September 8, 2020

How to Take Criticism Well and Manage Your Emotions

by Lisa Oates

Emotional Intelligence | Livestream Series

Ep. 03 / 05 [RECAP]: How to Take Criticism Well & Manage Your Emotions

 

How well do you lead yourself?

 

In our 5-part Livestream series on Emotional Intelligence, episode 02 focused primarily on being self-aware and making micro adjustments for a macro impact. Our conversation uncovered how to avoid creating communication blanks that people then feel prompted to fill when building relationships and working with others.  

 

Understanding what is happening in your heart and head, and then appropriately expressing it through proper body language and tone of voice, sets you up well to engage others. If you don’t understand how to lead your emotions, it becomes extremely hard for those around you to know where you are coming from. 

 

So, in episode 03 of this series, we take a look at locus of control, offering several tools that can help increase your emotional margin and ultimately improve your relationships.


Episode 03 (of 05)

How to Take Criticism Well & Manage Your Emotions

 

In This Episode
  • What it looks like to be emotionally intelligent
  • The locus of control
  • What to do when you’re at your wits end
  • Unpacking amygdala hijacks (triggers)
  • Forced filters and emotional tension
  • Re-centering and expressing yourself well
  • The difference between choosing to respond and suppressing emotions

 

 

Watch the Recording →
Read the Transcript →


Watch the Recording

Read on for a full transcription of our discussion, featuring WinShape Teams Coaches, Dr. Chris Auger and Jesse Parrish.

 

Bonus: Free Resource!

Get Dr. Chris Auger’s latest eBook on Emotional Intelligence →

Read the Transcript

Teddy Sanders:

Welcome to our continued series on emotional intelligence and coaching here at WinShape Teams. I’m Teddy Sanders, one of the Client Relationship Coordinators here at WinShape Teams. I’m joined by Dr. Chris Auger and Mr. Jesse Parrish. Gentlemen, how are you?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Feeling a little bit of déjà vu.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Yeah, me too.

 

Jesse Parrish:

No, I’m doing well.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Started a moment ago, but now we’re starting, well, again.

 

Teddy Sanders:

That’s right. That’s right. We’re choosing to stay optimistic and responding with courage as we say the same things over. So let’s just hop right into it. How is emotional intelligence, how is it related to coaching? What is it? And how do we get better at it? Chris, you want to start?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Sure. We’ll start with how we actually define emotional intelligence. And it’s a set of emotional and social skills that depicts how well we perceive ourselves, what’s happening inside our heart and our head; how we express that through our body language and our tone, that’s that emotional expression piece. The goal being that they’re aligned. So what we’re feeling is what we’re expressing. If we’re excited inside but we’re no emotional affect, that’s a disconnect. So we want those to be aligned.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

What that helps us do is then it helps us build healthy, fulfilling relationships because they’re based on something that’s more true. We’re not creating blanks for those around us to fill in. They actually know what we’re thinking and feeling, and that can enter into the equation of developing that relationship. That sets us up well to be able to solve problems and manage stress in a much more effective manner. All of those together allow us to be able to come into a room with a lot of other emotional intelligence in the room, a lot of other people, read that folded in with ours, and then be able to use it in an appropriate way to lead, team, and follow.

 

Jesse Parrish:

So you’re training us well, Teddy. So in order to Teddy-proof that, make it simple, we’ve got the four buckets that we’re talking about. Self-awareness, managing and controlling yourself, being aware of others, and then serving others. And it’s that four-step process and many of the buckets that Chris was talking about there. And where that plays out in coaching and the role of that, coaching is that one-on-one relationship where someone can come alongside and it’s called be a mirror for you of, as you’re processing your strengths, as you’re processing your emotions and growing awareness of who you are, then that coach is someone that can go, “Hmm. You know what, I noticed this in you. Or I see this in you. Or I’m hearing you say this,” and really help conceptualize some of that self-awareness piece, and then ask those probing and challenging questions to go, “Hey, based on what we know now, what do you want to do for yourself? How do you want to manage that? How do you want to respond to that?”

