Knowing what your emotional triggers are (and how to deal with them) is a key component of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership. Other people don’t bear responsibility for your reactions. A key step in learning to recognize your triggers involves paying attention when situations generate a strong emotional response.
Review the following list of common Emotional Triggers and choose 1 that you have experienced in the past month:
* What physical feelings accompanied the event (pounding heart, upset stomach, sweaty palms etc.)?
* See patterns of behavior- follow the feelings back to their origin by thinking back on other situations that made you feel what you’re currently feeling.
Maybe it suddenly seemed as if you were a teenager again, trying to earn approval from an indifferent parent. The emotional trigger transported you back to that time in your life, when you felt like nothing you did was good enough.
* Be Curious- When strong emotions come up, don’t try to ignore them or fight them back. Instead, approach them with curiosity to get more insight on what may have triggered them. Do any patterns stand out? For example, performance discussions might bring up anxiety and frustration related to your fear of not being understood.
* What strategies did you use to manage the Emotional Trigger in the moment? Where these strategies helpful or did they exacerbate (make worse) your physical feelings and responses. Once you’ve identified your emotional triggers, you might think, “Well, that’s easy. All I have to do is avoid those situations.” It’s not really that simple, though. You can’t avoid or escape from every difficult situation life throws at you. And it’s pretty much a guarantee that unpleasant emotions will come up occasionally.
* Managing Your Emotional Triggers Effectively – what strategies will you use to reduce the negative response and promote curiosity when experiencing this Emotional Trigger in the future?