Management Principle: Healthy Detachment

Life is hard and every day we are tested with circumstances that have the power to undermine our mental and emotional health. Unless we have developed coping mechanisms that allow us to maintain a sense of humor and put things into perspective, we will become cynical, sour people. Actions we take based on negative emotions are rarely helpful. Healthy detachment enables us to choose wisely and it promotes our own growth.

Healthy Detachment. There are so many opportunities on a daily basis to “take the bait” and get emotionally hooked, leading us down a path of discouragement. Perhaps we are passed by for a promotion, or we are given a project that has little chance to succeed. Perhaps we’ve done something noteworthy and our boss takes the credit. In each case our ability to maintain emotional balance is tested. Disturbing emotions under these conditions are indeed evidence of humanity, but choosing healthy detachment is essential to maintain mental health and overall career and life success. It’s the ability to suspend judgment and consider all the possibilities as to why current circumstances may actually help and support us. We then choose an option that’s more reasonable than the worst-case scenario we concoct in our minds. Example: you are passed by for a promotion and it feels humiliating. It’s possible that you actually weren’t ready, or that a better opportunity will present itself, or that the new position will likely be eliminated in six month’s time. We don’t really know the outcome so we choose to stay positive and upbeat.

Coaching questions: What conditions undermine your emotional balance? What are the possibilities?

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

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