 

Jesse Parrish:

And then in the relationships you have, whether that be in your marriage, whether that be with your kids, whether that be as a leader to your team or as a team member, or you name whatever sphere of influence you want to talk about, that coach is someone that helps you respond intentionally and appropriately based on what you know about yourself in any given situation.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Okay. So if you had somebody come up to you and say, “I’m a very emotionally intelligent person,” in your mind, how would you define that in one sentence? If they said, “I’m emotionally intelligent,” you would say, “Okay, so you are this.”

 

Jesse Parrish:

I think of a verse in Ephesians, “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only that which is beneficial for building others up according to their need.” And so someone that is emotionally intelligent, I see them as being someone that responds well according to whatever situations go on around them. They’re calm. They can be uplifting. They can be someone that helps challenge appropriately when that’s needed in any given situation.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

I think for me, and it was something that I worked on in my doctoral program, is the threads between Galatians 5:22 and 23, emotional intelligence, and servant leadership are many. There are some consistencies that thread through all three of those. When we look at the fruit of the spirit, I mean, a lot of people take love and they put it into a context around them, but it’s a very narrow definition of that. Sometimes I actually have to hold you fair, firm, and accountable if I truly love you. It might not feel good in the moment to you, but it’s what you need in the moment. And whether I’m leading, teaming, or following that may be what I do.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

So when I think of the fruit of the spirit, someone that exudes that basically pulls people in. They’re loving, they’re joyful, they’re patient, they’re kind, they’re good, faithful, self-controlled. It’s the combination of all of those that, somebody who is emotionally intelligent tends to be somebody that people gravitate to, and they pull people in. Where somebody who is not and they have blind spots tend to push people away because they don’t know they’re doing something that is doing that.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Right. So, that’s a great summary. I appreciate it. All of our viewers in the chat, what we’re talking about today involves a lot of control or learning about how to control or what not to control. So why don’t, in the chat, you guys go ahead and talk about, or provide some examples of things that really grind your gears when you’re out of control, much like the past three months has felt for some of us. So kind of getting into that control piece, emotionally intelligent people seemingly are able to handle what comes their way with relative ease. And I understand that’s a blanket statement because it’s not a catchall. So how do we get better at control? And what are some of the things we really should be thinking about in the context of EQ?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. One of the broad topics that we’re talking about today is this idea of locus of control. And that’s psychobabble, if you will. We really want to unpack-

 

Teddy Sanders:

I think it’s actually a TikTok dance.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Oh, is it? Okay. Interesting. I need to check that out. But we really want to unpack that and, again, Teddy proof it, make it something simple, applicable that you can go from what we’ll say is an external locus of control to internal locus of control. I got a book here, Choice Theory by William Glasser, that talks around this idea of the locus of control. I’ll just read a quick excerpt that maybe you’re familiar with or maybe you’ve said yourself or experienced. And it challenges me, again, personally to examine my own self of, “What do I have as far as locus of control?” So …

 

Jesse Parrish:

“Suppose you could ask all the people in the world who are not hungry, sick, poor, those who have a lot to live for and they would give you an honest answer to this question of how are you. Millions would say, unfortunately, ‘I’m miserable.’ If asked why, almost all of them would blame someone else for their misery: their lovers, their wives, husbands, exes, children, parents, teachers, students, or people they work with. There is hardly a person alive who hasn’t been heard saying, ‘You’re driving me crazy. That really upsets me. Don’t you have any consideration for how I’m feeling? You make me so mad, I can’t see straight.’ And it never crosses their mind that they are choosing the misery that they’re complaining about.”

 

Jesse Parrish:

And so, as we’re talking about this bucket of self control, a lot of it has to do with your ability, perceived ability, to choose or not choose the attitude and your response to the emotions that you’re experiencing and expressing at any given moment. What would you add to that, Chris?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

I shared a couple of days ago online that our beliefs, our attitudes, and our behaviors are very contagious. And in that, we can choose what we want people to catch from us. So if we choose to blame others, then we can project that, and that’s what people are going to do. They’re going to blame us. Or we can choose to own our role in the situation, that internal piece of locus of control, and see what it is that we can do that can change the outcome of what’s happening.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. I’d say many times, this is true for me at least, that my immediate reaction to situations that are upsetting to me or frustrating or I just don’t like them, it doesn’t match up with my expectations is I’ll try and blame shift, I’ll try and justify my own actions, or I’ll try and minimize them rather than assume that I have control and I can affect change within that given moment.

