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If your first impulse is to speak up when you see or feel something is wrong in your workplace, zip it! Yes, just zip it! Why? Most folks' initial responses are impulsive, emotional, subjective and void of thought. But, you already knew that, didn't you?

That old 'Count to ten' rule, isn't a bad idea at all. A 'Ninety-minute Rule' is an even better one. Why? Well, there are two good reasons. First, you may not have all the facts or the big picture. Taking a step back from the situation will give you a better perspective and your perception may change. Secondly, if the situation angered you, ninety minutes will allow the blood to return to your brain's centers of logic.

When anyone gets angry, blood rushes away from the brain to the vital organs. This is nature's way of ensuring survival. Unfortunately, when the blood leaves the brain, your rational, logical thought also leaves. This is the worst time to engage your mouth. Many folks have made the best speech they will ever regret when they are the most angry. Can you relate to that?

It takes most folks a full ninety minutes to recover from full- blown anger. Why chance it? Even if you were just a little bit angry, give yourself enough time to be able to form full sentences that are coherent!

Obviously, there are times when you simply must take control of a crisis. Knowing now why you may not be at your best at that moment, speak only as much as damage control requires. Refrain from being sarcastic, judgmental or rude. Simply do as little as you can while managing the situation. Then, retreat. The more you exercise control over your negative outbursts and knee- jerk reactions to people or issues, the more you present yourself as mature, controlled and in control of your impulsive behaviors. Oh, yes, and, you'll spend far less time making apologies, too.

About the Author:

© Rhoberta Shaler, PhD All rights reserved. Expert facilitator, Dr. Rhoberta Shaler makes it easier to talk about difficult things. As an international speaker, author and coach, she provides the insights and strategies that help businesses prosper and people flourish. Get your free 30-minute business or personal coaching consultation, plus ezines, teleseminars, books & CDs, free articles & online community at

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