Last night I saw on TV the final press conference between Rico Verhoeven and Badr Hari. In a rematch scheduled for this Saturday both men face-off in the ring competing for the world championship kickboxing heavyweight title. The press conference was an interesting verbal spectacle resulting in Badr losing his cool. Badr’s self-control was hard to find.
Reflecting on what I saw I remembered last week in a similar way losing my cool. With the benefit of hindsight, I can argue why losing my cool was understandable but that did not help me deal with the outcome of it. I felt bad all evening about what I had blurted out to someone.
In chapter 4 of my book, adapt, I talk about self-control being the cornerstone of adaptivity. Not being able to control your emotions makes you lose the window to adjust your behavior or influence the behavior of other towards a positive outcome. That’s why it so important to understand you triggers and experiment in situations where these can be manifest. Read what one of the project professionals I interviewed for my book has to say about this:
I am aware of how I react in certain situations when it comes to an engineer in my company. I have been working with him on different projects for a year now, and there are two or three things in his behavior that just boil me. They keep reoccurring, week after week, and I know them. Certain days, I am really able to pace it out and discuss it and do it well. But certain days, I don’t. I know I have this reflex, so I am aware of my impulses, but I can’t always control them.’
Self-control is one of the most difficult skills for anyone to manage. Like in the above example it is about allowing yourself to not always do it well. Your willingness to try to do better next time is all you need to progress!
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