 

Teddy Sanders:

So when we talk about the locus of control, you mentioned of internal and external. External, it’s much easier to point fingers. “I feel this way because you did this” or “I experienced that.” That internal control is, “Okay, let me take a beat and let me say to myself,” or start down that path of, “Okay, why am I choosing to respond that way?” because it does center around a choice, correct?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Correct.

 

Teddy Sanders:

At least for most people it does. Now, what do we do when we’re at our wits end?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. So in bringing back the conversation from last week around self-awareness, we used that analogy of the pitcher that you’re pouring in and pouring out constantly throughout the end of the day. And it’s your capacity to navigate your emotions, to express and feel well and be in tune with that. And throughout the day, if there’s more that you’re pouring out or is being poured out by you and let’s say at the end of the day, busy, stressful day, you arrive home and your pitcher’s empty. You don’t have much capacity left emotionally to navigate anything. Then your ability to control yourself is probably very much diminished. But again, with the importance of that pitcher piece, if you’re constantly pouring in, you’re taking care of yourself, practicing good self care, then you have a higher degree likelihood to be able to have some of that internal locus of control and choose well appropriate responses.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Now, when we’re talking about those appropriate responses, I think that’s a great sort of thing we hear here at WinShape a lot of you have a choice to react or you have a choice to respond. I grew up in public safety, so it was either fight, flight, or freeze. And more often than not, you were hoping that you got out of yourself that first one rather than the latter two. Chris, how does that affect our emotional intelligence? And what are some of the things that just get in the way?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, it’s interesting, and to couple with what Jesse was just talking about that proverbial emotional margin, that typically we can go home to our castle and that’s where we feel the safest in most instances. And we let our guard down. And then, unfortunately, those that love us most know how to hit our buttons the hardest. And then sometimes they unintentionally do that. And then we say or do something that we need a three-part apology to come back with. And in most instances in those moments, we were talking earlier, and we talked about having something come out and, as it’s coming out, you’re reaching for it to pull it back but once said, it’s already cutting.

 

Jesse Parrish:

No, no. Come back.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Yeah. So when we think of that, we look at that as an amygdala hijack. And the amygdala is part of the limbic system of our brain, to get a little wonky, little anatomy and physiology. They exist, if you were to take your fingers and put them next to your ears right here, between there there’s two almond sized pieces of our brain, that all of what happens to us comes through them. And it is the fight, flight, freeze, or faint … And it’s a hundred times faster than our prefrontal cortex. A message is being sent to the prefrontal cortex at the same time it’s being sent to the amygdala, but the amygdala is a lot faster for safety reasons. We’re wired that way. We’re designed that way. So that’s a good thing. If something’s coming at me and I throw my hand up to deflect it, it’s a protective measure. If I’m reaching for a hot stove and I pull back, it’s, again, there’s a sense. It hits the amygdala, amygdala says it’s hot, that there’s danger, do something about it. So it’s very reactive in nature. Anger, love, a lot of those feelings reside inside of the amygdala.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Now, like I said, there’s also a channel going up to our thinking brain. With an amygdala hijack, what happens is there’s an interrupt. It doesn’t make it to the thinking brain. You get stuck in your amygdala. And then somebody says something to you after coming home from a long day at work, and then you’ve got a very snarky comment coming back out or unkind or a mean comment coming back. So it’s that type of thing. Or you may have sometimes seen a leader or maybe somebody in a position of authority just lose it on somebody else. And they don’t even realize what it appears to look like in the moment. They don’t even realize that they’re doing that until after the fact when they’re told, “Hey, did you realize you said these things to that person?” “No I didn’t.” “Well, actually yeah, you did. And now you owe that person a three-part apology.” So, I mean, it gets back to that idea, it’s having said or done something that we didn’t realize we were doing or saying.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

So the challenge is, is that how do we either refill the pitcher and increase that margin? Sometimes people will just hit a button that, doesn’t matter what the margin is, we are just so triggered by what was said-

 

Teddy Sanders:

You could have the best day, your bucket could be full up, they say a name, a sequence, something. And you’re just like-

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Something that is stored that is a very emotionally triggering event or memory for you, and boom, your flash-to-bang is about that fast. And again, you are reacting in that moment because it’s a defensive mechanism, as opposed to responding thoughtfully, cognitively.

