This weekend brought to a close an awesome 4-week course I delivered on Emotional Awareness. Now you may be wondering how that applies to Team Performance or Leadership Coaching. Rest assured, the two are very connected.

Emotional awareness is the ability to identify and express what you are feeling and to have empathy for what others are feeling. It’s the building block of a healthy emotional life.

Can you see how how having the ability to identify and express what you are feeling in the work place would come in handy? How about with that team that you lead? Or what about for the members of your team to be able to effectively express how they feel in a healthy manner.

Often,  Leaders employ a “Spray and Pray” approach to expressing  bad news. They spray it out to their team in the quickest way possible, and then pray that the team comes into alignment or agreement. This tactic has the ability to backfire quite substantially.

For the team, they learn to spray and pay – the difference is that they pay for the backlash from their team when the spew out uncontrolled emotion or frustration in an unhealthy manner. Their teammates will not allow that behavior coming from a peer, especially if they must endure from their leader.

Studies show that people who are comfortable with expressing the full range of feelings have an easier time connecting with others, are more at ease with themselves, and are strong communicators.

Your Emotional Awareness is critical in forming healthy relationships and attaining your goals.

As a leader, having healthy relationships on your team is key to your success. Now this doesn’t mean that you all need to sing Kumbaya at the end of each day in the break room. It does mean that you have the mutual respect for communicating in a manner that supports the team or attaining the goal.

So, what is the state of your Emotional Awareness? One way to test it is to see how your team communicates with one another. Not with you, with their peers. It may be a reflection of how you are doing, and it may surprise you.