Have you ever come dangerously close to losing your composure?
We’ve all been there. Sometimes—if we can’t control ourselves—it can lead to disastrous situations and negative impacts on relationships, employees, and colleagues.
Whether it’s a frustrating employee, irritating colleague, or even an exasperating client, you know that as a leader it is crucial to stay calm, poised, and positive.
What do you do in these situations?
The difference between a mediocre leader and a great one is how they maintain their cool in stressful situations. It says a lot about a person and their leadership style.
While we’re not all perfect—we’ve all lost our cool at one time or another—the important thing to remember is that when we do lose our cool, we understand why, identify what caused it, and work to improve ourselves so we are better equipped to deal, if or when it happens again.
Remember: you’re a leader. You’re equipped with all sorts of tools and experiences that can help you through even the toughest of situations!
A great leader maintains their composure by thinking clearly and staying focused.
When the pressure is on, it is critically important to stay disciplined and maintain your composure. We’ve all reacted in the heat of the moment, only to regret it later on.
So, what can you do to maintain your self-control?
Identify your main triggers.
The first step to exercising restraint is to identify your triggers—these are the things that easily upset you or irritate you. They tend to make you impatient and can easily send you over the edge if you don’t practice self control.
Remember: a great leader leads by example. If you find yourself facing a trigger, it is important to learn how to practice self control. The last thing you want is for your team or employees to see you lose control.
It may be worth your while to make a list of all the triggers that get you all hot and bothered. Here are some examples:
- Being interrupted.
- Incompetent colleagues or employees.
- People who talk to much.
- People who are constantly late.
- Noisy people.
What are the things that not only irritate me, but also drain my mental capacity?
Once you clearly articulate what causes you to lose your cool, you’ve taken a giant step towards staying calm, composed, and unruffled in the face of stress and strain.
I’d like to know what you do. What specific actions do you take to keep your cool under pressure? Do share! And if you’re interested in learning how to turn into a more powerful leader, have a look at the services I offer!
This article was originally published on August 8, 2011 and has been updated.
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