A Chain of Triggers
How aware are you of what gets you hooked? I was facilitating a discussion with a group of leaders about self management today. We broke up into small leadership research groups to discuss how our personal triggers impact behaving in ways that are out of proportion to a situation and how teams are impacted by these behaviors. Examples include starting a performance management process with a direct report because they pushed back once on a task you want them to do, deciding to restructure an entire process because one person made an error or thinking your boss is angry because she didn’t stop to say hello today and as a consequence planning your job exit. Each of these reactions are the result of perception and misperceptions that quickly
When you get upset, it can also triggers others to be upset. This is caused by mirror neurons: Our brains pick up on the emotions of others. Our group of leadership researchers hypothesized that this can cause a Chain of Triggers. In this situation, one person feels disrespected and then another feels not heard. Even whole groups can be impacted. A group reaction functions like a Mirror Trigger- if one person feels disrespected, then everyone feels disrespected. This can happen when the person who is most expressive starts the water cooler conversation about how they feel as a result of a situation and this triggers the same feeling of disrespect in others.
There is great power in perception and reaction to perception. Being aware of your triggers is the first step towards more effective self management. It will not only help you think before you act but can also keep the people around you from being triggered. This leads to something we all value – a positive and healthy work environment!
Source: GroupWorks Global Blog