3 Ways Nurturing Your Friendships Will Boost Your Leadership Effectiveness

Have you ever hung up the phone after speaking with a friend feeling that your cup has been filled?

You know ... that feeling of being heard, being seen, being valued, being loved ... just for who you are?

I know you are smiling, nodding, and perhaps even thinking of your one or two 'go-to' people for this kind of impact.

When was the last time you connected?

I know that the demands of a busy lifestyle, perhaps as a new leader, a working Mom, or managing your side-hustle mean that making time for nurturing your friendships might feel like yet another thing you have to do ... and you just don't have time for anything more right now!

How do I know this?

Because I hear it all too often in my coaching practice. And it makes me sad.

It makes me sad because I know how uplifting it can be to spend time with friends. And because most of the people that I hear this from, really need just the kind of pick-me-up that friends can provide.

The paradox is that the effort you spend in nurturing your friendships by making time to connect, even as busy as you are, will provide you with an energy gain that will pay you back ten-fold in other areas of your work and life. (... and you already know this!)

But that's not all ... your leadership effectiveness will be boosted too!

Three ways spending time with friends boosts your leadership effectiveness

  • When your cup is filled, your emotional intelligence is improved. Successful leaders demonstrate a level of poise and level-headedness  in uncertain times, as well as when facing trying situations and moments. It definitely can be tiring! And if you are not maintaining your personal wellness, and keeping your cup filled, then your ability to show grace under fire as a leader can be compromised. Maintaining a level of calm is an essential prerequisite for demonstrating emotional intelligence. You know yourself that when you're feeling your best everything seems to 'flow'. And when your own emotional cup runneth over is when you are at your best. You are enabled to bring your best to your leadership practice and to those who look to you for setting the right leadership tone. Fill your cup by nurturing your friendships!
  • Your perspective lens gets a correction. Quite often when your schedule is hectic and there seems no time for friends, family, or working out you are most at risk for losing perspective. If you start to run on adrenaline and slip into the beginning of the overwhelm cycle, you can start to make snappy decisions that may not be thought all the way through. Spending time with a close friend or friends, gets you out of your own head, and out of thinking constantly about your work. And this can magically act as a circuit-breaker for the single channel of work you've been focused on, allowing you to come back to work and your leadership practice with a fresh approach and perspective that is often more enthusiastic and insightful. Embrace your friendships to maintain a healthy perspective!
  • Your empathy muscle is exercised. Great leaders demonstrate empathy in their words and actions - in fact, it is a key enabler for building trust with your team. When you are under pressure and focused on deliverables, it can be easy to lose touch with the empathy side of your leadership practice. Some key ways to show empathy include tuning in and really listening, understanding and showing compassion for the other person's situation, and feeling a level of service to help where you can. If you think about it, these are the things we do naturally when it comes to our friendships, and so spending time with friends opens us up to our own empathy capabilities, allowing us to bring that to our leadership practice. Exercise your natural empathy muscle by spending time with friends!

So what are you waiting for? Who are you going to call tomorrow for a catch-up?

Supporting you on your leadership journey,

Magenta Roads, Principal, Carla Santamaria

PS. Please share if you found this helpful.


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