Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 7, Issue 4;   January 24, 2007: An Emergency Toolkit

An Emergency Toolkit

by

You've just had some bad news at work, and you're angry or really upset. Maybe you feel like the target of a vicious insult or the victim of a serious injustice. You have work to do, and you want to respond, but you must first regain your composure. What can you do to calm down and start feeling better?
A calm sea

A calm sea. Having an image or representation — physical or in your imagination — of something you love can make focusing on it easier.

Someone has done something wrong, unfair, vicious, or malicious, and you feel angry or really hurt. Now it's all you can think about. You can't concentrate. Maybe your heart is pounding, or your hands are shaking. You might even have had some tears, or you found yourself angrily rehearsing retorts under your breath (or louder) in private.

You know you have to respond, but you need to think first, to avoid doing something stupid. But thinking requires a clear mind. Here are some tips for getting back to a state of calm. Pick some that appeal to you.

Get some exercise
Get your blood flowing, and some oxygen in your bloodstream, especially if adrenaline is involved. Or just breathe. That will get the job done, though it might be hard to sit still.
Get support
Everything is easier with support. A therapist, a counselor, a spouse, a friend, or more than one. We're all different — you might find this easy or difficult. You might want to seek it right away, or maybe wait a bit. But almost everyone finds support helpful.
Food isn't the answer
Everything is easier with support.
You might not want to seek it
right away, but almost everyone
finds support helpful.
Eating can create demand for blood, as your digestive system goes to work. And right now, you need to focus your resources on other things. Eating is essential for life, of course, but it isn't a solution.
Drugs don't help either
You need your head clear. Exception: if you're unable to sleep or your anxiety is extreme, consult a physician. Don't self-medicate with over-the-counter pills. They might be the right thing for you, but always check with your doctor first.
Focus on love
Think of something or someone you love, remembering to include yourself in the list of candidates. At first this might be difficult, but in a short time, it will get easier. After all, this is what it's all about.
Practice recovering your focus
As you're thinking of what you love, the initial injury might pop back into your mind. When it does, acknowledge it, and notice it has returned, and return to thinking about someone or something you love.
Recognize the true source of the trouble now
While the trouble might have started with someone else's action, recognize that right now, you're the one responsible for the endless replays of the pain, and you can stop that. You're doing it and you can choose to do something else if you want to.

Over a few days, you'll probably find that the intervals between recollections of the injury increase. This is progress. It's your healing process at work. Acknowledge that and appreciate yourself for your ability to heal. Go to top Top  Next issue: Astonishing Successes  Next Issue

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Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

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When we're required to revise something previously produced — prose, designs, software, whatever, we sometimes experience frustration with those requiring the revisions. Here are some alternative perspectives that can be helpful. Available here and by RSS on December 13.
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When we disagree about abstractions, such as a problem solution, or a competitor's strategy, the cause can often be misunderstanding the abstraction. That misunderstanding can be a conceptual mondegreen. Available here and by RSS on December 20.

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Public seminars

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When Person-to-Person Communications: Models and Applicationswe talk, listen, send or read emails, read or write memos, or when we leave or listen to voice mail messages, we're communicating person-to-person. And whenever we communicate person-to-person, we risk being misunderstood, offending others, feeling hurt, and being confused. There are so many ways for things to go wrong that we could never learn how to fix all the problems. A more effective approach avoids problems altogether, or at least minimizes their occurrence. In this very interactive program we'll explain — and show you how to use — a model of inter-personal communications that can help you stay out of the ditch. We'll place particular emphasis on a very tricky situation — expressing your personal power. In those moments of intense involvement, when we're most likely to slip, you'll have a new tool to use to keep things constructive. Read more about this program. Here's a date for this program:

Ten Project Management Fallacies: The Power of Avoiding Hazards
Most Ten Project Management Fallaciesof what we know about managing projects is useful and effective, but some of what we know "just ain't so." Identifying the fallacies of project management reduces risk and enhances your ability to complete projects successfully. Even more important, avoiding these traps can demonstrate the value and power of the project management profession in general, and your personal capabilities in particular. In this program we describe ten of these beliefs. There are almost certainly many more, but these ten are a good start. We'll explore the situations where these fallacies are most likely to expose projects to risk, and suggest techniques for avoiding them. Read more about this program. Here's a date for this program:

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Many The Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.

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