6 steps to deal with your emotional TRIGGERS as a leader…

by | Jun 7, 2022

As much as we’d like to think that we’ve mastered our emotional triggers, there will always be things that happen to us as leaders that result in us REACTING in an unhelpful way.

These TRIGGERS occur because there is a NEED that isn’t being met or a VALUE that has been violated. Our PERSONALITY TRAITS and PAST EXPERIENCES play an active part of triggers as well.

I’ve outlined a 6-step process below to help you evaluate what’s triggering you so that you can intentionally adjust your RESPONSE to something you’re proud of (rather than something you regret or have to apologize for later):

  1. DESCRIBE the situation that feels unresolved, a conversation that did not end as you would prefer, or anything that is troubling you.
  2. What REALLY disturbs(ed) you most about this situation or experience?
  3. Can you PINPOINT a moment in that scenario you would call a “hot-button” moment or a “triggered” reaction? What specific emotion did you feel?
  4. Is this hot button or trigger FAMILIAR? Where else, or how else, does this show up in your life and/or work?
  5. Can you associate the hot button or trigger with any of your VALUES? WHICH of your values may have been at stake? Does this provide INSIGHT into your personal values and how they affect your experience?
  6. What do you want to DO about it? How can you OPERATE based on your value? How can you use this information/realization to SUPPORT and GUIDE yourself through this conflict/trigger?

In our Coach Approach to Leadership program, one of the first things we do is evaluate each individual leader’s “leadership DNA”—and the collective leadership DNA of the leadership team.

This includes those personality traits, values, needs, past experiences, etc. that influence WHO a leader is and how s/he works with and leads others. Emotional triggers are a big part of this.

If you’re ready to uplevel leadership effectiveness in your team, schedule a discovery call with me.