Coaching Tip: Find Your Triggers

Your Challenge
  • Unable to understand, why you behave the way you behave in certain situations or with certain people
  • Certain behaviors get out of control and have a counterproductive impact but you can't help yourself getting out of that habit
Our Advice

Finding your triggers:

What are triggers? What do they do to us? Why is it important to identify them?

Let's answer them one by one. Triggers are like prompts that actuate a certain response that may or may not produce the intended result. Many authors and leadership coaching experts like Charles Duhigg and Marshall Goldsmith have presented their ideas about triggers in their own ways. Triggers can be defined under the following categories:
  • Places/Environment (office, home, market, city, country, etc.)
  • People (boss, friend, spouse, children, teacher, etc.)
  • Time (time of the day/month/year)
  • Emotional State (happiness, frustration, fear, anger, surprise, etc. )
  • An immediately preceding action
  • Any other prompt that has an impact on the human sensory system
What can you do?

Triggers need to be found, identified and acknowledged to be able to take appropriate actions and take control of them and not allow them to take control of you. Quite simply, they can be identified by putting a situation under the following statement for further analysis:

"IF this happens...
THEN this happens..."

For example, IF I am at the head office (place) surrounded by all the executives (people), THEN I feel overwhelmed (emotional state) and tend to behave like an introvert (behavior) and therefore, don't speak at the meetings (result). Executives think that I have nothing to contribute (counterproductive impact). This is just one example and you will most likely have your own examples that fit your context the best. 

Analyze your IF and THEN statement to find out the WHY. If you analyze the example above, some of the possible reasons/WHY's could be:
  • lack of knowledge; not staying updated with information in the office or business
  • a self-defeating thought triggering from a childhood event and growing within
  • fear of being judged
  • fear of not being liked
  • other counterproductive assumptions
As you find your triggers, acknowledge them and work towards managing them to have productive habits and positive impacts.

If you want to learn, how to manage these triggers then don't forget to read the next part - Coaching Tip: Shifting from Finding to Managing Triggers.

Our Recommendation

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business

In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.