EQ Blog

Leadership Curve Balls and Heart Beats

By: Liz Cunningham
23rd May 2017

How do the curve balls that life throws at you affect your heartbeat? What has that got to do with anyone else?

Do you know that when your heart beat changes, it can change the heart beat of the team of people that you lead?

  1. CEO- Chief Emotions Officer

If you are seen as the most powerful person in any situation, whether that be at work, at home or in any social context, your heart beat is sending out an electro-magnetic wave form that can extend up to 10 feet from your body. Without you realising it, your heart pattern broadcasts a signal that others tune into for better or for worse!

This signal not only impacts others, it also impacts you. It is part of the physiological feedback mechanism that influences what state you live your life in and lead others from. It affects your leadership influence.

The Heart Math Institute has been leading research for the last 30 years to understand how what we are feeling is reflected in our heart rhythm. Love-based heart rhythms produce a coherent electromagnetic wave pattern that enables growth while fear-based patterns create chaos that throws us into a state of survival.

  1. What’s my heartbeat signal?

Bruce Lipton in his book The Biology of Belief describes how body cells at the most basic state of being, exist in one of two states; Survival or Growth.

In humans, the extremes of the two polarities might appropriately be described as LOVE (+) and FEAR (- ). Love fuels growth. In contrast, fear stunts growth.
– Bruce Lipton

When you are faced with perceived curved balls, your fear-based survival patterns can be triggered. They show up in what you are thinking, feeling and doing e.g tense, stressed, defensive.

  • Is this where you are leading from?
  • Is this the signal you are broadcasting to others?
  • What is the impact on them?
  1. How can you lead for growth?

Emotional Intelligence provides us with a compass. Being able to recognise, understand, regulate and use our emotional heart beat to lead ourselves first and then intentionally influence others.

We would like to believe that human beings are purely rational. The reality is this; how we feel, and therefore how we make people around us feel, drives us and them into survival or growth.

Daniel Goleman says in his book Primal Leadership, that the most powerful person in any group of people influences between 50-70% of how the people perceive the tone of the group. How people feel about working in a company or being part of a team then has a 20-30% impact on performance.

  1. How to change your heartbeat – Inner-Ease™ Technique (PDF)
  • Firstly, if you are stressed, acknowledge your feelings as soon as you sense that you are out of sync or engaged in common stressors— feelings such as frustration, impatience, anxiety, overload, anger, being judgmental, mentally gridlocked, etc.
  • Two, take a short time out and do heart-focused breathing: breathe a little slower than usual; pretend you are breathing through your heart or chest area. (This is proven to help create coherent wave patterns in your heart rhythm—which helps restore balance and calm in your mental and emotional nature while activating the affirming power of your heart.)
  • Three, during the heart-focused breathing, imagine with each breath that you are drawing in a feeling of inner-ease and infusing your mental and emotional nature with balance and self-care from your heart. It’s scientifically proven that radiating love and self-care through your system activates beneficial hormones and boosts your immunity. Practicing will increase your awareness of when the stressful emotion has calmed into a state of ease. The mind and emotions operate on a vibrational level. Slowing down the stressful vibration helps re-establish the cooperation and balance between heart, mind and emotions. (Like an old electric fan that rattles until you turn it to a slower speed, which often quiets and restores the unbalanced vibration.)

Want to know more about these insights? Talk to Liz from Equip about how you and your team can develop personal and team resilience in unpredictable times.

The seeds of resilience are planted in the way we process the negative events in our lives.
Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook

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