Controlling your emotions!
Controlling your emotions!
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed heightened emotions and an increase in judgemental opinions from the sales teams I’m talking with.
This is a pretty standard reaction at times like this. People often become much less grounded at times of uncertainty and this triggers the limbic system. This is the part of your brain that controls your emotions. It triggers your stress response (fight, flight or freeze).
So if you are experiencing negative thoughts or feelings about certain people in your team it’s very likely that your limbic system has taken over your usual rational self!
Once the limbic system springs into action it has no regard for consequences because this part of your brain isn’t logical. The thinking and evaluating you do happens in another part of your brain.
You’re now in dangerous territory because your body is flooded with hormones, your breathing becomes shallow and all your logic and resources disappear. It’s as if the lid of your personal toolkit that you’ve developed over time…tools, techniques, skills, experiences slams shut and you can’t get access.
It’s now impossible to be your best self!
Any action taken when you’ve been hijacked by your limbic system will not be your best moments…and at worst could have extreme consequences.
This is not the time to deal with team issues!
It takes approximately 20 minutes once you’re walked away from the situation for you to move from limbic system behaviour to more rational and thought through behaviour. The lid of your toolkit springs open and you become aware of options that will lead to the outcome that you want.
We’ve all had the experience of reflecting on an angry conversation and coming up with all the things we could have said. These words were always there…you simply couldn’t access them in your emotional state.
Managing your emotions
Start to notice the triggers that shift your mood. The more aware you are the more you can manage them.
You may notice a little anxiety bubbling before your limbic system goes into full swing. At this point, you have the greatest chance of self-control. Pause and take 2 deep breaths. Why does this help? Because in times of stress you stop breathing properly which tells your limbic system there is a problem and it flips into the stress response. When you take 2 deep breaths it floods your body with oxygen and your limbic system isn’t sure if you’re in danger or not. It stops and waits for more data. Take this time to walk away from the situation, take a break and allow your body to get back into balance. You’ll be far more resourceful by the time you go back to it.
If you’ve already slid down the slippery slope into anger you only have one option…WALK AWAY!
Counting to 10 won’t work because your body is flooded with stress hormones and needs time to reset itself. You’ll probably be shouting the numbers through gritted teeth with wild staring eyes in any case and that’s not a good look for anyone 😉
Take the steps
- Become aware of your triggers
- Pause and take 2 deep breaths to flood your body with oxygen
- Take a break and regain balance
- Go back to the situation once you have thought through your plan
- If you’ve missed the trigger signs and your emotions have erupted…walk away!
In closing, I just want to add…don’t beat yourself up if you slide down the slippery slope of emotional outburst. Have the courage to apologise and most importantly…learn from the experience so that you can manage it better the next time!
Until next time,
PS If you want to explore how you can incorporate more mindset strategies in your sales leadership then please get in touch!
Thanks to Alex Holyoake for the great photo.
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