Trigger Stimulants

The past few weeks I’ve discussed taking the emotional temperature of both ourselves and of others. Knowing the state of our emotions, which essentially drive our ability to use our skills and competencies, is critical since our emotions constantly change. I’ve discussed regulating those emotions with our self and with others. This week, I’d like to introduce you to trigger stimulants.

Trigger stimulants are emotional triggers that can stimulate and alter the state of both your own as well as others’ emotional state. We already use them… but the object is to use them proactively, especially when we need to. This is part of self-regulation and empathy on the EQ scale, and it is also part of just good awareness.  We can use trigger stimulants daily in our conversations, meetings, activities, etc.

As an example, what if your child was upset about something and as their parent, you took them to their favorite restaurant to dilute their emotional state? Would this help? We don’t know for sure, but it certainly is the right thing to do and chances are high that it will indeed help even if its short-lived. Being at the favorite restaurant is a trigger stimulant – you know it will evoke a positive response.

How might this translate into day-to-day activities with both yourself and others? Consider this when you are getting ready to have a meeting with a peer to collaborate on something. Do you know what that person’s trigger stimulants are? Think about:

  • What do they like?
  • What do they love?
  • What gives them pride?
  • What successes have they had?

What if you had the answers to these questions on a small cheat sheet? Would the chances of your collaboration being successful go up? Of course they would.  What if you had this same cheat sheet for everyone that is important to you – personally and professionally? Yes — that’s a lot of work but how much more effective would your relationship with these people be if you could proactively introduce these trigger stimulants at the right time? These trigger stimulants are nothing more than instant emotional shots – if used correctly they can have tremendous impact on daily outcomes and well-being.  This is part of being more emotionally literate. This week — pick three people in your life – one personal and two professional and make a short list of their trigger stimulant and use them this week. Let me know how it goes


2 responses to “Trigger Stimulants

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