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When Provoked in the Workplace, It Helps to Have a Plan

Published Mon Jan 04 2021

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Emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly prioritized in the workplace. This refers to the ability to identify, understand, communicate, and manage one’s emotions. In their day-to-day life, an emotionally intelligent person will be able to work with their emotions, using them to their benefit instead of a liability. However, even the most in-tune individual can be stressed to the breaking point. What should an emotionally intelligent person do when they are being provoked? First, approach the person directly, but in a nonconfrontational way. Then, use the green light method. “With Green Light, I teach clients to have a plan, a pre-established routine of how to respond to trash talk,” says Drew Brannon, a psychologist with more than a decade’s worth of experience advising high-level athletes, teams, and coaches. “With this type of programmed response, you know exactly where to go with your thoughts when opponents talk trash, helping you stay focused on the task at hand. Green Light works because our minds function best when we know we have the ability to meet a challenge. When the moment comes, you simply do what you’ve trained for.”

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