Why do emotions sometimes boil over in unattractive ways at work? A leadership expert explained it to me this way. Imagine that we all have an emotional bucket. Each time a little stressor happens, a little grape juice adds to the bucket. On fun days hiking with the family, there may just be a drop of grape juice in the bucket. On big, busy workdays heaped with anxiety, the bucket might get filled nearly to the top.
The problem is sometimes our buckets are full of grape juice, then one more thing happens, and another cup pours onto the bucket. The grape juice spills all over the place, irreparably staining everything around it. When the grape juice overflows and starts staining things, we usually begin behaving in very anti-engaging ways. Perhaps we are curt to an attendee or say something to a member we wish we hadn’t.
When you start feeling that pressure, one tip is to think about channeling a person who behaves the way you aspire to act with your members. This person can be anyone you know, like a friend, co-worker, family member, or neighbor, or anyone you know about.
Pick the characteristics and people (frogs or sheep) who inspire you. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Steady – Phryne Fisher
Positive – Midge Maisel
Curious – Krista Tippett
Sweet – Kermit the Frog
Helpful – Shaun the Sheep
Nice – Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King