As the boss, have you ever done something that you soon regretted? Come on, we have all done it one point or another. You get into a heated discussion, push it too far, say too much, and then it’s just a matter of time before you realize that you reacted a bit too much. Been there, done that? Sure, we all have. But believe me, there is a better way to handle stressful situations, so they don’t get the better of you!
Our bodies have been hardwired to have a natural flight or fight response to stress. So when something happens that makes you feel stressed out, your brain is telling you to either leave the situation or to attack and fight it out. If you are like most people who haven’t taken the time to work on their emotions, you probably opt for the latter. But it is that which leaves you feeling regret, even more stressed out, and can leave you with few friends.
If you think about it, you have received very little in the way of teaching you how to handle your emotions. Growing up, you were probably not to do something, or to act a particular way, but nobody told you what you should do with those feelings. The good news, my friends, is that it is not too late to tackle this issue, master it, and make use out of it in both your private and professional life.
Here is the best way to incorporate the react less, listen more philosophy into your management style:
● Know your emotions. If you are in tune with your emotions, you will be able to realize when you are getting upset or stressed out. Being able to identify this happening, rather than being blindsided by it, is the first step to being able to deal with it in an appropriate way.
● Identify triggers. People often have triggers, something that consistently gets them upset. If you can identify what yours are, you will be in a better position to either avoid them all together, or at least be prepared to handle them.
● Delay reaction. When you feel something getting you upset or making you feel stressed, avoid immediately reacting. That’s where you end up doing things you will regret. Instead, delay your reaction so that you have time to calm down, and you can think clearly.
● Do what works. Everyone has something they can do to help them calm down and de-stress. Determine what works for you and then it do as needed. This may be anything from meditating to doing breathing exercises to playing music. What it is isn’t as important as just making sure you do something to help calm yourself down.
● Only when necessary. Once you have done all of the above, if there is something you must react to, you will be in a better position mentally to address it. Let the little things slide and only address those things that really matter. In other words, pick your battles!
The good news is that when you stop immediately reacting to everything, you will end up listening more. And one of the great qualities of every good leader and manager is that of being a good listener. In order to be the best manager that you can be, it is important to avoid abandoning rational behavior. You can do this by thinking clearly before you react.
When you focus on handling your emotions, you will put more attention on the needs of others, which can help you avoid becoming self-destructive with your emotional reactivity. The key to your best management is in always acting like mom, your preacher, or whoever it is that brings out your best behavior is standing right there in the room!