 

Jesse Parrish:

In short, for racing fans, the amygdala hijack is kind of like the drag racer that goes from zero to 200 miles an hour in the course of a second. And then, the prefrontal cortex is kind of like the La Mans. It’s a long race. It’s still fast, but it takes awhile to get there, and it’s an endurance race. So your ability to think through and process things can take more time than, again, that amygdala hijack that just is a trigger.

 

Teddy Sanders:

So in regards to a coaching relationship, with that emotional intelligence, talking about the hijack, where do you guys see the most common occurrence of that? Is it work? Is it family? Is it all the above? Is it something out in left field? Or is it just, hey, giving people the education to understand what that is because it’s just been a part of their normalcy for so long?

 

Jesse Parrish:

I think as Chris alluded to, you probably see it most prevalently in the family, because that’s the place that you’re most comfortable. And it’s the place at the end of the day, if you’ve expended a lot of energy, where you’re coming back and you may have the least guards. You’re almost turning off your prefrontal cortex and going, “Okay, I can just be here,” which may make you more susceptible to some of those prefrontal cortex hijacks or the amygdala hijacks.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, nobody’s going to fire you at home.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Ah, it depends. It depends.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, too many episodes at work and then you’re having that conversation where you’re asked to be let go.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Right. Right.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. And at work, you probably are a little bit more aware. You’re on guard a little bit. “I want to make a good impression. I want to address this well.”

 

Teddy Sanders:

Well, there’s a forced filter.

 

Jesse Parrish:

There is. There is.

 

Teddy Sanders:

It’s within the normalcy of what the workplace is. Home, especially with your spouse or your family, they’re in it to win it. And so they do know the buttons to push, but also, on the other end of the spectrum, they also know the buttons to help release some of that as well.

 

Jesse Parrish:

But with that being said, it’s not that one occurs more in one place or the other, but I think it looks different because of that filter. I still personally get triggered at work. It looks differently than at home. I’m probably, at home, I’m probably less filtered. At work, man, I dial my filter way, way up. And I probably look more like the, if there’s that fight, flight, or freeze, I probably look a little bit more like the freeze or the runaway kind of thing because I don’t want to have this be an emotionally charged situation at work. So I’ll suppress my thoughts. I’ll suppress my opinions. I’ll suppress the emotional reactions that I have, probably to the detriment of a good, healthy relationship at work.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, we’ve seen people at work. If you’re in the workforce long enough, you will see it, if you haven’t. People that get emotionally triggered and are entering into that emotional hijack can get large and loud. So they just start gaining in size and stature. Or what people also don’t realize though, is that some people, when they’re triggered and they’re having an emotional hijack, they get a small as they possibly can and just pull in and basically check out and wait for it to be over so they can leave the meeting. Neither is more effective or less effective than the other. They’re both very ineffective means to lead, team, and follow. So the question becomes is, how do we back ourselves away from that proverbial cliff when we feel it coming on?

 

Teddy Sanders:

So as you do experience that, as you feel that jacking up of your senses, you feel that parasympathetic nervous system start to fire everything, what are some things that we can do to take a step back or diminish that or even just think outwardly of, “Why am I here?”

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. I think one thing that’s important is this idea of interrupting the emotion with a thought. Now, we mentioned last week and even previously this idea that emotions are information. Emotions are not fact, they’re not reality. They are feeling responses to what we see and receive that’s going on around us. So first and foremost, remember that emotions are information.

 

Jesse Parrish:

When we start to assess some of that information, we practice just being presently aware of, “What’s my body doing in this moment? Do I feel that tenseness arising in me? Do I feel the heat on the back of my neck? Or do I feel myself shrinking and getting small and trying to shy away from those things? I see and I feel my emotional response that’s going on.” I don’t have to be able to identify exactly what I’m feeling. I just have to notice that that’s going on. And as soon as, for me, that little flag starts waving of, “You’re feeling something,” then I interrupt that emotional reaction with a thought.

