When adversity strikes, that's when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”
- LL Cool J
“Panic causes tunnel vision. Calm acceptance of danger allows us to more easily assess the situation and see the options.”
- Simon Sinek
“Sometimes I wish that I could go into a time machine right now and just look at my self and say, 'Calm down. Things are gonna be fine. Things are gonna be all great. Just relax.'”
- Tristan Wilds
My work takes me into high-conflict situations at times. When I'm at my best, I am able to stay calm, focused on the end in mind, and able to pay attention to the folks in front of me. When I'm in a state that is less than my best, I still have the commitment to do a great job for the folks in front of me, so I have to find ways to stay grounded and focused.
This is what I've learned the hard way:
- To make sure I eat. Without food, my brain (and your brain) will not function as well.
- To stay hydrated. Water keeps us feeling better and lets our brain work better.
- To deal with my self-critical voices. I've learned that they only make it harder to focus. It is best to negotiate with them using traitor-angel dialogues so that your energy is focused on the people and the task at hand and not on yourself.
- To get really clear about the end in mind and then trust my brain to navigate us to a good ending. This has come with experience and practice.
- To use meta-communication. I have realized that the more I find ways to use all the brains in the room, the better off we are. By stating the situation in a way that others can provide input with their perspectives and innovative solutions, the better chance we have to move through the situation successfully.
- To remember that my reputation is not based on ME solving the team's problems but on me creating conditions in which they can have constructive dialogue so that all together, we can find innovative solutions to solve their problems.
- When I forget any of the above points, I give myself a break and remember that it's okay to be less than perfect.
As you might imagine, I've gotten better over the years in doing all the above. However, it is a journey without an end as it really is a way to stay present in the moment, be and do my best, and enjoy the ride.
The practice for this week supports you in doing likewise. I look forward to hearing how it goes.