I remember when a wise man told me he had learned that he should not make decisions when he was "hungry, angry, lonely or tired."
It was the first time I had heard the HALT acronym. And it immediately made sense to me. When you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, your resilience is low. And that means you don't have as much energy to think things through and make good decisions.
But isn't that the problem in and of itself? We put ourselves in stressful situations without considering that we're headed into the danger zone. Let's use the HALT acronym combined with everyone's favorite excuse: "We're so busy."
We're so busy:
• We skip meals (Hungry)
• We stuff our emotions and just hope they will go away (Angry)
* We aren't truly connected with others (Lonely)
* We don't get 8 hours of sleep a night (Tired)
"Danger Will Robinson, Danger!"
Obviously the best thing to do is not get ourselves in high-risk situations in the first place. If we were wise we'd set time aside every week to take care of ourselves. We'd tell people no. We'd eat right. We'd exercise. And we'd spend time doing activities that provide us with joy and energy.
But let's face it, that's not what most of us are going to do!
So maybe a more realistic course of action is to begin by identifying our danger zones. Participants in Meyvn Group classes often say they are most as risk when they are:
• Rushing to meet a deadline
• Taking care of everyone but themselves
• Focused on one thing for too long
• Surrounded by people with no alone time
I think that's the power of HALT. You see, once we know our triggers we can be more alert. And then, when we find ourselves in a danger zone we can stop and take action to mitigate the risk. For example:
1. Asked to volunteer for yet another task? Suggest that (insert another person's name) is really better suited for this opportunity.
2. Find yourself in front of your computer for 3 hours in a row? Go for a 10 minute walk, preferably outside!
3. In a LONG meeting with no end in site? Excuse yourself and take a restroom break.
I can't tell you how many really smart and accomplished people have sabotaged their own careers simply by getting into situations where they didn't have the emotional strength to respond in a way that others found acceptable. Knowing your danger zones and identifying copying mechanisms ahead of time can be a career-saver.
- Tammy Rogers, The Meyvn Group, NAWBO-CI corporate partner; reposted with permission