Way.ca.tion: A rest for the mind; an unconventional method of escaping the moment and returning refreshed and better than before.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What Is A Time-Out?

I find one of the best and fastest ways to diffuse anger is to do something physical, such as taking a walk or jog, before going back and facing the issue that caused the anger in the first place. Just going to the restroom and splashing water on your face or drinking a glass of water can also be effective. Whatever the case, remind yourself that the key is breaking the cycle of anger by getting away from the source of the anger for the moment and then doing some physical activity that will cause the anger to diffuse from your mind and body. Doing this is is one of the best methods to achieve the ultimate goal of getting past the anger to solve the issue that sparked that anger.
This method of walking away from anger temporarily to give yourself a better chance of coming back and solving the original problem is called "taking a time-out."
What is a time-out?
For the past couple of decades or so, we normally associate the term with behavior modification for children. As the popularity of corporal punishment of children waned, parents and caretakers took up the practice of removing an offending child from an activity and forcing them to spend time silently and by themselves in a corner, on a chair, or in some other isolated place. This children's time-out can be used as a "cooling off" or as a form of punishment in lieu of spanking.
The "cooling off" portion of children's time-out is actually closer to the original concept of time-out as it was known during the period of the early 1960's when the term was coined by Arthur Staats. The original purpose was to provide a means of stepping away from a situation that had engendered high emotions—often anger—to de-escalate those emotions and to gather or to re-center oneself. I often recommend the tool of time-out with couples. However, it is a good tool to use in any situation.
Anger is an escalating emotion. Once the situation escalates, it is difficult for the two parties to a disagreement to hear one another because emotions have taken over. Once emotions take over, nothing can be accomplished.
One should not simply walk away from a tense situation without saying anything, however, if one's intent is to later return with a calmer mind to try to resolve the situation. As opposed to just walking away, it is important when taking a time-out that you specifically state that “we need to take a time-out” or that "we need to take some space for a moment." One may even choose to say, " I want to listen to your concerns because what you say is important to me, but I'm just not able to listen right now. Give me a few minutes." Otherwise, the other party will have no idea why you walked away, and may think it means they have won the point or, even worse, that you have been dismissive and disrespected them. The feelings of dismissiveness can acerbate the other person's anger and/or create a breakdown in trust and goodwill.
It is also important to tell whoever you are in the argument with that you are stepping away for some amount of time such as 20, 30 even 40 minutes. However, whatever time you say it is important to honor what you say. This lends to feelings of safety and trust.
Taking a time-out requires learning self-awareness. Self-awareness is a key in managing anger. It is learning to know oneself and learning to identify what you are feeling, then taking the appropriate action to rectify a situation. Without self-awareness, you can go from 0 to 100 before knowing how or when you got there.
Another important rule to taking time-outs during a heated or heating-up discussion or disagreement is that when you take the space you need to gather your thoughts, you don’t drink alcohol or use any drugs. In addition, once you return to the discussion, check in. Talk about what you were feeling and what made you angry. This check-in can be valuable in practicing communication and discussing emotions rather than using your emotions in an assaulting and aggressive way.
Lastly, there are no rules as to how many time-outs you may take. If you find the discussion is escalating again, just say, “I’m feeling myself getting angry and I need to take another time-out."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

You might be the best in the world at what you do, but if you alienate coworkers and rub your managers the wrong way, no one is going to want to work with you. That’s where your emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, comes in.

Understanding what makes your colleagues tick, how to build rapport and connect emotionally with them and how to manage your own and other people’s emotional makeup will pay off enormously at work: You’ll find yourself easily able to get along with people at all levels of your organization, equipped to choose the right battles (and the times to fight them!) and be prepared to finesse sticky situations.

Imagine a manager who delivers tough criticism on the day an employee receives scary health news or who presents a sensitive performance message as a “joke” in front of others. By contrast, a high-EQ manager is likely to be thoughtful about the right time to deliver difficult feedback — and to frame it deftly and sensitively when it is time to deliver the information. And it’s not just managers who benefit from EQ; no matter how senior or junior you are, EQ can help you spot the right way to raise difficult issues, approach a prickly colleague and manage tough clients.

Anger Management Institute, LLC specialist in "people skills" and impulse control.

