Emotional Intelligence: Managing Disruptive Emotions

What are you afraid of?
  • Heights?
  • Public speaking?
  • Sudden illness?
  • Loss of employments?

A big point of developing emotional intelligence for ultra-high performance is managing those daily destructive emotions. In a big way, destructive emotions hold us back from success. If you are in sales, for instance, one destructive emotion can paralyze and engulf you. It can turn small setbacks into a mountain of uncertainty and fear.

In my new Selling with Emotional Intelligence program, I like to ask sales professionals to list disruptive emotions. Let’s go ahead and name the dragons that hold us back:

  • Fear
  • Confussion
  • Overwhelm
  • Anger
  • Insecurity
  • Uncertainty
Destructive emotions can drive destructive behaviors. It can:
  • Cause a fog of confusion and self-doubt
  • Derail meaningful relationships that were meant to bring fulfillment
  • Cloud our perspective and cause us to jump to judgement
  • Create overreaction and cloud situational awareness
  • Lead to paralysis or procrastination

Managing disruptive emotions is a primary leadership and sales meta-skill.

Here is a quick checklist to managing emotions:

1. Build a reservoir

Think of positive emotions as a big battery. You have to plug-in and recharge daily with physical and emotional enhancers.

I recently went through a challenging experience and had it not been for my consistent physical workouts, I may have been sabotaged by destructive emotions.

2. Know your triggers
Many triggers, like facing rejection on a prospecting call, present need to be “taken on.” Learn to anticipate and gain greater control by… (read #3)
3. Prepare and practice

The most effective way I have learned to manage disruptive emotions is to have advance preparation and practice.

Example: Prior to a keynote presentation, I use “commute time” in my car to deliver the keynote at least ten times. I visualize the audience, I visualize myself standing on stage, and I speak (notes free) envisioning my dynamic presentation.

4. Positive visualization
As I mentioned, I visualize success. The brain tends to hijack our emotions with worst-case scenarios and negative outcomes. We need to pre-wire and pre-program our brains for success.

Begin by focusing on your breathing— slow it down. In your “minds eye,” go step-by-step through each part of the call, presentation, one-on-one, etc. and focus on how you feel. Focus on your body language, the tone of your voice, and visualize yourself succeeding.

I often say in Selling with Emotional Intelligence, if emotions can get you in trouble, emotions can keep you from trouble. There are several more strategies I share, in addition to these four, but start by focusing on these:

  • Build a reservoir
  • Know your triggers
  • Prepare and practice
  • Positive visualization
Here’s to greater success and confidence!
— Steve

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

To book Steve today, contact Michelle Joyce!
(For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching.)

“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.