Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to reach an emotional tipping point with a colleague or boss. So Nance Guilmartin, author of “The Power of Pause: How to Be More Effective in a Demanding, 24/7 World,” shares her tips on making sure you don’t say anything you will come to regret.
1 Take a pause break: Invest 30 seconds to breathe out! Holding your breath, especially while at the computer, triggers what technology expert Linda Stone calls “e-mail apnea,” which robs you of the perspective you need to clear you mind — literally.
2 The “get curious not furious” approach: Do an “assumption check” where you give their actions (and your feelings) a second look. In a busy day, it’s easy for meaning to get lost in translation.
3 Question motives: Ask yourself, “What don’t I know?” You might not know about what’s going on in the other person’s life. Or maybe there’s something bothering you that has nothing to do with this situation.
4 Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt: As little as two minutes of humility can save hours of humiliation. Give yourself and others a second chance.
5 Resolve issues: Each time someone does something that leaves you feeling frustrated and you don’t get to the bottom of the problem to resolve it, you are putting deposits in your Resentment Bank Account. It’s important to catch yourself before the resentments build up and you finally lash out.