Triggers and Hooks

Why every manager needs to understand how they work.

Personal Hooks and triggers are catalysts for a sudden onset and change of personal “state” –your state of thinking, feeling, intending, acting and behaving. Hooks and triggers may be positive such as receiving a phone call you just won the lottery would set you into a positive tizzy right away. However, most often I’ve found positive triggers are accepted with a smile and then get back to work and focus on the next goal, what is still left to get done. Often people don’t savor their positive triggers. Most often too, we recognize and experience of our negative triggers that can cause us to get defensive and sets off our flight or fight mode. Most all of us want and need new ways to deal with personal hooks and negative triggers.

Your own list of triggers are very unique to you. However, there are some things that almost all people don’t like. For instance, I’ve never met anyone who likes to have their words talked over and interrupted. This is so common though. We may barely notice when it happens to someone else. But we can be acutely aware of it and get really triggered when it happens to us.

Notice that if you remain self aware (which is not that easily done either) you will notice your STATE has instantly shifted…from open to guarded, from feeling spontaneous to being cautious, to thinking clearly to feeling confused. And this happens in an instance.
What to do about it?

The essential skill to address hooks and triggers is to get to know yourself by becoming more self aware. Engaging the next four steps will help your impact management:

1) Make a list of what hooks and triggers send you into an unproductive state of mind and maybe even reactive behavior.
2 ) Get help seeing more clearly from colleagues who see this happening to you when you can’t,
3 ) Reflect to understand your patterns by doing SAW (self awareness work) and
4 ) Practice present moment awareness.

You may find help from a proven self awareness process and by using what I call “accountability partners”. Sometimes you need a live coach, and at others you need a simple process to help you think and process the situation more clearly and efficiently. Both coaching assisted work and self reflective private work are part of IMI’s new eCourse called Gaining Self Awareness, Understanding your Triggers, Hooks and Reactions.

So You Can Manage them Best! Register Here Now, Or Send Me A Message or Schedule a Phone conversation with me. Let’s talk!

About the Author:

Jane Hundley, Executive Coach, M.A. Industrial Organizational Psychology (I/O) & Development, President of Impact Management, Inc.

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