Increasing your awareness to avoid emotional outbursts!

Ever been on the receiving end of a verbal outburst from a manager or peer? Or been the one to have a verbal outburst?

I am guilty of the occasional outburst and it feels good to release the frustration in the moment. Afterwards, however, I’m left feeling like a complete moron who just wants to crawl under a rock and hide. These ‘outbursts’ generally occur when something has been left unresolved – it bubbles away under the surface until eventually it erupts.

Extreme emotions like rage, terror, loathing or grief are generally preceded by much milder emotions like irritation, apprehension, boredom or remorse, which worsen if left unaddressed. And it’s recognising these milder emotions and taking preventative action that will avoid outbursts.

According to MSCEIT (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) being able to ‘recognise’ emotions in yourself and others is just one of four key competencies when building your emotional intelligence. Following Recognising emotions is being able to Generate; Understand; and Manage your own and others emotions.

During the summer season there are ‘bushfire danger ratings’ given to indicate the likelihood of a fire breaking out in your area. The purpose of the rating is to inform the public and act as a trigger to implement survival plans. A variety of factors are taken into consideration when giving a particular rating. These include weather conditions along with the amount, type and dryness of the vegetation.

Creating your own ‘anger danger’ survival plan

Imagine if you had an inbuilt ‘anger danger rating’ that let you know what you were feeling and when it was time to take action! It might look a little something like this:

  1. You notice the feeling of ‘slight irritation’ when a stakeholder requests help with a project;
  2. This feeling escalates to ‘annoyance’ when another stakeholder also seeks help;
  3. Your survival plan is invoked, you ask yourself “what is the underlying issue?”;
  4. You discover that you are struggling to keep everyone happy and you’re not sure how to say ‘no’ without it damaging your brand;
  5. You have a conversation with someone you respect to work through development actions to learn how to say ‘no’ nicely;
  6. You have avoided a potential outburst!

If you’re serious about being a great leader, one who has control in any situation and knows the direction you’re headed, then increasing your ‘awareness’ and emotional intelligence should be high on your list of priorities.

Take the first step and simply open up your awareness to recognise emotions!

Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on assisting others to identify their goals and move in a direction to ensure they’re achieved.

She is a Directional Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Mentor and Speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.

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Shelley Flett

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