Applied EQ #21: Emotional Triggers may Lead to Breakdowns

In the last post, we talked about the 8 top emotional breakdowns for project managers.  Emotional breakdowns are involuntary responses to some event or situations.  It’s when we “lose it”.  In this post, we are going to look at emotional triggers that can lead to breakdowns.

What is an emotional trigger?  An emotional trigger is a situation, external stimulus, or triggering event that leaves us vulnerable to emotional breakdown.  They are not necessarily the cause of the breakdown, but they serve as a catalyst, or provide fertile ground for a breakdown. 

One way to protect we can protect ourselves against emotional breakdowns is to identify the emotional triggers that immediately precede breakdowns.  By sensitizing ourselves to what leads to the breakdown, we can break the cycle. 

Eq_diff_book_cover_1 Adele Lynn identified the following 10 emotional triggers in her book called The EQ Difference; A Powerful Plan for Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work.  (Note:  This book was one of my favorites on EQ.  It is an easy read and provides a lot of hands on tools for developing emotional intelligence.)

  1. Your Mood
  2. Moods and Attitudes of Others
  3. Prethinking or foreshadowing
  4. Dwelling
  5. Personality
  6. Hot Words/Hot Buttons
  7. Perceived Criticism
  8. Physical Environment
  9. Illness or Physical Conditions
  10. Situations

You may recognize many of these emotional triggers at work in the project environment.  In the next few posts we are going to look in detail at a subset of triggers that are most relevant to project managers.

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