How to Recover right after Blowing your Stack
One of the worst displays of emotion in any environment is blowing your stack. You're outraged and on a rant but there's still opportunity to recover.
One of the worst displays of emotion in any environment is blowing your stack. You’re outraged and on an escalated rant because something went horribly wrong. Read on to find out how to recover right after blowing your stack, and move from a set back to making progress.
There were times when I’d be faced with one bad incident after another which exceeded the “comes in three” limit. I’d reach my breaking point, and go into a fit of rage. Yes, I had enough and anyone in my way would suffer the wrath of Christine: colleagues, employees, friends and family… even strangers weren’t safe.
Have you experienced this or seen this in someone else?
Blowing your stack can happen… on the phone with the supplier for a late delivery, or for the wrong item that you really counted on; at your store or office with your employee for losing an important customer; because of the hail storm at an important, outdoor event that you worked hard to promote and spent lots of time and money on; at the airport when the flight is delayed and will make you late for that important meeting that you can’t miss; when you get a call from the school telling you to pick up your child for misbehaving, again.
There will always be instances like this in a person’s life that mess up something that was going so good, or that slaps you with another setback while trying to grow your business, or meet an important goal.
The trick to getting back on track is to learn how to recover right after blowing your stack.
There are Consequences of “Losing It”
As I mentioned earlier, I had a few of those “blowing your stack” experiences in front of my staff, or on the phone to a supplier.
What did it get me? Nothing!
Actually, I did get something out of it. I got to be good at putting on the blinders and walking away from an unsolved mess. I would tell my next in commend, “You handle it. I can’t deal with this right now.” And I went home to soak in the bath, and call up my girlfriend, or anyone who would answer their phone, and vent.
It wasn’t my problem. It was everyone else’s problem.
After a night’s sleep I would be more reasonable. I came into the office and hope that the people who usually sat at each desk are still there. And to my surprise they were.
Business as usual.
Or was it?
The tone was changed to something more serious. That joyful laughter was gone and the sharing of the prior evening’s activities was reduced to a grin.
What I did was create a greater distance between myself and my employees. I lost a bit of that connection and commitment from them. The team was bruised.
When something goes wrong there’s that search for someone or something to blame. In our mind this is the first place to start.
Who is to blame and how can we discipline them? How can we make them suffer for messing things up? They’re the reason this company is failing, so we must let them know and they must feel remorseful!After blowing your stack, do you think this gets you any closer to your goal?
Sadly, no. It just makes people feel like they did something wrong. It makes them feel less of a person. It makes them feel like a door mat for when things go wrong, and eventually that door mat will move onto another company or environment where they feel appreciated.
Where it Could’ve Gone Better
When you’re at the airport and you see on the departure screen, next to your flight, that’s to take off in 30 minutes – “DELAYED” or worse, “CANCELLED” – what do you do?
You look for the next available employee from the airline, right? And when you finally find that employee and you have her attention, what do you say to her?
Do you let her know how this delay in the flight will ruin your business because this was the client of a lifetime that you were to meet? Or how you’re now going to miss the connecting flight to Italy and that you haven’t had a holiday in three years?
You have a one time moment to get information out of this person to help you find a solution to your problem. And if you start in with the “first step” of who to blame and how to make them suffer, that airline employee will shut you down and put you in the “unreasonable people group” that they are trained to deal with.
When people are being yelled at they shut down. This can be a child or an adult. Instead they’re thinking of the nearest exit and how they can get there and away from you!
When you have that one precious moment with that person in front of you, whether it’s your employee, or the airline employee, or the supplier, or your spouse… you must think about what would be the best use of this time.
Let me just reiterate that blaming and punishing is the worst use of time. This will have the person quit on you, walk away from you, hang up on you, or leave you. Then you lost a prime opportunity to solve the problem.
How to Recover right after Blowing your Stack
When we lose our cool and begin yelling and screaming, the main reason is because we lost control. We lost control of something that we no longer have control of and that scares us.
You now have to rely on others to help you, and who would want to help you if you’re screaming at them.
Those few moments you have with the person in front of you can go one of two ways:
Lose the opportunity to solve the problem and sever the relationship
Solve the problem and enrich the relationship
If you’re under the tent at an important event with pouring rain around you and watching people scramble for shelter, you maybe thinking that this is a wash. Instead of complaining about how much you’ll lose from the event and cursing the weather, look to the person next to you, who might be your child, you spouse, or your friend or employee, and ask them how can we make this moment better? How can we solve this problem?
You’re an entrepreneur. You’re a problem solver. And sometimes you’re a stack blower. But you must remember the value of the people you have around you.
The next time you blow your stack take a deep breath and then quickly get to the question, “Can you help me solve this?”
If you know someone who may benefit from this info, please share!