Breathe in. Breathe out. It takes four seconds to take one deep breath – four seconds that are crucial to the quality of the decisions you make. Stress leads us to self-sabotage by, for instance, forgetting to prepare for important events or getting into arguments with those around us.
Many people respond to stress in self-defeating, counter-productive ways, such as yelling or starting an argument with someone. To create better habits you have to pause, breathe, and identify an area of focus. When you pause and breathe, this puts you in a state that allows you to make better decisions and consider the outcomes of your actions before you take them. In addition to the four-second breath, in a stressful situation, it’s a good idea to identify an area of focus, rather than a goal.
Goal setting is often accompanied by temptations to cheat or to take unnecessary risks, whereas an area of focus motivates you without offering up such negative temptations.
Living in a busy world, we need to be prepared for everything life throws at us. In fact, failing to prepare for the day ahead often results in costly blunders that waste time.
But how can you go about preparing for the unexpected? The secret is preparing for a process, rather than a solution. It’s impossible to be armed with a solution for an unpredictable event, but we can be prepared to manoeuvre through ambiguity. To do so, use the following three-step process. It will help you when you find yourself in a situation you weren’t prepared for, and are suddenly required to make a decision.
First: Pause, breathe in and out deeply for four seconds, and think. For instance, if you’re out sailing in your boat and run into a storm, breathe, and think.
Next, assess your options. Ask yourself: given the resources and information I have available to me, how can I get to my desired outcome? In this case, you have two options: continue sailing or swiftly make your way back to land.
Finally, make a decision and stick to it. Say to yourself: even if this isn’t ideal, it’s the best option given the circumstances. So, based on the judgement that the storm will soon pass and that the wind would be more violent if you turned back, you decide to continue sailing.
Taking just four seconds to pause and breathe once in a while will better position you to alleviate your stress and figure out how to proceed.
To improve your communication habits, focus on the content of the message and avoid arguing
you should use the best tool you have available: listening. Listening is a brilliant tactic as it doesn’t threaten the other person. On the contrary, they will feel heard, piquing their interest to listen to you. So if you want to bring your point home and even sway the other person, drop the arguing and start listening.
Expecting people to say and do what you would have said or done doesn’t usually end well since no one is a carbon copy of you! It’s a far healthier habit to treat people how they wish to be treated. To further reinforce your relationships, let people know what it is about them that you appreciate.
Aim to replace gift-giving with a habit of telling people that you appreciate them just as they are – not for the favours they have done for you or the work they have done for your organization. This will encourage them to feel respected and loved, which will strengthen your relationship.
We’re continually learning new things in our working lives: a new language, a new technological skill or management technique. However, we often tap into bad habits that can hinder our own or others’ learning. So how do we stop this?
First, we have to understand that, in order to learn anything, we must have the opportunity to fail.
Learning is not about being perfect. Quite the opposite. It’s about recognizing when you’ve failed, and being able to adjust accordingly.
Example- manager of an organization. As a manager, you have to protect the organization, but blocking the chance for failure and self-recovery is a weak strategy if you want your employees to acquire new skills and improve their work.
So if an employee struggles in an important meeting, you should struggle how the employee performed in relation to your expectations of them, and what they can learn from this.
Besides making room for failure, you should also be prepared to share your successes if you want to optimize your work habits. This is because the achievements of an organization or any kind of venture don’t just boil down to the work of one person.
Also, knowing that you’ve contributed to success is highly motivating. And when you’re motivated, you work more effectively.
You’ll be able to optimize your work habits if you can neutralize negativity and accept criticism. show your understanding of the person’s negative emotions. Then, if you’ve felt similarly before, tell them about it. Lastly, don’t tell the person that they’re wrong. Rather, try to uncover what the person is positive about and focus on that.
Accept that you feel hurt or angry. Then place these feelings to one side.
Next, realize that the person offering the criticism might not be the best communicator, so put your attention on the actual message, not the package. Then, try to take a neutral stance, by neither agreeing nor disagreeing. Then listen, and try to simply gather the information being offered. Finally, take a little break before you consider what the person said and decide after a little while if, what and how you can change.