Merge's Blog

How to maintain your composure? Know that your actions will control the outcome of any situation.

Almost two years ago I wrote a blog post titled How to maintain your composure? Identify your main triggers. In it, I promised that I would offer additional ideas in future blog posts, and then of course, I promptly forgot! Well, I received an email last week from a reader who was surfing the archives and he gently pointed out to me that I had not kept my word! So for Jeremy (and anyone else who works with clients or employees who “push your buttons”), today’s blog post is for you!

When you find yourself in situations where you’ve come dangerously close to losing your cool because of a frustrating employee, an irritating colleague, or even an exasperating client, it’s important to recognize that that these people are behaving predictably. Your past experience with any specific one of these people means that you can expect or at least guess what they are going to say or do that will make you upset or angry. Realizing that this behaviour is predictable AND that they’re not going to change their behaviour MEANS that the only thing you can change is your own response or behaviour. Managing how you react will improve your control of the situation. There is only one person responsible for your own emotions: YOU. The only person you can control in such a situation is yourself; you cannot control the other person (so matter how much you wish you could). Keep in mind this simple formula:

E+R=OEvent + Response = Outcome

When an event happens that causes you to lose your cool, your response to this event will determine the outcome. If your response is to this event is positive, the outcome will be positive. If your reaction is negative, the outcome will be negative. So understand the power that your reaction has, and harness it to your advantage!

I’ll be back (I promise!) to offer you another idea next month, but in the meantime, why don’t we learn from one another? Tell me, what specific actions do you take to keep your cool under pressure? Do share!

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