This morning I felt inspired, I felt in flow. I felt ready to produce some great work and send some great messages.
I had completed my morning routine and was feeling fresh, vibrant and ready to go. During my yoga class, I had gotten some good inspiration that I wanted to execute on. It was a good start to my day. I was ticking all the boxes on my morning habits, until…. I accidentally checked my email
There was an undesirable email there related to a personal matter that I am involved in and I disagreed with how it was being dealt with. I also didn’t like the tone of the email.
So here’s what happened.
The email activated the part of my brain called the amygdala which activated my central stress response system which sends out hormones needed for a ‘fight or flight’ response such as cortisol. This was driven by my sympathetic nervous system.
In this state, our creativity, our productivity and our focus are all reduced significantly. The 10 seconds that I took to read the email had a significant effect on my morning.
Of course, because I am aware of what is happening in my body and how it is affecting my brain, I closed my laptop and did some breathing and quick meditation so that my parasympathetic nervous system was in the driver’s seat again.
But the average employee doesn’t have that awareness or those tools.
Self-awareness is something I’m consciously working on developing these days. I got reminded this morning not to check my email before my frogs are eaten – that’s an expression Brian Tracy uses, meaning “get the important work done first”.
Of course, I can also work on managing my reaction to a trigger. When I can catch my amygdala firing, I can focus on returning to calm, because taken the strong emotion out of any situation is important in order to react in the way we truly want to – another thing I am working on :-).
Stress tolerance and emotional self-awareness are two of the eight traits for developing inner resources as a leader. There are 25 other traits in 3 other categories that all contribute towards becoming an inspiring leader. These traits were identified by Bains and Company who surveyed 2,000 employees, asking them what inspired them about their colleagues. I created a workbook to help you develop those 33 traits and you can download it for free here for a limited time.
If you would to be coached by me to become a more inspiring leader, let’s chat about how we might work together. Book in for a free chat here.