Episode 13 & Episode 14 – Paul Nyamuda (Part 1), Paul Nyamuda (Part 2)
Paul Nyamuda (Part 1)
On this podcast Maanda Tshifularo interviewed Paul Nyamuda – a leadership and emotional intelligence expert. Paul is an international speaker who inspires leaders across the globe to think beyond their limitations, and overcome challenges that seem impossible. He is an executive coach and author of 27 fantastic books! He is a founder and CEO of Corporate Legends, and a co-founder and senior pastor of Go-Christian Church. By training, Paul is an organizational psychologist, with Masters from Rhodes University. He is widely known for his leadership and emotional intelligence expertise and on the podcast, we discussed how to effectively lead with emotional intelligence.
Paul’s view on Leadership:
The word Lead in Latin is the same as the word Go. So when someone claims to be a leader, the question is “where are you going?” Leaders are going somewhere. Leaders have vision.
Leaders have followers who are following them voluntarily and not by cohesion. So if someone claims to be a leader, the question is “Who is following you?”
Paul defines leadership as taking people from one point to another through change. We can’t talk about leadership without talking about change because leaders move people through change.
Being in a position does not make one a leader, but influence is the determinant.
Great leaders have to be futuristic in their thinking. They must think multi-generationally. The Chinese think in centuries, they plan ahead. And this results in better preparation for future generations. The African leadership style, on the other hand, focuses more on the present and the past, which results in robbing future generations through corruption. African leaders need to shift more into futuristic thinking and begin to plan ahead.
Paul’s view on Emotional Intelligence:
Historically, we have spoken about IQ (Intelligence Quotient). But there are different types of intelligence. There is social intelligence, spiritual intelligence, kinaesthetic intelligence, tactile intelligence, musical intelligence, special intelligence, aesthetic intelligence, etc. So when we talk about Emotional Intelligence it is simply about “understanding yourself, understanding others, and then being able to adapt and connect to them”.
There are four aspects that construct to Emotional Intelligence:
- Emotional Self-Awareness
- Emotional Management
- Social Awareness
- Relationship Management
Leading Effectively with Emotional Intelligence
If you want to increase your leadership capacity you must increase your EQ and grow in the aspects that construct to it.
Emotional self-awareness means that you are aware of how you are feeling. This, however, must go to a level where you get to understand how your feelings impact others.
Emotional Management – This speaks of emotional containment, which is the ability not to react but rather respond well to situations, e.g. choosing not to speak while you are angry.
Social Awareness – Also known as empathy. It means being conscious of how others are feeling. To be an effective leader, you have to be socially aware.
Relationship Management – Once we are aware of other people’s feelings, we need to know how to manage them. That includes deciding in advance to respond positively.
Struggles with these aspects of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) vary from person to person based on personality and one’s EQ growth. For example, someone may be a strong leader who has mastered self-management but doesn’t think it is worthwhile adapting and connecting to other people. EQ tests therefore come in to help break down which aspect of emotional intelligence one is strong or weak at, helping them to indicate aspects that still need growth.
Dealing with low self-awareness
Understanding yourself is key. There are questions one can ask oneself in order to detect their level of self-awareness
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- What are the overuses of my strengths? (Note that weaknesses are often strengths overused.)
Other important questions to ask would be
- What are your emotional triggers?
- What drains you?
Dealing with poor emotional management
The best way to manage your emotions is accountability. You must have someone who can be your mirror. They can make you aware whenever your emotions are impacting them. This requires vulnerability, which can be a struggle for many leaders, but we need to understand that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but of maturity and it also strengthens bonds. Leaders need to understand that when they make themselves vulnerable they become more human in people’s eyes and the bond becomes stronger. It is important to build emotional intimacy with those we lead, but we must also be aware that emotional intimacy cannot be achieved without some degree of vulnerability.
Many leaders like to keep the “Perfect Leader” façade, but the sad thing is that people can see through it. Putting on that façade causes leaders to over-perform and that creates anxiety gaps. And the nature of those anxiety gaps is the fear of being found out. Leaders must be honest and transparent about their strengths and weaknesses. This again does not project one as a weak leader but shows a high level of self-esteem and self-acceptance.
Low self-acceptance may be a result of past mistakes and negative past experiences, and it may show itself in strange behavioural patterns. However, it is possible to overcome it and fully embrace who you are and show up every day as your authentic self.
One way to deal with it would be to trace where the behaviour was learnt. This makes it easier to unlearn it. Then you move on to recreating positive recent experiences to replace those behaviour patterns.
Self-Talk/Affirmation is one of other mechanisms to be used to overcome self-acceptance struggles, but there are principles that make these more effective – the 3 P’s of Affirmation.
- Make your affirmations PERSONAL,
- Make them PRESENT TENSE, and
- Say them with PASSION.
Another thing would be to link our affirmations with positive visualization. See yourself in the situation before it happens. Also get yourself in the emotional state you would like to be in when that situation happens. That emotional state will end up being your comfortable space, preventing you from other negative feelings that may come during the actual experience.
