Ever said something that you later wish you hadn’t?
Felt guilty about over reacting to an incident at work or home?
Ever had an emotional incident influence non-related situations long after the event?
If so, chances are you’ve lost your head.
To lose one’s head means to become confused or overly emotional about someone or something. Studies show that when we lost our head (temper) we are less likely to see another person’s perspective and this hurts our ability to build respectful relationships – risky for leaders and professionals at all levels.
Here are three ways to help you keep your head:
- Pay attention and recognize that you emotional storm is coming, and take three deep breaths.
- Go to the balcony, that is imagine that you mentally go to the balcony and look over the whole situation before erupting, then come back to the person or situation at hand. You can do this in a matter of milli-seconds with some practice.
- Write out on three index cards, event, response and outcome. When we lose our head, an event triggers a response that can have a negative effect on our desired outcome. Now arrange the cards in a new order: event, outcome and response. This means when you feel triggered by an event, think first of the outcome that you wish you achieve and thing about the best way to achieve this. You will often choose another response than losing your head. Carry these three cards in your pocket for two weeks, occasionally reflecting with them. You will soon have your disruptive behavior under control.
There is a difference between authentically expressing frustration (and perhaps anger) compared to going emotionally off the rails when something doesn’t go as expected.
The next time you feel the like you could lose your head – think quickly about the outcome you are aiming for and then you will have a larger range of choices of how to act constructively.