Fast forward a bit. I am sitting with Sam, a new executive coaching client. A bright, ivy league introverted guy who is managing people for the first time. He shares some feedback about being seen as too intense and intimidating.
I asked him to breathe. Sam squirmed in his chair but consciously took in air and let it out. I asked him to do it more slowly, more deliberately. We even breathed a few breaths at the same time. I encouraged Sam to check in with himself. “How do you feel?”, I asked. “Calmer,” he replied.