Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


How well do you recognize when something will “trigger” you in a negative way?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How well do you recognize when something will “trigger” you in a negative way?

  • Extremely well — I know my triggers and mitigate them before they happen: 11.37%
  • Very well — I recognize when I’m being triggered and act accordingly: 47.56%
  • Well — I can recover quickly when I’m triggered: 25.99%
  • Not well — I have trouble reacting well when I’m triggered: 14.15%
  • Poorly — I’m not aware I’ve been triggered until after the damage is done: .93%

Mindfulness matters. Everyone gets triggered. The leader’s challenge is to react to triggers appropriately.  Losing your composure only takes a second but lasts much longer in terms of the negative perception you’ll create.  Spend time thinking about things that trigger you (phrases, people, events, situations).  Be aware of situations where triggers will be present.  Have a plan for how you’ll react to a trigger in advance of putting yourself in the situation. The sooner you’re able to recognize triggers, the easier it is to demonstrate an appropriate behavioral response.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”