You are in control. The opportunity to create strong and safe relationships at the office and across departments is yours for the taking. You may ask: How could something that so few professionals have mastered be so simple for you or me? The answer is also simple. It’s called the practice of mindfulness and empathy.
When you observe your comrades’ emotions and witness their stressors, you can note what type of appreciation delights them vs what sets them off. Then, you can tailor your interactions with them going forward, assuring the kind of consistency that keeps everyone even-keeled and feeling respected. However, there is a prerequisite to maintaining such interactions, and it addresses the way YOU react to certain workplace situations and personality types. It’s called Self-Regulation, the mastery of which is crucial for sustaining the type of cool attitude that you wish to see in others. And just like mindfulness and empathy, it, too, is within your reach.
Mastering The Jedi Mind Trick
In today’s fast-paced, distraction-saturated workplace, I’m sure you can recall moments when you were blindsided by someone’s inconsiderate or irrational behavior, prompting you to spin out in public. You know the feeling: You felt either cheated, misunderstood, scared, furious or otherwise powerless because of someone’s words or actions, and had a strong emotional reaction which came on suddenly. Upon reflection later, you felt regret that YOU had acted inappropriately.
But here’s a fact: Freak-outs need an external catalyst to ignite them. The catalyst can be a kindling fire that’s slow to grow, or it can be a short-fused explosion. Regardless of the manner, we are all susceptible, and it’s truly a differentiator in the workplace. This is perhaps why it’s said that “Self-Regulation is the Jedi mind trick of corporate America.”
The Magic Quarter-Second
Keep in mind that the difference between an uncontrolled outburst and a logical response to the offense is a quarter-second. This tiny window of time that lies between the “uh-oh” realization and the jolting response can be metaphorically aligned with seeing the lightening before you hear the thunder. Viktor Frankl summed it up poetically when he said:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
This magic quarter-second is actually a neuroscientific truism. Scientist and researcher Benjamin Libet discovered in the 20th century that the part of the brain responsible for movement activates a quarter-second before we become aware of our intention to move. There is then another quarter-second before the movement begins. This means that before we make a conscious decision, our brain has already set the gears in motion! But on another level, this information offers us an opportunity.
Acknowledging how your brain works in this manner affords you the ability to reign in that regretful flip-out before it occurs. It all begins with a single breath. That’s right! When a self-inflicted amygdala hijack is imminent, if you take a moment to breathe, it allows your Executive Brain to catch up to your amygdala. This is precisely the move that can prevent embarrassment, not to mention client loss and even job loss.
U-Turn from a Slow Burn
If you’ve utilized DRIVEN’s solutions in the past, you’re aware that “simple” doesn’t always equal “easy”. This is indeed the case when learning to self-regulate. A helpful move is to identify the first physical manifestation of anxiety you experience before you’re triggered. It might be a pounding heart, a reddened face, or something as innocent as tapping a foot or a pencil. Once you narrow it down, you can then permit yourself via mindfulness to take that breath and emerge in-control, preparing your response, not your reaction.
You can even take it one step deeper, and proactively mitigate the amygdala hijack. This means dialing into your emotional condition, which is reliant on being mindful and in the present. During your conversation with the “offender”, continue to check in and assess your feelings. If you begin to sense you’re being defensive, judgmental, anxious or inpatient, these are signs that your amygdala is experiencing a slow feed of negative energy and is preparing the body to protect your safety (just performing its job). As you remain present and begin to endure these unpleasant sensations, become curious. Simply the act of asking the question of yourself and others will settle your reactive brain and reengage the Executive Brain. Before you know it, hijack averted!
Signs of Slowing Economy Continue to Mount
11 Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week!
3 Strategies to Feel More in Control of Your Investments in 2019
3 Life Insights From the Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos Divorce
Weekend Warriors: Ortho Regenerative Technologies Begins Final Animal Studies in Rotator Cuff Repair
Advisors: A New Way to Build Trust With Your Audience on Social Media
4 Tips to Get Over Your Fears of Being on Camera
Top 7 Questions To Identify Core Leadership Skills
How Technology Is Helping Clients Take a Bigger Role Than Ever
What Happens When Labour Gets Commoditized
Markets1 day ago
Long-Term Investors: The S&P 500 Is Not Your Friend. Here’s Why.
Development1 day ago
Again, and Again, and Again: The Way to Build a Great Advisory
Advisor Marketing1 day ago
How to Integrate a Robo-Advisor Offering on Your Website
Equities2 days ago
MIT Says 2019 the Year That Blockchain Goes Mainstream
Sales Strategy2 days ago
The “Polite” Prospect Can Be the Most Difficult Prospect
Human Performance2 days ago
6 Techniques to Close Deals Faster
Markets3 days ago
Is the Market Rising Due to the Lack of Bad News Screaming at Us?
Markets3 days ago
The Early Bird Sells too Soon