How to manage your emotions in stressful and critical situations.

zen meditation garden Would you like to be able to manage your emotions during a conflict situations?
Do you want to feel more relax during a negotiation?
Are you afraid that your bad mood can negatively influence the outcome of a meeting at work?

Every day we face critical situations that can generate stress such as negotiations, performance feedback to an employee or simply the opinion of a colleague. In 90% of the cases, we may spend a lot of time preparing these conversations or meetings and our “bad” emotions can negatively influence the results.

Knowing how to manage our emotions means being able to reach our objectives more effectively and with maturity. I do not like to talk about “controlling” emotions, because each emotion, positive and negative, has its advantages and disadvantages. I prefer to think that by managing emotions we can take advantage of all of them, also of the negatives.

Now you will ask me: What is the advantage of being afraid for example? Fear gives us guidelines on our limits, supports us in paying more attention to what we do and say, in how we act. And the anger? It tells us, for example, that we have values which were not respected by others, or which push us to do things differently. Each emotion has more meanings, and each one of them helps us in making decisions.

When emotions prevent us from acting clearly and objectively, because they are too strong for example, then we need to know how to manage them. That is why I have decided to include in my conflict management and negotiation courses this important part of “emotional management”.

Being able to manage your emotion will help you to:
• See things more objectively
• Knowing how to reach our goals
• To be more empathetic
• Understand the situation and act in a flexible and
• Improve relationships with other people
• Live in a more authentic and healthy way
• Communicate more assertively

These points decide how successful you will be reaching your goals.
I want to introduce you to this emotion management model that I not only train with my clients, but I also use it personally.

In my first certification as a systemic Coach, I had a trainer who inspired me a lot. He did a lot of activities about how to manage emotions using tools such as:
• sit in different chairs
• write lists,
• analyze and comment the sensations and the judgments about the emotions that I feel,
• analyzing the emotion using the senses
• analysing possible consequences.

I also use these tools today with my coachees.

Then I asked myself: How can I use these tools for myself? How can I manage my emotions in stressful situations without having a coach next to me? And much more important to me, how to do it quickly in order to have an immediate result?

Today I want to share with you this model, which I am sure it will help you manage your emotions. It is not magic, but you will see that, with practice, you will automate it and you will do it without any effort.

I will introduce The “D-Model of Emotional Management” (the D is for “Detachment”). Through this model we can learn to distance ourselves from our strong emotions in order to see the world in a much more objective way, as an observer sitting in the same room would see the same situation, observing it without taking part of anyone or anything.

Although absolute objectivity does not exist, it will be your inner observer who will speak, your conscience who will take this role in order to support you.

8 steps to start improving your interpersonal communication skills by managing your emotions.

Imagine you are in a meeting, someone says something against the project you are proposing and presenting. You have worked hard for this presentation and for the proposals of the project. This person criticizes you often and is making you angry.

1. STOP for a second internally.
2. ANALYZE the situation as an outsider who is observing: What is happening exactly? Objectively do I really need to get angry? What am I feeling? What exactly makes me angry?
3. EXPLORE the reasons for your strong emotional reactions. “Am I taking it personally, maybe?”
Maybe:
a. You are being very sensitive
b. The situation is triggering a painful past event, based on past experience.
c. You feel a loss of control over the situation, which can cause a lot of anger and frustration. (Do you know the difference between healthy and unhealthy detachment?)
4. IDENTIFY your emotion(s). Is it just anger? Or anger and surprise for example? Anger and disappointment? Identify the message of your emotion, the advantages and disadvantages. What do they express about me? For example: that I am a hard-working, innovative and sincere person.
5. ACCEPT your emotion(s). In order to manage your emotion, you need to accept that you feel this way, without judging yourself by what you are feeling and to thank this emotion for helping you.
6. Now: if you followed the INSTINCT of your emotion (for example: shouting at the person, or reacting in an ironic way), would it help me reach my goals? Or would I simply be feeding my ego? Be aware of it.
7. Start with the ACTION part: What do I really want to achieve in this situation? What do I need to do to reach my goals? Example: convince my partner that the project is important for the company, that it is well thought out, etc.
8. REACT according to your goals. Example: give recognition to your partner for the contribution and express that you do not agree explaining why. Use your argumentation tools to achieve your goals. If you are more “cold” your argument will be more effective. Develop assertiveness skills.

It does not matter if in the end you can convince him or not, the important thing is that your emotions are not controlling you, but that you are managing them according to your needs.

We are talking about emotional maturity which makes us successful and powerful in our day to day, because it is a tool of influence.

Your reactions will not be guided simply by a blind instinct, meaningless and out of consciousness.

Training this model is easy, although it requires work, perseverance and time, but knowing how to stop and to take distance from the situation (as if it were happening to someone else) it helps us discover a myriad of ways to react and live stressful situations more constructively.

This model saved me from losing friendships, relationships with clients or potential clients, and helps me every day in my private and professional life.

I also learned to recognize what I feel, to express it in an adult way and to mirror to my interlocutor about what is happening in our conversation.

A powerful model to improve our life that I hope will be as useful as it is for my coachees and for me.

Thanks for reading me!

What do you think about this coach tool that I have shared with you?
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

2 Responses to How to manage your emotions in stressful and critical situations.
  1. Emotions can drive a person, its interesting to learn that we can drive our emotions to use them in a positive way. To understand what we are feeling helps us understand the situation we find ourselves in. To listen to an emotion we can trigger our detachment from a situation and I think this is very powerful in order to move forward in a relationship, whether personal or professional. Thanks Elena!


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