Thursday, January 16, 2020

Angry? Here are some tips.


DO acknowledge that you are angry. It is important that you know how to recognize that you are angry and give yourself permission to feel it. This can be as simple as saying to yourself, “I am angry.” Remember, you can’t control something that you don’t admit exists!

DO calm yourself before you say anything. It helps then to defer any reactions until you have reached the return to normal/adaptive phase of the anger cycle. Otherwise, you might end up saying or doing something that you’d later regret. Count 1 to 10!

DO speak up when something is important to you. This is the opposite to "keeping it all in." If a matter is important to you, so much so that keeping silent would just result in physical and mental symptoms, then let it out. If it’s not possible to speak to the person concerned, at least look for a trusted friend or a mental-health professional.

DO explain how you’re feeling in a manner that shows ownership and responsibility. Take ownership and responsibility for your feelings. This makes the anger within your control. Remember that you can’t control other people. One way to take ownership and responsibility for your anger is through the use of "I-messages." For example, "When you say this, I feel angry because my feelings are hurt."

Until next time...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Anger Cycle


Anger can be an incredibly damaging force, costing people their jobs, personal relationships, and even their lives when it gets out of hand. Since everyone experiences anger, it is important to have constructive approaches to manage it effectively. 

It can be helpful to first understand the nature of anger. While most are familiar with this emotion, not everyone is aware of its underlying dynamics. 

Anger is a natural emotion that usually stems from perceived threat or loss. It’s a pervasive emotion; it affects our body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Anger is often described in terms of its intensity, frequency, duration, threshold, and expression.

Anger typically follows a predictable pattern: a cycle. Understanding the cycle of anger can help us understand our own anger reactions and those of others. It can also help us in considering the most appropriate response.

The five phases of the anger cycle include trigger, escalation, crisis, recovery, and depression.

1.  The Trigger Phase
The trigger phase happens when we perceive a threat or loss, and our body prepares to respond. In this phase, there is a subtle change from an individual’s normal/adaptive state into a stressed state. Anger triggers differ from person to perso, and can come from both the environment or from our thought processes.

2.  The Escalation Phase
In the escalation phase, there is the progressive appearance of the anger response. In this phase, our body prepares for a crisis after perceiving the trigger. This preparation is mostly physical and is manifested through symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and raised blood pressure. Once the escalation phase is reached, there is less chance of calming down as this is the phase where the body prepares for "fight or flight" (to be discussed later).

3.  The Crisis Phase
As previously mentioned, the escalation phase is progressive, and it is in the crisis phase that the anger reaction reaches its peak. In the crisis phase, our body is on full alert, prepared to take action in response to the trigger. During this phase, logic and rationality may be limited if not impaired because the anger instinct takes over. In extreme cases, the crisis phase means that a person may be a serious danger to himself or to other people.

4.  The Recovery Phase
The recovery phase happens when the anger has been spent (or at least controlled), and there is now a steady return to a person’s normal/adaptive state. In this stage, reasoning and awareness of one’s self returns. If the right intervention is applied, the return to normalcy progresses smoothly. However, an inappropriate intervention can re-ignite the anger and serve as a new trigger.

5.  The Depression Phase
The depression phase marks a return to a person’s normal/adaptive ways. Physically, this stage marks below-normal vital signs such as heart rate so that the body can recover equilibrium. A person’s full use of his/her faculties return at this point, and the new awareness helps a person assess what just occurred. Consequently, this stage may be marked by embarrassment, guilt, regret, and/or depression.

After the depression phase is a return to a normal or adaptive phase. A new trigger, however, can start the entire cycle all over again. 

Until next time...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, October 14, 2019

Emotional Intelligence: Tools to Regulate Your Emotions


Tools to Regulate Your Emotions

The ability to keep your emotions under control requires more than a willing heart. Understanding a situation through the eyes of another and strengthening self-management and self-awareness skills are tools that can be used in your quest to regulate your emotions.

Seeing the Other Side

If you ever want to understand the type of person you are and how you behave, ask other people. It is easy to justify the things you do, so much so that it seems like everything you do is perfect. If you take an honest look at yourself, you would probably say not only is this perfection untrue for you, but it is unattainable for all.

Talk to your boss, co-workers or friends about how they view you. If someone says, “When everything is good, you are a nice person, but if something doesn’t go your way, you have an explosive temper,” don’t get upset and don’t automatically say that it is untrue. Gaining this insight is a valuable tool for you to help regulate your emotions. Your emotions and how you express them is your responsibility. If you don’t like it, fix it.

Self-Management and Self-Awareness

Self-management can sometimes be a hard quality to tame when self-awareness produces a very arrogant and self-centered result. The strength to self-management and self-awareness lies in the balance between the two. Understanding who you are, the role you play, and the authority you possess are all very important, but when these things overshadow your ability to be consistent and accountable, this could cause a poor outcome. By the same token, if one lacks understanding of whom they are and their importance, this could also hinder their ability to be consistent and accountable. People who are aware of their methods of dealing with conflict and understand the bearing of their way of doing things aren’t as likely to make matters worse than those who are not aware of themselves.

