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A Road-trip: Coast to coast in 48 hours of practicing emotional regulation

To function at a high level of performance, one needs to regulate emotional expression. The long days of summer are here, and for us, they are longer than daylight. For a few weeks this summer, we are traveling coast to coast in 48 hours. It’s too easy to become angry, impatient, and sometimes ugly when things have to move fast.

Our clients have a high sense of urgency to make improvements now, and in our industry, this is the busy season. We would love to be by the pool watching kids enjoy the summer break, but that’s not our privilege. Missing that privilege adds to potential discontentment and upset.

Unfortunately, during these periods of travel, we also see the way that vacation time increases stress in others. Traveling with kids challenges the adage that it’s the journey, not the destination that holds the enjoyment. But, instead of relaxing and rolling with the waves, too many people feel the need to express their frustration with a delay or re-routing onto the nearest airline representative or an innocent bystander. We wish we didn’t understand. But, we also live in a world of “hurry up and wait” more commonly known as modern air travel.

In business and private life, setbacks happen. If the plane is not on the ground, getting angry about it can only serve to hurt you and the same applies in business. If the package didn’t arrive, or the contract is still drifting somewhere in a review, grinding your teeth only wears them down.

The best suggestion we have, and one that we take ourselves, is to consider how expressing negative emotions snowballs. Compare this with the outcome of pausing, waiting and thinking about the impact on the current situation before lashing out in frustration.

Take emotional regulation improvement as a goal this summer. You will have plenty of practice opportunities. And if you succeed in maintaining your computer and control, you will not only enjoy “the journey” you will develop a winning habit in your career.

If you’re interested in developing this area of your life, we might be able to help.


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Dr. Gunter Wessels

Dr. Gunter Wessels

Dr. Gunter Wessels founded LiquidSMARTS℠. He is passionate and dedicated to the improvement of human performance and ethical business practices in sales and marketing. Dr. Wessels leads a global practice that delivers strategic consulting and next-generation personnel development services to individuals and global corporations alike. His expertise comes from more than 25 years in the healthcare industry, including 14 years as a consultant to global and local marketing and sales teams. Dr. Wessels has a Ph.D. in Management with an emphasis in Marketing and Psychology from the University of Arizona, an M.B.A. from the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California.

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