 

Jesse Parrish:

And if you remember the original Batman movies, Batman cartoons with the big kerpow and bam. They had those fun graphics with every Batman interaction there. I actually very vividly have an image pop in my mind of a big kerpow that goes on. And then immediately followed that is an image of, if you’ve seen some of the nuclear testing explosions of that giant mushroom cloud. And for me, that is a visual image of going, “If I let myself react and continue to react with this tenseness, with this intensity, with this emotional wave that I’m riding, then something not good is probably going to happen. There’s going to be emotional harm that’s going to be done to myself or to that person. There’s going to have to be one of those three-part apologies and rebuilding of trust that happens. And I know I don’t want to go there.” And so I need to find some way to, one, interrupt that, and then pause and recalibrate myself to know what’s going on and be able to respond appropriately.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

I think for me, it’s interesting, an example of it is that for being in the military for a lot of years, if you went and had a meeting with your commanding officer, you were at attention, locked up tight, and it was a one-way conversation. Afterwards, you about-faced, and you left the room. It really wasn’t a dialogue. There wasn’t any kind of emotional affect coming off of you. He wasn’t reading what you were thinking or feeling or anything like that. It was literally just very directive in nature. With my girls, my wife and my daughter, over the years, one of the things that they can ask me is they can say, “Are you feeling okay?” And in the moment, I’m thinking, “Well, I was, but apparently I’m not because I indicated to you that I’m not.” In other words, somehow there was a disconnect what was happening in here, what I was perceiving, and then what I was expressing.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

So I might feel great in here, but if all of this is giving them mixed signals and I’m confusing them, I’m basically putting blanks out there for them to fill in, they’re not going to fill them in accurately. They don’t have all the information that I have. But that for me is kind of that flash-to-bang. That’s just a big button trigger, especially when it’s a thin margin and I’ve been working all day or stressed out or on a project and I’m just all poured out. Then I get home. “Are you feeling okay?” Now, I’m walking in thinking I’m doing just fine, but then that’s a triggering for me. What I can do in that moment where I start to feel the anxiety, feel the heat, the tension, feeling the moment when I hear those words, I know that in my own awareness, I can go into a breathing exercise and I can literally just breathe in the … Help me with this big word.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Diaphragmatic?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Diaphragmatic breathing. I call it belly breathing. You’re using your belly and you’re literally trying to fill your lungs as much as you can for a four count. And then you let it out for a 10 count. Now, when we do that, and you can try it in the audience as we’re talking and you’ll feel what I’m talking about, but after three of those breaths, because of the little oxygenation of the blood and what you’ve done to your body, the shoulders lower, the tension in your shoulders releases, the color comes to your face. These are all things that I can see on people that come to our courses when I ask them to step through that small exercise. And they’re shocked by the immediate effect of that. And basically, what it does is it allows you, you’re right there on the cliff and it’s coming out of your mouth, but that’s that backing you away from the cliff, off that proverbial wave before it crashes. And you basically can then choose the wave you want surf in and respond very cognitively with a loving, kind, patient, joyful, good, faithful, and self-controlled response.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Right. Now, besides those, those are both great examples: the diaphragmatic breathing, the kind of refocus, reframe of what’s going on; what are some things that also our viewers might be able to see as other resources to utilize besides those two great exercises?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. So put a couple of things together. I’ll walk through a personal example for me. Some of the things that may trigger me are, similar to you, Chris, is this idea of rather than, “How are you doing?” it’s being told, “Hey, you’re mad.” “No. Thank you. I’m upset.” I value accuracy. So I want to make sure that I’m expressing or portraying what I’m feeling accurately. Or just when someone else gets triggered, I just kind of questioned why do that? Let’s calm down. And that can also trigger me as well.

