How To's

Take a deep breath

Sometimes the greatest lessons for work come from home.

This week I was reminded by my 10 year old son that all actions begin with feelings. It is how we manage and deal with those feelings that will determine positive or negative outcomes. It may help if I share a little bit about my son and how we are reminded of this lesson on a regular basis.

Ever since he was very young our son has experienced the world differently than other kids. His body interprets sensory stimuli very differently. Certain smells, sounds and situations can trigger responses in his body that are not typical; sometimes engaging his fight or flight instinct even in the most benign situations. Over the years our family has worked together to find ways to help him plan and better prepare for scenarios that trigger his basic instincts and to better control his reactions.

He has come up with his own acronym for this process. Pronounced just like it is spelled, O.O.F.A. (Order of Feelings & Action), is the order by which feelings eventually turn into action. For him, anticipating his reaction allows him to better control the situation. He has proactively identified coping strategies for how he can keep his feelings in check; acknowledging they are there and they are real but not allowing them to control his actions.

So how does this apply to work? The following infographic produced by Cash Net USA  does an excellent job of illustrating how your body translates feelings into action and how to calm your brain during conflict. This shows you how taking a mindful approach to conflict can enable you to keep your emotions in check and build the necessary habits and fortitude to constructively manage future disputes.


So the next time you find your stress levels increasing, step back and remember you can control your O.O.F.A. If necessary, you can do what my son does, find an “O.O.F.A. buddy” to help remind you to take a deep breath.

Linda Ruffenach

Customer experience guru, original Whisky Chick, and strong believer that roadblocks are not meant to stop you but to help you find a better path.

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