I have been blogging about leadership for a few years; I draw the subject matter from my observations of other leaders, the questions readers & clients ask and from my own experiences & mistakes. To protect the privacy of others – and my ego – I usually veil names and circumstances when I relate a story … but this one is all about me!
I spent a few years leading a public-sector organization. Things were going very well until a series of events pushed me into a place where I wasn’t sure who I could trust. I felt many of the people I was working with weren’t acting ethically and I began to feel undermined, paranoid and under attack.
On the ‘Fight, Flight or Freeze’ spectrum, I do not flight or freeze well, when threatened my instinctive reaction to fight. In that setting and at that time, I felt my temper becoming quicker to light. I was in such a state that I once slammed a door so hard it nearly came off its hinges.
Not one of my finest moments.
Maybe, maybe my reaction was understandable, but it was unacceptable and inexcusable. My personal & professional expectation is to hold myself to a higher standard. In times of uncertainty and adversity and crisis, any signs of leadership immaturity will make your employees feel unsafe and insecure.
I needed to be the paragon of composure and not an Ass.
Here are Seven Ways to maintain leadership composure during the most pressure-packed moments:
- Get A Grip On Your Emotions
Grow up! You are the adult in the room so learn not to wear their emotions on your sleeve. When you allow emotions to get in the way, your employees interpret this as you not being objective and too passionate about the situation.
Balance expressing concern and care while maintaining your composure.
- Try Not To Take It Personally
There are lots of reasons why decisions and circumstances don’t always play out logically.
Remain calm and never start thinking that your moral indignation will justify your actions.
- Keep Positive
Employees are always watching your actions, behaviour, relationships and overall demeanour. You must maintain a positive mental attitude and manage a narrative that keeps their employees inspired and hopeful.
This is where your leadership and resolve can shine – stay strong, smile and demonstrate authentic compassion and empathy.
- Remain Courageous
Fear is contagious so act like a duck, calm on top and paddling like hell underwater.
No matter what is going on, project a sense of steady confidence, that way you will instill it in others. Remain fearless and cool to communicate a sense of composure to those you lead.
- Be Decisive
Maintain your composure and never show doubt.
Speak with conviction, confidence and authority, and they give employees comfort that everything is under control.
- Be Accountable
You have chosen to assume leadership responsibility so take the required steps to problem solve before things get out of hand
- You Got This
The most effective way to maintain composure during challenges is to act like a leader.
You have solved complex problems many times so knuckle onto this one with the same compassion, elegance and grace.
It’s easy to lose composure during times of crisis if you let worry turn into fear.
By remaining calm and in control you can step back, critically evaluate what is going on.
Your composure puts those you lead at ease and creates a safe and secure workplace culture where no one needs panic in the face of adversity.