There was a chain of events last Monday: a bad night’s sleep, a disagreement with a grumpy teenage son, a tricky conversation with my wife – all before 7.30am on a wet, grey Monday morning.
Funnily enough, I didn’t feel inclined to deal with that ‘stuff’ right then, I had a busy week planned and I needed to get on!
And yet, right in that moment is the choice. I could snap and grumble or listen and understand. In essence, it’s a choice whether to move toward or move away from the people I’m with. Of course, there are consequences of each choice but we’re not always aware of those consequences in the moment of response. Sometimes we just fire off our default reaction that actually gives us an outcome that we don’t want.
Outcomes such as disconnection, broken trust, hurt feelings and anger don’t contribute to our well-being or fit in with what we really want in life.
So what if we could see the bigger picture and become more aware of what we’re really doing in that moment – would we make a more intelligent, better-for-everyone choice? I think so. If we really consider what we’re going to get in the long run, we choose differently in the heat of the moment.
That morning, I used my A.R.M. system to prepare me to make the right choice – the one that would keep connection with the people I love because, ultimately, that’s what’s really important to me.
Try it for yourself:
My ARM method is a simple 3 step process that represents the Inner Work required in high emotionally intelligent leadership.
A = Awareness. I became aware of myself – and that default reaction that was rapidly rushing its way to my mouth. I paused.
R = Regulation. I breathed and did a half second evaluation of that default response and decided it wasn’t going to give me a consequence that I wanted.
M = Motivation. I quickly reviewed my ‘why’, my mission, my ultimate goal and chose in alignment with that instead. I changed the words and tone of what came out of my mouth and that made all the difference.
I left for work in a good frame of mind. I felt better connected to my wife and son and aligned with my deepest motivations. I also felt good about myself for having managed the situation well, for being the guy I want to be, for taking charge of myself and my response to what happens in my life. I was in a great space for engaging and collaborating with others to get my goals met for the day. It was a great way to start the week.
Talk to me if you'd like to know more.
Have a great week.