Managing Emotions When You’re Under Stress

One element of emotional intelligence is self-regulation, which is your ability to control disruptive impulses and moods before you act. In effect, it’s the ability to think first before acting or reacting.

Outcomes from self-regulation range from spewing whatever you’re feeling in the moment (without regard to your effect on others) to remaining poised during emotionally charged situations.

Staying calm isn’t easy to do, especially if you’re in a high-stress job where emotions flare regularly. Some of my clients suffer as they try to manage this. On the surface, they keep their emotions in check, but not too far below the surface, their emotions wreak havoc.

The Value of Constancy

Information overload affects all of us, all the time. Not a day goes by where you don’t have at least a fleeting thought about how you’re going to get everything done.

The good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news is that you still have to get everything done. As a leader, you’re torn in even more directions, in part because of the expectations and demands of your employees.

One way to approach this is to decide that every day you will do two or three things consistently, regardless of what else is on the day’s agenda. For example, you might review your goals and deadlines daily to make sure that the important things are top of mind.

Next, you may identify your top three priorities every morning and schedule enough time to complete them.

Is Your Office Always Open?

Spring is here and grumblings related to work/life balance are spewing out of employees like pollen out of blooming trees. After all, who wouldn’t want to leave the office at a decent hour to enjoy a beautiful spring evening?

This week I heard a mouthful from Stella, a professional staff member who is upset when she has to work more than 40 hours a week. After all, she explained to me, she has a wedding to plan and wants to start a family.

Really? You’d think that someone at this level wouldn’t say something like this to a consultant in the first 90 seconds of a get-to-know-you staff evaluation meeting. What concerned me more, however, is the impact she is having on her co-workers. And Stella’s managers expect more from her, but don’t clearly communicate those expectations.

Meeting Madness

Do you have too many meetings in a typical week? It happens often and you can suffer from “meeting madness” as a result. This is an affliction caused by too many meetings that aren’t focused, take too long, and accomplish a tenth of what you expect.

If you’re tired of the madness, here are some practical tips to create some sanity.

Start and end on time. This may seem obvious, but it’s often breached because people are late. That isn’t fair to those who are on time, especially if it means that you’ll run late. Stay true to the end time even if you aren’t finished. It will help build the discipline to begin and end on time in the future.