Mia had spent countless hours working on her presentation.
She took a deep breath and began to speak.
Her words were confident and compelling.
All of a sudden, Sarah, her boss, interrupted her.
"Actually, Mia," Sarah said, her tone dismissive. "I think we need to focus on the budget reports in this meeting. We'll hear your idea another week."
Mia felt her heart sink. The wind had been taken out of her sails.
Sarah was already talking about budgets.
Mia could feel the eyes of her colleagues on her. Some grimaced in support as she stood awkwardly at the head of the table. Others just looked uncomfortable.
Mia felt the air in the room grow thicker. She could feel her anger rising.
Her heart was racing in her chest. Her muscles tensed up.
"She needs to finally be put in her place," Mia thought to herself. "Someone HAS to do it."
Mia took a deep breath and prepared to interrupt Sarah with a scathing speech about her shocking leadership...
Then Mia hesitated.
"Wait," she thought. "I know these signs..."
Mia's anger was a response to being triggered.
When Sarah interrupted her presentation, Mia's amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for processing emotions, sent signals to the hypothalamus, triggering the fight or flight response.
Her body was preparing to either defend herself or flee the situation. That's why Mia's heart was racing and her muscles were tensed.
It was hard to tell in the moment, but later on Mia would realize her thoughts had been spiraling out of control.
Rationally, Mia knew getting angry or defensive would only hurt her chances of being taken seriously.
But it was only because she recognized the signs of being triggered that she was able to take control of the situation.
Some signs of being triggered include:
Muscle tension and
Instead of speaking up, she walked calmly back to her seat. She gave herself the time and space to calm down and think rationally.
For 15 minutes, she focused on regulating her emotions. Soon, she felt her heartbeat go back to normal. Her muscles started to relax. Her breathing went back to normal.
Toward the end of the meeting, Mia was even able to contribute to the meeting.
When she did, she saw a couple of her colleagues nodding at her with respect.
"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret." - Ambrose Bierce.
[True Story] She was about to get FIRED...
So, recently I worked with the CEO of a company in the US...
They're in tech, and although I've never worked in tech, I know people who have... and it's not for everyone.
It's a fast-paced and HIGH INTENSITY industry.
The CEO (Natalie) brought me in to help with an underperforming employee (Lisa).