 

Jesse Parrish:

But in order to interrupt that, again, we interrupt that emotional reaction with that thought, for me, “Boom, bang,” whatever explosion, “I don’t want to go there.” Okay. Let’s pause, breathe, and recalibrate myself. As I’m breathing, another one of those exercises and things that I’ll walk through is just a series of questions that I have to ask myself that helps me re-center. And this is where you really start moving from the, “You made me feel,” that external locus of control to, “I am in control of my reaction. And this is my response to that,” that internal locus of control. And I’ll ask myself questions like, “All right. What am I doing right now?” Just quick physical assessments. That’s breath one. “Here’s what I’m doing. I’m tensing up. Help me relax.” Okay, that’s the breathing. “What am I feeling?” I don’t have to name it specifically at that moment, but I do have to note, “I’m getting more passionate. I’m getting intense. I’m feeling a rising frustration or a rising anger, or I’m feeling afraid. And I want to withdraw. I’m feeling these things.” That’s breath two. All right. Breath three, “Where’s that coming from? Where is that emotional response happening?”

 

Jesse Parrish:

And this is that very pivotal point where I’m not looking externally and going “Teddy, you made me. You said this.” I’m going, “Where’s that coming from in me?” And oftentimes, I get to this place of, “I had an expectation of how this interaction was going to go, and it’s not going that way. Did I express that expectation? Did I express that hope?” No, probably not. It was something that was unspoken. There was something that I controlled that I didn’t do that I can own and be responsible for. “Having not expressed that before, what do I want to do now in response to this moment to be vulnerable, to be genuine, to build a good, healthy, trusting relationship? You know what, I probably need to say this. Here’s what’s going on at me. Here’s what I was thinking. Here’s what I’d hoped for or was expecting. And that didn’t happen, and there was a disconnect there. What can we do now to go forward in a healthy and appropriate way?”

 

Jesse Parrish:

So just walking through those few bullet point questions to help me re-center and shift my focus from all that’s going on out here to what’s really genuinely going on in here, and then express that appropriately, express that well.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

To couple that, especially being aware of my own empathy being on the low side and I have to very intentionally dial it up, especially with those deep relationships that I have, like with my wife or my daughter. It took me a lot of years to be able to sit there and hear them cry and not be able to fix it. Just very emotionally triggering for me, as a man and a husband or a father, not to be able to fix what’s wrong. And from zero to 60 in nothing flat. What I’ve learned is the combination of, “Okay, what’s going on in me?” as Jesse said, and walking through that, “What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What’s happening now? What can I do about it moving forward to move us in a good direction?” I can flip those questions into a very empathetic response as well. “What are they thinking? What are they feeling? What is it they want right now? What are they or I doing in this moment to create friction? What can we do about it to move forward?” The process of that, again, gets ahead of that emotional wave and gets us thinking, responding cognitively rather than reacting from a hapless, helpless perspective.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

A sick child can do that to us as well. Four nights of sleep deprivation and on night five the baby doesn’t want to take the bottle. That can be a very difficult situation where we need to lay the child down and come back to that situation because we’re literally just emotionally empty. So rather than reacting, how do we respond in that moment?

 

Teddy Sanders:

And I love that. That’s language that we use here. I’ve used it other places. Just that idea of you have a choice to respond or to react. React is the more immediate and probably the easier path, while response is going to take some time because it’s a conscious effort.

 

Teddy Sanders:

So want to thank you guys once again for another great week on this. Our viewers, if you have any questions, go ahead and put them in. I’ve got a couple right here as well. So we’ll be asking some questions over the next probably five minutes as well. We also just want to say thank you once again to Chris and Jesse. And let you guys know, if you guys are looking for leader development, team development, that is what we are here to do, to bring teams into, whether that’s a hurting team back to healthy or a good to great, that’s what we get the opportunity to do. So while we wait for some of those questions to arise, if you guys were looking for a coach for yourselves, what are some questions you would want to ask that person to see if it’s a good fit?

 

Jesse Parrish:

I actually just went through this process a couple of days ago.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

That’s why I’m looking at you. And I gave him a recommendation. I hope it worked.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Started back coaching as I’m stepping into just a new leadership role. So for me, things that are important to me, I like to know people’s motivations behind why they’re coaching. So even with this coach, I asked that, “What is your passion around coaching? What led you to this role that you’re in right now?” And for me, that was, I don’t want to say a test, but I was able to hear from him some very affirming and aligning language with some of the personal ways that I approach life. And I figured, man, this guy is someone that has some life experience, that we think in similar ways around what’s important, and he’s really going to challenge me and really refine a lot of what I believe, what I think, and how I behave and make sure that those are aligned and consistent. So one of those questions would be just, “What brought you here?” and listen for those underlying motivations.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

I think for me, there’s being very self-actualized and driven.

