’s wrong. Tell me what’s wrong. Do something about it.” So I would love for you, if you feel able, to take a brave step and face that emotion head-on, write down the emotion, ask yourself, honestly, “Why is this bothering me?” Journaling is your friend, absolutely. And then ask yourself, “What can I do about it and is that within my control? Is there something that I can do? Not that the universe needs to do for me, or somebody else needs to do… What can I do?” If it’s not in your control, I want you to let it go. But just facing that, facing what’s upsetting you, facing what’s making you anxious, facing what’s making you angry, then asking yourself, “Is there anything I can do?” Is a really good way of letting it go.

My friend, I know this is super uncomfortable for you to do this. And many people tell me, “I don’t want to face it because it will hurt even more.” But when they do, it actually does get better. So if you feel able, I would love for you to give this a go. Face what is upsetting you, and you might just be surprised at how much more quickly you can process and then let stuff go. I told you I’m a recovering worrier when I first started tackling my anxiety and my stress, I used to spend hours doing these exercises. Now I just actually have to think about the exercise and that’s enough for me to let go of my stress. I am not kidding. There has been probably two times in the last three months where I’ve actually had to properly journal out my emotions.

It’s just such a big change from 12 months ago, it’s incredible. So if you feel able to, and as I said, I’m not a professional on this side of things, so go and see a professional if you need the help. But if you feel able to, I would love for you to use this as a step to true self-awareness, to let go of those emotions. Because you need to be able to do that to be a great lit-up leader, my love.

Okay, that’s all for this week’s episode. If you loved it and you would like some help up-levelling your emotional intelligence, your leadership, your negotiation, or your career, do check out my coaching program at tonicollis.com/workwithtoni. And I will be back next week when we talk about part two of emotional intelligence. You want to check out the links that I’ve mentioned in today’s podcast, head to tonicollis.com/episode11. Until next time, remember to stay on your tech leadership game, follow your dreams because the world really does need that uniqueness that you bring as a leading woman in tech.

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