Emotional Intelligence: Managing Disruptive Emotions

What are you afraid of?

Public speaking?
Sudden illness?
Loss of employment?

A big point of developing emotional intelligence for ultra-high performance is managing those daily destructive emotions. In a big way, destructive emotions hold us back from success. If you are in sales, for instance, one destructive emotion can paralyze and engulf you. It can turn small setbacks into a mountain of uncertainty and fear.

In my new Selling with Emotional Intelligence program, I like to ask sales professionals to list disruptive emotions. Let’s go ahead and name the dragons that hold us back:


Destructive emotions can drive destructive behaviors. It can:

Cause a fog of confusion and self-doubt
Derail meaningful relationships that were meant to bring fulfillment
Cloud our perspective and cause us to jump to judgment
Create overreaction and cloud situational awareness
Lead to paralysis or procrastination
Managing disruptive emotions is a primary leadership and sales meta-skill.

Here is a quick checklist to managing emotions.

1.   Build a reservoir

Think of positive emotions as a big battery. You have to plug-in and recharge daily with physical and emotional enhancers.

I recently went through a challenging experience and had it not been for my consistent physical workouts, I may have been sabotaged by destructive emotions.Know your triggers

Many triggers, like facing rejection on a prospecting call, present need to be “taken on.” Learn to anticipate and gain greater control by… (read #3)

2.  Prepare and practice

The most effective way I have learned to manage disruptive emotions is to have advance preparation and practice.

Example: Prior to a keynote presentation, I use “commute time” in my car to deliver the keynote at least ten times. I visualize the audience, I visualize myself standing on stage, and I speak (notes free) envisioning my dynamic presentation.

3.  Positive visualization

As I mentioned, I visualize success. The brain tends to hijack our emotions with worst-case scenarios and negative outcomes. We need to pre-wire and pre-program our brains for success.

Begin by focusing on your breathing— slow it down. In your “minds eye,” go step-by-step through each part of the call, presentation, one-on-one, etc. and focus on how you feel. Focus on your body language, the tone of your voice, and visualize yourself succeeding.

I often say in Selling with Emotional Intelligence, if emotions can get you in trouble, emotions can keep you from trouble. There are several more strategies I share, in addition to these four, but start by focusing on these:

Build a reservoir
Know your triggers
Prepare and practice
Positive visualization

Here’s to greater success and confidence!

© 2018 Copyright Steve Gutzler  All Rights Reserved.


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