Until next time...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Sunday, October 6, 2019


What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence or EQ is defined as a set of competencies demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods, and impulses and to manage them best according to the situation. A person with high emotional intelligence can manage his or her own impulses, communicate with others effectively, manage change well, solve problems, and use humor to build rapport in tense situations. These people also have empathy, remain optimistic even in the face of adversity, and are gifted at educating and persuading in a sales situation and resolving customer complaints in a customer service role.

Emotional Intelligence is a part of you that affects every aspect of your life. Understanding the root causes of your emotions and how to use them can help you to effectively identify who you are and how you interact with others.

Since Emotional Intelligence is still a fairly new branch of psychology, its definition can be found in various theories and models. We are presenting a definition influenced by a few theories and mainly popularized by Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book entitled "Emotional Intelligence."

The following is a list of five key points to remember to help you master the art of self-management.

  • Be consistent. Part of managing oneself is the ability to be stable. The values you hold dear should always be transparent. Changing your values and/or beliefs on different occasions can not only cause others to question your beliefs, but it can also cause you to become confused about what you truly believe.
  • Stick to the plan. If you are scheduled to complete a particular task, don’t just do it, but do it and make sure it is done in a timely manner. It is easy to feel out-of-control when you disregard the plan you are to follow.
  • Be accountable. There are times when things don’t work out as you plan, but you have to be able to admit that and then use your flexibility to get things back on track. The ideal result is that you easily bounce back and complete the task, but even during those times when this is not the case, you are expected to adjust.
  • Educate yourself. We live in an ever-changing world, and you want to be able to keep up with it. Don’t let change pass you by; embrace it. Be an avid reader. Talk and listen to mentors and peers. They may know something that could help you along your journey.
  • Stay physically fit. Many people don’t think of staying fit when they talk about self-management, but it is a very important part of being able to practice the four preceding points. Exercising your body is just as crucial to self-management as exercising your mind. A body that is not well rested, nutritionally fed, or physically exercised can lead to emotional and physical illnesses.

Until next time...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
http://tools2succeed.com/

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Civility in the Workplace Part 5

Civility is one of the best ways to deal with difficult personalities in the workplace.

Civility sets the stage for effective communication.  In many ways, dealing with difficult personalities is simply a matter of setting and negotiating boundaries.  After all, difficult personalities are not “bad people.”  They just have a fixed way of relating and may need feedback from peers in order to adjust.

Civility creates a positive atmosphere that allows people to see beyond the obvious implications of behavior.  For example, many "difficult personalities" are simply people who have needs that are not being addressed.  You may see your co-worker as annoying when he or she simply craves attention and recognition.  It’s also possible that your difficult co-worker is merely channeling anger and frustration from his/her personal life into the workplace.  When you engage in civil behavior with your co-worker, you provide more opportunities for supportive interaction and empathy.

Cost and Rewards

While incivility can be perceived as innocuous behavior, it can significantly affect the company’s bottom line. Incivility has a direct impact on company productivity, sales, and customer retention among others. Civility, on the other hand, can improve all these areas and help create a high-performance organization.


Until next time...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
http://tools2succeed.com/

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Civility in the Workplace Part 4

What may be considered a difficult personality?

The answer is subjective.  A difficult personality for one person need not be a difficult personality for another. Usually, though, people perceived as difficult are those who manifest inflexible extremes of personality traits.  For instance, while being controlling is a desirable trait in a manager, being excessively controlling would just make the people under the manager’s care feel stifled and even abused.  Recognition of the need to consult co-workers about major company decisions is a good thing, but when an employee consults everyone else on almost everything to the point that the constant “consultation” is already dependency in disguise, then the person becomes difficult to work with.

When working with a difficult personality, most people’s immediate response is an unhelpful one: a response aimed more at relieving personal stress than creating a more workable relationship.  For example, there is a tendency to avoid dominant personality types, lecture the overly-dependent, and exact vengeance on the passive-aggressive.  The result is an endless cycle of dysfunctional relating that creates more problems than it solves.


Until next time...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
http://tools2succeed.com/

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Civility in the Workplace Part 3

It’s worth noting: civility goes beyond mere good manners.

Civility is about effective self-awareness and effective social awareness.  You can’t be an effective practitioner of civility until you recognize your place in the general scheme of things and you develop an appreciation for the unique contribution of all else around.  It’s a delicate balance between pursuing self-interest and practicing self-control in order for others and the organization to pursue their interests well.  For this reason, effective programs on civility must be prefaced by training on attentiveness to self and others.

Dealing with Difficult Personalities

A huge source of stress at work is the need to adjust to different personalities.  Each person is unique, and even when you’re dealing with a responsible and emotionally-mature co-worker, friction is inevitable simply because the other person will never be 100% similar to you.  However, the stress of interacting with co-workers is multiplied when the other person doesn’t just have a different personality but also a difficult one.


Until next time...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
http://tools2succeed.com/