17 Angry "Dont's" To Prevent Conflict

If you often find yourself wondering why you got into a conflict with someone when you really hadn't intended to, here are 17 ways you can modify anger-related behavior to minimize those unnecessary conflicts. Try not doing the following:
1.  Speaking
Simply put, just learn to stop talking when you feel yourself teetering on that border of anger. In some instances, silence really is golden, especially if the next few things that might come out of your mouth are likely to be lackluster. Silence is a very powerful and fundamental tool that can be utilized in almost any situation. Just by opting to say nothing as opposed to always having to have your say can result in more favorable outcomes rather. Again, you have to get out of the mentality of always thinking of having to win. There will be times when silence isn’t acceptable and you will have to speak. But before speaking, check yourself to make sure that in this instance it is actually the case.
 2. Rushing
You—or someone you know—has been given the gift of quick wit. They’re that person that always has the perfect cutting remark ready to go at the crack of a whip. This person seems to always have the ultimate comeback for whatever is thrown at them.
As great as that may sound and no matter how bad or good you are at it, however, it’s not always the best thing to do.
Sometimes we end up saying the very first thing that comes into our minds without thinking of the outcome that it could have on ourselves or the person the comment was directed at. It’s not always best to try and be the quickest on the draw during an argument or disagreement. Sometimes we need to and slow down and think about what we’re saying before we actually say it.
 3. Staying
Get up and go! There will be those times you’ll need to just get up and leave out of the room when you feel yourself about to hit the roof with anger and agitation. Walking away will benefit you far more in the long run than sitting around feeling like you have to be a punching bag for someone else. Again, this is about being accountable for yourself and the actions that you take, as opposed to continuing poor behaviors. Give yourself a time out for a bit and come back to the table with a clearer mind than you had before you left.
 4. Staring
This can be considered a rude behavior whether you're angry or not. When you are angry, however, staring can be seen as an act of aggression towards the person or persons you’re staring at. There’s nothing wrong with making eye contact when addressing someone, but don’t stare or glare at them with so much intensity that they feel threatened or feel the need to meet your intensity with their own.
5.  Interrupting
Here’s an example of yet another poor behavior enacted by those with anger issues. It is an attempt to get your point across and win the argument, rather than actually settling differences. Calling back to our point of rushing into things, the action of interrupting someone while they are speaking isn’t just discourteous, it also shows that you have no interest in what the other person is trying to say. Wait and listen for them to finish what they’re saying and only then, once they’ve concluded, speak your piece.
 6. Cursing
Whereas this may seem cathartic and feel like it’ll help you to relieve a good deal of stress, cursing can actually damage your health. Profane language may just build up what’s already a tense situation. Of course, if cursing has been something you’ve been doing for quite some time, it will be a difficult habit to break. We’re not suggesting that you remove cursing from your vocabulary altogether, but think about the cause and effect of the situation and who it is you’re cursing at and the effect it may have on the situation and both the person or persons you’re speaking to and anyone who may be listening.
 7. Name-Calling
We’ve been taught from an early age that name-calling isn’t a proficient means of communication. However, some of us opt to do it anyway to get our points across, just like we do when cursing at someone. There’s no positive outcome in the long term if you insist on name-calling. It’s destructive and will take you longer to reach the goal of actually resolving an issue.
 8. Threatening
This is a pretty obvious one, but to help illustrate a point I want you to take this into consideration. Suppose, at the beginning of these lessons, I had written the following warning:
Even though you might have already had in mind that following the suggestions being presented, having someone negatively reinforce that for you in the manner above will almost certainly not help incentivize you to better at managing your anger. Such threats are not good, and just have negative impacts down the road. It has that same negative effect on interpersonal relationships.
 9. Pointing
By this, I mean pointing directly at the person you're talking to during a heated or antagonistic discussion or argument. This is yet another rude behavior someone exhibits when they’re upset or angry. Not only is this a hostile behavior, but it can also elevate an already-stressful or tense situation. Find something else to do with your hands to prevent this kind of behavior.
 10. Yelling, Raising Your Voice, Or Talking In A Mean Tone
These are probably the hallmark attributes of a rageaholic. How quickly we get to these actions can often be a determining factor in seeing how easily someone can become enraged. If you’re quick to do any of these things or if you do any of these things fairly often, you’ll really need to monitor yourself or have others that are willing to do it for you. This is just another aggressive behavior that will affect how others see you and react to what you do or say.
11. Being Sarcastic Or Mocking
These two things can be placed right along with name-calling. It almost seems childish when you do them directly to the person you’re speaking to. To someone who can’t pick up on the fact that you’re just kidding with them, this could turn a situation fairly quickly into stressful and then into an argument, which winds up triggering your anger as a response.
 12. Throwing Things, Slamming Doors, Or Banging Walls
When you start inflicting damage to inanimate objects, what are you really stating? “Better this door, clock, picture, or wall as opposed to hitting someone!” This is true, but what happens when that’s no longer an effective outlet for you? Seeming like the strong intimidating type isn’t a good way to get your point across and will only cause issues for you down the road.
 13. All Non-Affectionate Touching
Especially in intimate relationships, any kind of touching that isn’t welcome or invited is just asking for trouble. If it isn’t asked or called for, don’t do it. At all! This is one of the quickest ways to get the police involved in a situation. Don’t let your anger put you in a situation where you find yourself spending a night in a bullpen (a.k.a. jail cell).
 14. Telling Hero Stories
There’s no need for you to recount the tales of each and every time you came to someone's rescue, or how much you contributed to them in a time of their need, or how you got the best and last word in an argument with them, all for the sake of later throwing it back in their face. Don’t try to diminish someone else by making yourself seem greater in comparison.
 15. Sighing, Clucking, Or Rolling Your Eyes
Especially in the middle of a disagreement, this is something else that would just come off as very juvenile. It is passive-aggressive anger behavior that can just serve to spark anger in either you or the person you’re communicating with.
 16. Criticizing And Lecturing
This can also be seen as fussing at someone, especially in the event that you’re only pointing out their flaws and shortcomings. When you do this, it generally makes the other party just want to tune you out because at this point you’re not conversing with them, you’re just angrily expressing everything you believe they’re doing wrong.
17. Driving While Angry
If you drive a vehicle—or participating in any other activity that requires your full and undivided attention because it can be particularly harmful or hazardous if you are doing it while distracted—then you shouldn’t do it while angry. When you’re angered, you tend to stay focused on the thing upsetting you, and not on the possibly-hazardous activity you're supposed to be paying attention to.
This may cause you to do things while driving that could result in hurting yourself and/or someone else. Anger-distracted driving often results in activities like speeding, honking your horn excessively, slowing down or stopping when you’re not supposed to, hitting objects in your car, making unneeded eye contact with another driver, or making crass comments about their driving. Anger-distraction usually has other similarly-harmful effects on other activities that require your full attention.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

