You’ve probably found yourself in situations where you’ve come dangerously close to losing your composure. Perhaps it’s a frustrating employee, an irritating colleague, or even an exasperating client; whatever the cause, you know that as a leader, it’s important to stay poised, positive and unflappable, even in trying moments, and to think clearly and stay focused when the pressure is on. C’mon, we’ve all had the experience of doing something in the heat of the moment that we regretted later. So what can you do to maintain your self-control?
The first step to exercising restraint is to identify your main triggers – the things that cause you to get upset, irritated or impatient. It’s actually worth your while to make a list of the main triggers that get you all hot and bothered. Perhaps it’s people interrupting you, colleagues who seem incompetent, someone who talks too much, folks who are rude, lateness, clutter, or too much noise. Ask yourself: what are the things that not only irritate me, but also drain my mental capacity? Once you can clearly articulate what causes you to lose your cool, you’ve just taken a giant step towards staying calm, composed and unruffled in the face of stress and strain.
In the coming months, I’ll periodically offer up other specific ideas for maintaining self-control. But for now, I’d like to know what you do. What specific actions do you take to keep your cool under pressure? Do share!