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Emotions!

Do you pay attention to your feelings?

Yesterday, as we drove to Apeldoorn in the early morning for interviews, the traffic was worse than normal. Here in the Netherlands, it’s called “spitsuren” (rush hours). It was becoming clear that we were going to be late.

Sometimes we can all get caught up in a cycle of our own emotions and negativity.

Have you been there?

Remember, you have a choice. You have the ability to choose your response to any situation.

We can choose to vent our emotions and “fly off the handle” which may increase our stress levels.

Or we simply put a lid on them, which can also be ineffective and over time, even quite destructive.

So, what else can you do?

Self-management is key.

It is all about how you act, react, or whether you take no action at all.

Firstly, you need to be self-aware enough to understand yourself and what triggers your emotions to be able to manage them well. Being self-aware of our feelings is a prerequisite to regulating them.

Yesterday, Monic was my rescuer as she spoke calmly, gently and measuredly, suggesting some possibilities for next time – which all made sense to me!

“So, we’ll be late” she said…

Although she was traveling in the car with me, she’d been studying for over an hour and wasn’t directly invested in the problem at hand.  That really helped, by simply getting another perspective.

Secondly, learning to pause is a great way to control our emotions.

In its simplest form it may be simply counting to 10 in your head or stepping away from the situation somehow for 5 minutes before you decide how to act.

Thirdly, shift your mood.

Move your body around, put some upbeat music on, take a walk, give someone a hug, or talk to someone.  All of these can help.

Fourthly, ask yourself – what’s important now?

Be accepting that things go wrong! That’s life.  Rather than dwelling on what you can’t control focus on what you can control in the future, rather than dwelling on problems that have already passed.

Finally, one of my favourites is to consider “how will this look in 6 months’ time?”

That’s a simple way to put things into perspective on any situation. Will you even remember? How much energy do you want to expend on something that you won’t even be thinking about in a few days’ time!

How do you control your emotional triggers?

“How do you walk in another person’s shoes?”

“How do you walk in another person’s shoes?” asked the workshop participant…

A great question and one that I have been asked repeatedly in recent coaching workshops.

A big part of the answer is to do with 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐲.

Empathy is understanding another person’s feelings, thoughts, and condition from their perspective, rather than our own.

In my experience empathy is being very present in any conversation, attentively listening deeply, being open minded without judgement, looking into their eyes and giving someone your undivided attention, in order to sense their emotions. Frequently a human connection is made, resulting in a peek or a fleeting impression into how or what they are really feeling. It is a momentary glimpse of their reality. That’s when I start to feel I am being empathetic.

The good news is – empathy is something that can be learned.

Active or deep listening and asking powerful questions helps us to develop an understanding of another persons situation and in turn develops empathy. As you seek to understand another person, simple responses are very often the most powerful and meaningful ways to help.

Try walking in another’s shoes today, go on give it a go!

Therefore, what?

Puzzled, quizzical or completely lost by the keynote address?

Frequently I listen to talks, read journal articles, books galore and sit through lots of presentations as well as attend many meetings. Do I understand what the key message was for me? What does all this mean? Was it just a lot of hot air? (sometimes it is!) Subsequently, at the close of the address, the meeting or the book, oftentimes a thought will enter my mind….”Therefore, what?” It was a favourite call to action for Boyd K. Packer.

By implication, after all that has been shared, after all that has been said, what is the call to action, what does all this mean for me – “Therefore, what?”

The words of encouragement, the purposeful direction, the inspiring motivational speaker’s counsel will not make one jot of a difference in our lives if we choose not to change. Have you been inspired by someone or something?

“Therefore, what?” Its my experience that there are many who have not made the connection between what they say they believe and how they actually live their lives. There is a disconnect between words and actions.

Does this apply to you? Why not consider this question at the end of your next meeting, next presentation or next book.

I know I can do better. How will you choose to act?

#actions