 

Teddy Sanders:

You?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, I mean, I hide it well.

 

Teddy Sanders:

That was an understatement.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

I would not do well with somebody who is very passive in their approach. It’s something I’ve been accused of being is that I’m more of the arrow. Where some folks are more of the “come around the mountain and ask all the right questions and get you there,” I pretty much zero in on what it is and then we go from there. And that speaks to me from where I’m at being a very self-actualized person. And I would want to couple that with what are the coach’s experiences and has he had things that they’ve had to go through that has put some wheels underneath their life? Some miles underneath their wheels.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. You can also ask around their educational background, certifications they have, personal life experiences that they leverage and bring to their coaching, if there’s any specific areas where they focus their expertise. And just listen and make sure that what you’re hearing aligns with the needs that you have and what best suits you.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Could one of you or both of you describe the difference between choosing to respond and just straight up suppressing your emotions?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. That’s a tough one. And in all transparency, in all honesty, that’s a very specific question that the coach and I will be working on for me because I navigate that as well. Man, in our first session, he said, “You’re the kind of person that just puts a cork on the old emotional bottle, aren’t you?” I was like, “Ah, you nailed me. Sorry about that.”

 

Jesse Parrish:

In choosing to respond versus corking the emotions, I think that one of the guiding principles that I am personally learning is, the outcome that I want is true authenticity, vulnerability, and a core, integrity is the word my coach uses, a core integrity that you know who you are, you’re expressing that appropriately, and you’re not trying to hide anything of that. And so I can tell and I’m learning to grow in my awareness of, “Am I hiding something right now? Or am I expressing it and expressing it appropriately?” And for me, just as I’m in that process of learning, that’s a good guiding question and a bit of awareness of I know when I’m hiding something and that is inauthentic. That is not integritous. That is not something that is vulnerable or builds trust.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

I think for me, it’s very similar in nature being very vocal and action-oriented. If I’ve been triggered and I know what I say next is going to be harmful or not value add or enriching, I’ll have a tendency to try to shut down as a protective measure for whomever is in front of me. And that’s not effective because that doesn’t move the needle at all towards resolution. In fact, it just makes things worse. But it’s one of those, “I’ve been hijacked. I don’t want to have to do a three-part apology. I’ll just shut down,” which I then still owe a three-part apology. So, it’s a lose-lose in that moment that I’ve allowed myself to actually go over the edge of the wave and crash with the wave.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Negligence is still something to apologize for.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Yes, yes it is.

 

Jesse Parrish:

And I think it’s so important to be able to give yourself and in any relationship, be able to give yourself a few moments of space to be aware of what’s going on, process that, and then, again, respond accurately and appropriately but not harmfully, if you will.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

In that, it’s important to understand, and this is something that was taught to me just before Christmas, is that we often have a lot of grace for others. In that moment that Jesse just referenced, there’s also the ability to have grace for yourself. “Yep. I was angry and I was made mad. I’m glad I didn’t react.” Now how do I respond well?

 

Teddy Sanders:

And I think that’s what a lot of it stems down from is that suppression is something that people are going to definitely do because it’s a defense mechanism, but it gives us the chance to say, “Okay, I’m going to take a beat. I’m going to think about this. I’m going to choose to respond and then take it from there.”

 

Teddy Sanders:

So that’s our time for today. I want to thank you guys again. Thank you to our audience for being with us and asking those great questions. Next week, we’re going to focus more on, okay, we’ve talked about our own personal control, now how do we respond to folks when we feel like they’re out of control? Or how can we best respond to our environment? How can we read the room if you will? Once again, we are WinShape Teams here in Rome, Georgia. If you have any questions whatsoever, please reach out to us. We’d love to be able to serve you in a coaching capacity, in a consulting capacity in leadership and team development. So we want to say thank you again. And we look forward to working with you guys soon.

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