She lacked patience and decided to send an email to the entire company letting employees know they could no longer eat breakfast at their desks. Instead, team members had to eat before work or in the cafeteria. She did not inform her COO or the Human Resources (HR) department she would be sending this email.
Effects on productivity and company culture
What effect did the CEO’s actions have on employee productivity that week? Her intention was to increase productivity, but her impulsive actions resulted in a decrease in efficiency. Many employees were confused by her email, and HR was receiving calls for clarification, with employees wondering if protein bars or nuts were considered breakfast items. Other employees were pregnant or had health issues, would they be penalized if they had food at their desks? They felt they were being discriminated against.
What does impulse control look like in the workplace?
As adults and business leaders, how can we improve our impulse control to engage better with team members and become more focused, productive and creative? Research findings reveal leaders who can manage strong emotions when feeling stress or pressure, while maintaining a healthy sense of humor, are more successful in building stronger relationships, being creative and meeting professional goals.
Developing self-awareness and building your own impulse control tools
The more self-aware you become about your own emotional triggers and how you manage your impulse control, the greater the chance to avoid inappropriate outbursts and poor decisions. Many times, you learn to control your impulsive behavior after an unfortunate event where you lost control and had to pay a big price. Hindsight is always 20/20. When you have a moment to look back at what you said or did, you have a better understanding of how you were triggered and how your actions impacted the situation in a negative way. You may take appropriate steps to limit the damage.
You cannot change another person or situation, but you can manage how you choose to react or respond to a situation. You can take charge of your impulse control. As a result, you can choose to “play big” and achieve more happiness, engagement and success in your personal and professional life.