Water boils at 212℉. At this point you have a few options, reduce the heat and let it simmer. Stand back and watch it boil over. Or remove the pot from the heat source to prevent any possible disaster. Most people have a boiling point as well, we have that point at which our lid could potentially blow.
Joe Cool is overwhelmed. The phone won’t stop ringing. The to-do list just keeps getting longer no matter how many tasks are checked off. Questions aren’t getting answered quickly. There are more problems than solutions. Joe is usually pretty even tempered and just goes with the flow but has officially lost his cool. Joe stands up, throws his headset on his desk and exclaims, “I’ve had it, I quit, I can’t do this anymore”!
What Joe means is that he can’t do it anymore, right now. Joe isn’t quitting his job, he’s quitting the moment. Joe may need to take a step back, get out of the heat and let the water settle. How do you prevent Joe from hitting the boiling stage? What do you do when Joe is simmering? How do you help a teammate cool down and avoid eruption?
I’ve been there, where I feel like I’m gonna lose it. I know to step back and take a breather. But sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I snap. It’s not pretty and it’s not ok. It doesn’t even feel that great. What is more important is the recovery. How do you move forward and what did you learn from it?
I’m really rethinking pasta for dinner. Back to the menu board.