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You just had the best night’s sleep, your breakfast was perfect, there was no traffic on the way to work and things are just going great. But, as you open up your office door you see that blinking light on your phone and your stomach sinks. You have a message. Granted it could be a message from a parent telling you that you are doing a great job; but, you’re convinced that it’s a message that’s going to set you off in the wrong direction. Do you check it now? Or wait till later?
Whether it’s a certain voice mail, type of email or a specific comment there will be something in our ministry that can trigger a little anger and frustration. It happens because it’s the devil trying to steal, kill and destroy our joy. The question becomes, “How do we handle the triggers?” If anything you need:
Lean In When Face To Face: Do not run, hide or get defensive. Lean in and let them happen if they come at you. There have been times when people come up to me to comment on how I dress or with something I said and in no way is it constructive. Best thing to do is let it happen, let them be heard, thank them and turn away. Leaning in doesn’t mean fighting, it means moving through the situation.
But what if it’s that voice mail or email you see and you know you don’t have to check it right away, how do you handle that situation?
Set Aside Time When You See Them Coming: I assign specific times of day when I’m going to check email and voice mail because I know there is always going to be one or two that set me off. I make sure those times aren’t right when I walk into the office or right before I go home. I’ll check them mid morning or afternoon because I know I can build margin around those times. With the margin I’ll go for a walk, find someone to vent or just give myself time to process.
When we can face our triggers and approach them with the proper amount of margin we give ourselves time to decompress. Granted what triggers us will be a surprise; however, if we can learn to Identify Them, then we can assure ourselves that they will be handled properly. It’s also important to have someone to go to, to Give You Accountability and help you lean in and diffuse. If not handled properly, the results can be disasterous.
What triggers you?