Is it costing you promotions or money?
Automatic, negative responses to people or events often indicate a hypersensitivity that’s referred to as “getting your buttons pushed.” At work, these emotional reactions can limit your career advancement, cost you clients, reputation, and cap the level of success you might achieve. Usually, these sensitivities have their origins in hurtful childhood experiences, such as repeatedly being criticized, rejected, or controlled. Because we’re all human, we sometimes take them into the workplace with us. Answer the following two sets of questions, true or false, to discover how well you manage your emotional reactions at work.
- When anyone critiques my work—constructively or not—I tend to shut down and withdraw or feel ashamed.
- When someone hurts me—for instance, if they fail to acknowledge my contribution—I lash out at them or blame myself.
- I hate it when colleagues tell me I’m “too sensitive.”
- When a colleague or client says or does something that makes me mad, it takes me a long time to let go of it. I often carry a resentment.
- Sometimes I have no idea why I respond to coworkers the way that I do—I just can’t control myself.
- If I feel inordinately upset or angered by something at work, rather than blaming someone for making me feel what I’m feeling, I take a deep breath, and then take an honest look at myself to see what I can learn from the situation.
- When I feel “triggered,” I know it often has nothing to do with the person who pushed my buttons.
- If after I have calmed down and returned to a professional state of mind, I find that a current situation needs to be addressed, I do so in a constructive manner.
- I’m familiar with the situations to which I am most likely to overreact. More quickly now I recognize when my buttons have been pushed, and I am less reactive.
- When my buttons do get pushed now, I am able to see any unresolved personal issues needing my attention. I can then return my focus to my work.
If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may wish to learn how to deal more effectively with your emotional responses in the workplace. Your success depends on it especially if you aspire to or are in a leadership position.
This subject is known as Emotional Intelligence. It is a soft skill that is needed today and is a great subject to discuss in executive coaching sessions.
Author’s content used under license, © 2010 Claire Communications