Here’s another blog post from Peter Bregman: Quash Your Bad Habits by Knowing What Triggers Them. He’s a terrific thinker on productivity and execution issues. What I like particularly about this article is that he documents the physical warning signs that Jeff was about to explode:
Minute 1: Nick steps to the front of the room (I knew Jeff had an issue with Nick’s lack of accountability so, as soon Nick stood to facilitate, I knew Jeff was at risk of losing his temper).
Minute 3: Jeff starts tapping his foot.
Minute 4: Jeff starts tapping his pen on his pad.
Minute 6: Jeff’s breathing changes. He is taking deeper, exasperated, audible breaths. Like sighing.
Minute 8: Jeff is shifting in his chair. He can’t sit still. He is physically uncomfortable with what’s going on.
Minute 9: Jeff stops breathing. He is literally holding his breath.
Minute 10: BOOM!
Noticing your own body and your own actions takes a little extra self-awareness. But the physical evidence is there if you look. Once you know what to look for, you can set a standing order to do something different, e.g., “If I start tapping my foot, take a quick timeout to do a breathing exercise and remind myself of the context.”
Again, here’s a link to Peter Bregman’s article: Quash Your Bad Habits by Knowing What Triggers Them
And to mine on setting standing orders: Setting Standing Orders