Create Space for New Results
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”Victor Frankl
The Trigger Trap
Imagine that your project took a wrong turn, and you call your team members for a meeting to find a solution.
One of your team members shares an idea that really triggers you. That person really triggers you. They seem to be a know-it-all, and to be honest, you suspect they are after your position.
You woke up late that day, had a fight with your spouse over the phone right before the meeting, and you cannot take any more irritation from others. You snap at this guy and hear yourself say with all that frustration piled up in you since morning, looking for a release and finally, an opportunity for it opened up – aimed at that irritating person! Killing two birds with one stone, seems?
You hear yourself say: “Your solution is Neanderthal. Any thinking person would come up with something more advanced than that.”
There is silence in the room. Everyone freezes. Nobody else voices any other ideas. So you share yours. Your team proceeds with your concept that is not Neandertal but turns out to be quite complex and very costly for the company. Plus, you feel that something has also happened to the other members of your team. They started speaking behind your back, and you overheard someone wishing to leave as they didn’t enjoy working with you. You start worrying that people will start quitting on you. “This is not good!” you think, with a nasty sinking feeling in your stomach.
The Costs of Knee-Jerking
Your uncontrolled knee-jerked “frustration release” turned very costly for you, the team, and the company.
It cost you the trust of your team, cost you the opportunity to implement an easy and cost-effective, and time-saving solution that the irritating team member proposed, and could have been a massive win for your team and the company as a whole. And it seems it will cost you even more if anyone resigns soon before the critical project is finished.
You wish you never lost your cool and were able to evaluate the idea with calmness, keeping your brain and mouth laser-focused on what matters the most – getting the project back on track and keeping the team motivated to finish it.
Imagine you could take back that moment where you knee-jerk reacted to the trigger (you having a tough day, and then your nemesis speaks, and you crave revenge and release of the tension) and instead were able to choose a wiser action – acknowledge your team member, and have the team and you evaluate the idea among many others and form a new, simple, solution that has people excited, builds trust in your team and makes people appreciate and admire you – instead of resenting and fearing you.
You, as a leader, would be feeding multiple birds with one scone in this scenario, wouldn’t you?
Create a space for new results
So what’s that space?
That space is a space between a trigger (something happens) and your response (how you react to what happens).
In that space, that’s where your FREEDOM to choose a WISER move is.
You would find HOPE there – hope for finding a solution, hope for a change for the better.
And in that space, PEACE becomes possible. In our example – that’s where keeping the TRUST in your team and keeping members motivated is.
That’s where the POSSIBILITY of BEST RESULTS is…
How do we create that space? A space between when someone says something triggering and the time we react? So that we can choose how we react? And instead of knee-jerking with anger, we can respond with curiosity? Be it when talking to a team member or with your child?
How do we create that space so that even when we fail miserably, instead of beating ourselves up and knee-jerking into something regrettable, we have the ability to choose compassion, see what really matters here, and discover brand new options from that perspective?
You need Mental Fitness Muscles to Create & Hold the Space between the trigger and your reaction.
Just like going to the physical gym to strengthen physical muscles, there are practices that will help you maintain the MENTAL MUSCLES to create a gap and hold that space where you don’t get triggered as easily or so fast.
Learn a 10-second technique to help you stay calm when triggered
Have a look at the video at the end of this post to learn one quick tool that we train and teach in MindFittery – Mental Fitness Gym for IT Leaders.
We call it a PQ rep – just like in the gym, you do “reps” to strengthen specific muscles; PQ (Positive Intelligence) muscle reps help you strengthen the mental muscles (=neural pathways connected to feeling more present, calm, focused) that you can then use to finally set yourself free from those painful and costly knee-jerking reactions that sabotage you, your relationships, happiness, and performance.
What is the change that you want to see as a result of creating that space in your daily life that throws triggers your way?
What are the new results you finally want to see that mental resilience and staying calm and clear no matter what could finally make possible?
Connect with us on LinkedIn and let us know! Follow us there and don’t miss any free upcoming MindFittery events you might want to join if you are ready to do the work that can transform your life in many areas.
And now, finally, the promised video – it is from one of the keynotes presented by my business partner and MindFittery Co-Founder – Ali Farahani, who has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, is a veteran CIO/CTO as well as a colleague practitioner and trainer of mental fitness techniques.
I wish you lots of success, peace of mind, and results that make you feel fulfilled and happy!
Promised video from one of Ali’s keynotes, where he shares one of the PQ reps, focusing on strengthening one of the mental muscles that we call the “Self-Command Muscle.” Join him and try it on! We have many others to share.