Bad days are inevitable, right? We all wake up on the proverbial “wrong side of the bed” at some point in life. We’ve all heard that one thing that quickens our heart rate, gets us feeling bad or makes us feel angry. It’s a normal reaction– a defense mechanism to our constantly changing world, and what makes us human. At the same time, controlling your reactions to others is the most important skill you can have in any situation. Knowing how to isolate incidents in your life is the key to growing your influence and impact on others.
As people, the number of responsibilities we have is sometimes daunting and can lead to frustration. Through the years, I’ve learned that one phone call or bad moment cannot dictate the progress of my workflow. Occurrences, both good & bad, are purely situational–life is full of isolated incidents. Compartmentalizing the highs & lows help keep life in perspective, and keep you on your A-Game. When you set a goal: expect both the positive & negative, but never allow yourself to fall into too deep a hole investing into your emotions.
As leaders, whether in business or our personal lives, our impulsive decisions are the result of emotional reactions. Responses like this have no place in productivity or relationship building. At times, I see people take bad interactions with one person or an event impact the way they work and treat people throughout the day. Not only are the events in our days unconnected, but when you do this and reveal your emotions to the world, you inherently lose credibility by acting inconsistently.
I believe in relationships we are all sometimes guilty of emotional reactions. We come home after a long day, bring the emotions of the day with us and wind up taking them out on our significant other unwittingly. At times, I playful ask my wife “What’s REALLY going on?” or “Who did it?”. This is my way of easing unclear tension after a long day. It also acts as a trigger statement to shift her from letting what happens at work affect our moment together. Sometimes you’ve got to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and manage your emotions as well as your partner’s.
In my wife’s case, she loves transparency. She wants me to open up and discuss the issues of the day more, so she can feel included. Personally, I tend to bottle up my emotions and try not to bother anyone with my problems. Here, a delicate balance is highlighted. On one hand, we can’t let the emotions of the day affect our now, and on the other, we also cannot be afraid to let people in and express ourselves—specifically when the person wants to be included. Time is too valuable to let negative thoughts or specific emotions control your outlook on a whole day. More importantly, as a CEO or leader in any space, your people need your best at all times— I constantly tell my team that: “The speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack”. If you’re having a bad day and you’re being short or abusive, I can almost guarantee your team will reflect your mood and do the same. Learn to recognize your negative emotions and let find your way of releasing them as fast as possible. The livelihood of your day depends on it.
The solution is simple in theory, and difficult in practice. We all know the “golden rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Pretty simple right? Treat people how YOU want to be treated. Taking it a step further, I implore you to start practicing the “platinum rule”: treat people how THEY wanted to be treated. Still, a level higher, the “platinum plus” rule is to “treat people in a way that goes above and beyond what a person expects.” Lead with a servant’s attitude. I’ve employed this mindset in my life and have seen tremendous results because of it. I can assure you like Zig Ziegler said: “If you help enough people get want they want you will most certainly get what you want.” And that all starts with controlling emotions.
Check out my last article on “Uplifting Others” for some more insight on servant leadership!