masterfeelingsWhen working with teams it is important to be able to identify and manage the emotions of many people, including yourself. When working with teams of children this is even more important, as their ability to identify and manage their own emotions, let alone those of others, can be challenging. For many young athletes the introduction to organized sports can come with a slew of emotions they have had only limited amounts of experience. From the disappointment of a loss, to the discomfort of being unable to perform a skill, to the elation of winning a big game or making a big shot, emotions can run high and low to extremes. The ability for a coach to identify those emotions and help their athletes cope with them, is an invaluable leadership skill. Though the article below has been sampled from the corporate world, its short list of skills to champion hold true in the world of youth sports.

By: Daniel Goleman

What makes a great leader? Knowledge, smarts and vision, to be sure. To that, Daniel Goleman, author of “Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence,” would add the ability to identify and monitor emotions — your own and others’ — and to manage relationships. Qualities associated with such “emotional intelligence” distinguish the best leaders in the corporate world, according to Mr. Goleman, a former New York Times science reporter, a psychologist and co-director of a consortium at Rutgers University to foster research on the role emotional intelligence plays in excellence. He shares his short list of the competencies.

Realistic self-confidence: You understand your own strengths and limitations; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else on the team.
Emotional insight: You understand your feelings. Being aware of what makes you angry, for instance, can help you manage that anger.

Resilience: You stay calm under pressure and recover quickly from upsets. You don’t brood or panic. In a crisis, people look to the leader for reassurance; if the leader is calm, they can be, too.
Emotional balance: You keep any distressful feelings in check — instead of blowing up at people, you let them know what’s wrong and what the solution is.
Self-motivation: You keep moving toward distant goals despite setbacks.

Cognitive and emotional empathy: Because you understand other perspectives, you can put things in ways colleagues comprehend. And you welcome their questions, just to be sure. Cognitive empathy, along with reading another person’s feelings accurately, makes for effective communication.
Good listening: You pay full attention to the other person and take time to understand what they are saying, without talking over them or hijacking the agenda.

Compelling communication: You put your points in persuasive, clear ways so that people are motivated as well as clear about expectations.
Team playing: People feel relaxed working with you. One sign: They laugh easily around you.

Source: Steve Nash Youth Basketball Blog
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