Do you find yourself in some situations reacting emotionally in ways you later regret?
Do you lose your confidence and sense of personal power with certain people or situations?
Do you not know how to deal skillfully with other people when they’re triggered?
If you answered “yes” to some of these questions, you now have confirmation that you’re a human being. But don’t worry, there is hope!
We all have emotional triggers– situations where our reactions are out of proportion to events. This can happen at work, or at home with our family and friends. And when we get triggered, we often react in ways that cause damage rather than forward the work or strengthen relationships.
Check out this excerpt from our paper, What is Transformation?
Smart strategic thinking and technical skills are no guarantee of emotional balance.
A critical leadership competency is our ability to manage our own emotional triggering as well as handling others when they’re triggered. Events in the present restimulate past pain, fear, or anger out of proportion to what’s actually happening in the present. Our forebrains, the product of millennia of evolution, get hijacked by our limbic systems.
All human beings carry wounds from our past—patterned responses embedded in our brains and nervous systems. We may or may not have have personally experienced sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. But many of us have suffered the impact of oppression due to race, gender, sexual orientation, class, or differing abilities. And even those from privileged backgrounds and relatively “healthy” families carry wounds of loss, anxiety over self-worth, and fear of failure.
Again and again we see how these emotional wounds play out at work. Certain situations drain away our power and leave us feeling inadequate. A leader with positional power lashes out abusively at staff. “Discussions” over budgets may start to feel like life and death struggles. Differences over strategy can become personally threatening to the point where dialogue and a search for common ground become impossible.
“For we have, built into all of us, old blueprints of expectations and response, old structures of oppression, and these must be altered at the same time as we alter the living conditions which are a result of those structures.” —Audre Lourde
Help is here!
We’ve developed a series of best practices to help you understand and manage your own emotional triggers. Equally important, there are some great tips on how to deal with others when they’re triggered—staff, colleagues, and even your loved ones. These lessons are universally useful, widely applicable, and highly practical.
The Managing Your Triggers Toolkit includes the following articles, best practices and tools.
- How Triggers Hijack Our Sanity
What is “triggering” and how does it impact our effectiveness?
- Getting To Know Your Triggers
An exercise to identify the things that trigger you and understand what causes the intensity of your reactions.
- What To Do When Triggered: The 4-Step Practice of State-Shifting
Learn the powerful practice of “State-Shifting” – how to manage your own emotional reactivity.
- How To Know You’re Triggered
How to quickly recognize the tell-tale physical and emotional signals that you’re triggered.
- The Art of State-Shifting: 13 Tools for Recovering Your Sanity
Help your body and mind rebalance after you’ve been triggered.
- Meshing: How To Stay Centered in Triggering Situations
How to prepare yourself for situations that are likely to be stressful or triggering.
- When Others Are Triggered
Tips and best practices for dealing with others when they are triggered.
It is easy to fly into a passion. But, to be angry with the right person, and to the right extent, and at the right time, and in the right way – this is not so easy. —Aristotle
Tell us in the comments, what are your triggers at work and how do you manage them?