Sometimes stressful situations make you feel like you’re in a building that’s on fire, your hair’s on fire and everything is crashing down around you. Studies have shown that 90% of top performing leaders stay calm and in control during times of crisis– but it isn’t always easy.
Here are a few tips to help weather the storm:
1) Take a Deep Breath
The event you’re in, or the problem you need to solve, won’t spin out of control any faster if you take a moment for yourself. Do some deep breathing to bring some oxygen into your brain, and remember to relax. Do some neck rolls and stretch. By centering your body, you will help center your mind.
2) Gain Perspective
Take a realistic view of what’s happened. Ask yourself what the worst thing is that could occur if the situation isn’t immediately resolved. Is the problem really a molehill disguised as a mountain? Put together a list of the facts and separate them from the emotions you might be feeling. This allows you to have a more grounded idea of what occurred.
Get together with your co-workers, employees or friends and ask everyone to write down three things they think might fix what’s happened. If mistakes have been made, especially by you, acknowledge them. An open dialog and collaboration will bring people together as a team and help support any decisions that need to be made.
4) Keep Things Positive
Blame, recriminations and negative statements sometimes burst out before they’re thought through, especially during a tense circumstance. Try to keep communication upbeat and positive to help facilitate a good solution.
5) Take a Time Out
If you don’t find a quick solution, take a break and do something that helps you relax. Meditate, go for a walk or listen to some music that boosts your mood. Take your mind off the problem and give yourself both a physical and mental break. Don’t be surprised if the solution comes to you during this time. We make better decisions when we’re relaxed.
By practicing these ideas, you can learn to remain calm no matter what’s thrown at you and become an even stronger leader.