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How do you react to really bad news?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 4/1/15 4:49 PM

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Photo via craftivist collective on Flickr

bad-news-controlling-emotionsLast weekend I got some really bad news from someone close to me. In the past, getting this type of news would have sent me into a stressed emotional state that would have started a fight.

Others handle bad news in the opposite way, you know that whole fight or flight reaction? Yeah... My tendency is to fight. Hey, I’m Irish- what can I say?

The real problem with that is when you get, “Get your Irish up” (as my mother in law says), all we do is add to the problem. We are unable to be supportive and see beyond the bad news to work out a solution, because our emotions cloud our thinking.

A lot has been written about how bad emotional involvement in sales is, what it looks like, what triggers it.

When we are emotionally involved we:

  • Focus on the wrong things,

  • Think every deal is the last chance or opportunity,

  • Compromise when we shouldn’t,

  • Cut corners,

  • And miss important details.

We know it’s bad, but many times don’t recognize it until it’s too late. It creeps up on us and we aren’t sure how it happened.

Sometimes we wear our emotional involvement as a badge that proves we care. But the reality is we care about how it impacts us, that’s why we get emotional.

So does this mean that the only way to be successful in sales and business and have good personal relationships is to become an unfeeling robot? I don’t think so. Controlling our emotions doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have them.

What is the root cause of emotional involvement and how can we control it?

Stressed Sales People Are Emotionally Involved

Stress is a killer. If you don’t believe me, watch the documentary on it. Stress is what is happening when we become overly emotionally involved.

Here is how stress and emotional involvement go hand in hand:

  • Memory problems

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Poor judgment

  • Seeing only the negative

  • Anxious or racing thoughts

  • Constant worrying

  • Isolating from others

  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities

  • Moodiness

  • Irritability or short temper

  • Agitation, inability to relax

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Sense of loneliness and isolation

Why do we do this to ourselves? Because our emotions make it hard to focus on the right things.

Here’s some of the daily habits I practice to manage stress and emotions:

  • Be accountable.
    To my spouse, kids, clients. I don’t always have to be right.

  • Exercising more.
    Even if it is just a 15 min walk a day, I do it everyday.

  • Eating better.
    Feed your brain, don’t fog it with sugar. Vegetables at every meal is a good start.

  • Unplug.
    My daily walk is without my headphones.

  • Reading.
    Just for fun- it's a small escape.

  • Yoga.
    At least 3 times per week, my goal is to get to everyday.

Why do I do it? To be a better coach, mother, wife, daughter, sister, and so on. Plus, I am happier than when I don’t.

Do you feel like you are on a roller coaster ride? Have you wondered if you are creating it yourself? What habits can you begin forming to get you headed on the right path?

Topics: sales