Keeping Your Cool When Things Go Wrong by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Leadership is stressful. It becomes even more so when work disasters happen or things don’t go as planned. However, it is particularly important to be careful how you behave during the worst of times. It is during these times that you create a lasting reputation for your leadership style.
Some people are naturally calm in the face of trouble. Most people, however, are known to overreact from time to time. For some people, it is certain circumstances that cause upset, while for others, the negative reaction is based more on their current mood at the time or how well other things are going.
Regardless of what sets you off, it’s important to know when you are getting angry, and to take action before you lose your cool. It is ok to show that you are human, but it undermines you as a leader when you lose control. Walk through these four steps when you feel a meltdown coming on.
Take a deep breath and think about the situation for a minute. Don’t speak immediately, particularly if you will be speaking in anger.
Determine if you must take action immediately. In many cases, it’s ok to wait until you’ve cooled off to decide how to handle the situation.
Formulate a plan. When you’re able to do so objectively, create a plan to fix the problem, as best you can.
Take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. One of the best ways to avoid losing your cool is to take any measures possible to prevent being in the negative situation in the first place. As part of this step, it’s important to make certain that people involved know that the situation is unacceptable to you. This allows them to help prevent it in the future as well.
When you can handle yourself calmly in any situation, you demonstrate exceptional leadership skill. This trait will help you to make the best decisions in the worst of situations. It will also help ensure that employees and others that deal with you feel comfortable with telling you the truth and respect you for your ability to handle whatever business throws at you.