Dealing with negative and opposing people
Leaders are powerful people, and there is nothing wrong with that. Power is the ability a person has to make people do what they would otherwise not have done. Power exerted becomes influence. So a powerful person’s mood and behaviour and value system is not shaped by people around them. The impact and influence they have in the world around them is bigger than the impact and influence those around them have on them. Leaders need to go with the mind-set of abundance, the mind-set that says, “If people are plotting against me, I choose to see them as victims to their own weaknesses”. You are not a victim. If you live life in the form of a victim stance, you will always be defensive and always changing your value system because of other people. And often your perception will be wrong.
Maintaining an abundance mind-set
The best way to deal with negativity is to not focus your energy on it. We need to intentionally keep a positive mind-set. Habits are a key to our success – the things we do whether we feel like it or not. One of the best habits to keep is to pre-decide our response to situations before they happen. We need to prepare ourselves in advance on how we aim to respond positively.
Paul Nyamuda (Part 2)
Why develop emotional EQ instead of just focusing on IQ?
A lot of people try to be hard-core specialists who are brilliant. That is great. The only problem is they become “The Brilliant Jerk” – this is a person who is very smart but no one wants to work with them. These people’s smartness is all they were rewarded for, therefore they grow to believe this lie – “My smartness alone will get me to the top”. Having told themselves that lie, they later find out that it is the case. Smartness alone will not always get you people’s buy in. People buy from brands they like; people buy from brands they have an emotional connection with; people buy from brands they trust. Hence the reason not to just rely on IQ but to also work on EQ.
Who needs coaching?
Some people are not ready for coaching, they are not coachable. People who are coachable are people who understand this – “My personal development is the best gift I can give the people around me”. Personal development is not something selfish, it’s a gift. When someone with anger issues gets anger management training, it is a gift to those around that person.
We need to remove the stigma around coaching. Sometimes people see coaching in a remedial manner. Their mind-set is that getting a coach means something in them is broken and needs to be fixed. Coaching is not meant for fixing what is broken, but rather to help people to plan better. It is aimed at drawing the best out of people in order to produce the best version of them.
Natural talent alone cannot get you to the top. Sports people understand this, which is why the best players of football have coaches. Executive coaching is also necessary in the corporate world. Coaches are there to help you define your growth steps, those things you have to master in order to go to your next level of leadership, and work on them until you master them.
The Dimensions of Coaching
Classically, if you talk about coaching, it means coaching people to achieve their goals. These are normally short term goals. The coach comes in to help a person overcome the obstacles that may be preventing them from reaching their goals. They then review them after a certain period. If the person has entered their next level, mission accomplished. At another stage of their lives, they might once again see a need for coaching in order to deal with certain challenges.
When it comes to mentors and thinking partners, the dynamic is long term as the mentor or thinking partner must always be there for the person in an advisory capacity. It is not always goal orientated like classic coaching.
Coaching is affordable but people do not always value it because it is not always tangible. The sessions are priceless in terms of what you get out of it. But people lack the understanding of the need to invest in their learning.
There are different ways of coaching. Sometimes you get coaching within a corporation. Where you get coaching from people you work with for free. Sometimes there is an external coach who comes in and your company pays for that. But you also have mentorship through what you read, that’s why we say “Leaders are Readers”. There are many mistakes that people who have gone before us have made, we don’t need to go through the same mistakes. It is therefore wise to read biographies and autobiographies. There are even many other resources online, e.g. YouTube, where people can keep learning. You can also go to seminars. Be a proactive learner. It is your responsibility to manage your career.
The best type of coaching happens through observation. It is important to have a mirror, but a lot of people do not have that in the workplace because they don’t give anyone permission to give them feedback, they are too sensitive to receive feedback.
Some people are also not mentored effectively because they think you cannot be intimate with authority. Very often they have grown up in environments where children are seen and not heard, so they keep away from people in top leadership. They desire to see themselves in those top positions in the future but will not go near the people who occupy them, that’s a sign they will never occupy those positions. “Show me your friends, and I will show you your future”. You need people to interact with that can stretch you now so that you think big now and prepare for the future you desire. If you are afraid of upward influence you will never get mentorship from them. It is the responsibility of the protégé to seek out the mentor.
Resources on EQ
- Daniel Goleman’s material
- Paul’s upcoming book, EQ Ultra
- His existing book, Crafted Conversations
Paul’s books are available on Amazon.
How to get more disciplined
Paul defines discipline as following through on what you have pre-decided is best for you to do regardless of how you feel. A lot of disciplined people have a contingency plan.
When it comes to pre-deciding things and discipline, the principle is taking charge of your life. At the beginning of the year, Paul and his wife practically apply this by planning the people they want to build with in the year. They then intentionally involve them in their life.
The key thing is setting goals in all aspects of life. Paul divides life in 8 different aspects:
- Spiritual life, devotion – relationship with God
When you write down your goals you are most likely to accomplish them. The power of writing them down is the power of review. Talking about your goals also keeps them fresh.
Paul’s Listeners Challenge is Facing Stuff
Face 3 things:
- Self – Tell yourself the difficult things, but also the positive things. Tell yourself your weaknesses, but also your strengths.
- Work – Be honest about what you are currently doing, about the things that excite you and drain you about your work.
- Others – Have difficult conversations. Successful people are able to have difficult conversations. Often to go to your next level you might need to go through a difficult conversation. If you are scared of these difficult conversations, you will become mediocre.
12 D’s of World Class Leadership by Paul Nyamuda.