People Skills Are Paramount For Leaders

Managing conflict is a key part of managing a department. As a person moves up in a company I believe "people skills" are paramount.

Recently, I had an incident at LAX where I was treated rudely by a ground agent.  As I sat and waited for my turn I was able to see that the few travelers before me had caused the ground agent a good deal of stress.   Stress can be a pre-cursor to anger and by time it was my turn to be served the ground agent was short and terse with me to say the least.

The ground agent said enough inappropriate things to me where I could have easily been baited into an argument however I never took the bait.  I ask for a Supervisor.

The Supervisor came over to mediate the situation between the ground agent and myself.  The Supervisor listened attentively, gave each of us the space to speak then said to the ground agent to put me through immediately and then wished me a safe journey.  Problem solved.

A key part of managing conflict and difficult situations requires skill in problem-solving, stress tolerance, active listening, empathy and emotional expression.  This supervisor exhibited all of these skills and the ground agent exhibited none. 

We live in a different world where inappropriate behavior happens any place and anytime the trend is worsening everyday.  For businesses especially businesses whose front-line is to serve the public there is a need to train staff and hire with an eye for "high people skills". 

Yacine Bell, Anger Management Institute, LLC specialist in impulse control and "people skills".

The Advantages of An Assessment Tool

   The assessment tool I use is like a GPS System except for behavior.  A Behavior GPS System if you will!  Essentially, an EQ assessment identifies a persons level of functioning in their environment and the world at large.  The assessment profile of a client is an accurate view of their ‘people skills including’  their strengths and challenges in interpersonal and intra personal relationships.  Using an assessment is a great tool and a solid predictor of success; takes the guess work out of helping a client move forward; and allows me to offer a highly customized process.
I often tell a potential client that a person really adept at behavior management and impulse control will eventually come to know what I know however it may take them as much as 6 or 7 weeks to come to know what I know on day 1 of working with a new client.

 Having the assessment allows me to understand what is going on with a person specifically. This accurate assessment assist me to identify and create a course of action specifically on the issues which thereby allows me to help manage and improve behavior quickly and thoroughly.

The Anger management Institute is an evidence based process with a pre-and post assessment.  The process is relatively quick and thorough with excellent results.

Anger management Institute, LLC specializing in "people skills" and impulse control.