“An overwhelming majority of the bad decisions I’ve made in my life were impulsive. They weren’t errors of faulty logic or ineffective deliberation. They were avoidable mistakes in moments when I was unwilling or unable to manage potent negative emotions. Likewise, the most consequential progress I’ve made in my development as a leader has been not in professional but in emotional competence.” So writes Joseph Grenny, bestselling author of such books as Crucial Conversations and Influencer, in Harvard Business Review.
We all experience negative emotions; it’s what we do with them that matters (Tweet it!). Grenny recommends these four steps:
Own the emotion: Don’t blame anyone else for what you feel; we generate our own emotions, regardless of stimulus.
Name the Story: Recognize if you have cast yourself in the role of victim, villain, or helpless one.
Challenge the Story – Once you identify your self-imposed role you can ask yourself questions that expose it for the fable it is.
Find Your Primal Story – Become aware of habitual scripts that may have dogged you since childhood (e.g. the bullied child) and counter them with opposing messages.
Have you ever made a bad decision in the grips of a negative emotion? What do you do to handle yourself when negative emotions arise? Do you see areas for improvement with regard to rewards and incentives? To join the conversation, click "comments" below on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion