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Master the Art of Emotional Control

We all do it. It’s a curse of being human and unfortunately no matter how hard we try be perfect, hardworking, efficient workerbees who come in to do the job and then go home…

Our emotions get the best of us. At some point or another, life takes it toll and we react. We blow steam in the office, go off on a rant during lunch, mutter under our breath. It happens. We’re human. I get that.

But are our reactions appropriate? Justified? …Expected? Even better: are your reactions INTENTIONAL? Do they further your position?

Consider the last time your emotions got away from you and you reacted in a way that didn’t serve you or the organization best:

  • What was the trigger that set you off?
  • What was the emotion that was expressed? What was the emotional trigger behind the emotion? (hint: the trigger may not be the same as the emotion was expressed. Fear may be expressed as anger)?
  • Where did you feel that emotion (may be anywhere in the body. There is a reason we use the term “gut reaction” for example)?
  • How did you really want to react to the situation?

Next time you have to react, press PAUSE. If not PAUSE, hit the 5-SECOND DELAY. Give yourself some time to let the rational thinking section of your brain dissect how you feel vs. how you’re going to react.

This type of emotional control takes practice. A lot of it. Start by asking these questions in real time as you feel your emotions getting the better of you, before you react. With practice and a few deep breaths, you may be able to hit the pause button and become more intentional with the emotions you use in the workplace — they’ll push your agenda much further than flying off the handle ever will.

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