“One of the best lessons you can learn in life is to master how to remain calm.”
— Catherine Pulsifer
Being in business, you are fairly guaranteed that you are going to face some difficult situations and interact with some difficult people. It’s to be expected but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with when it is happening. So, how do you handle these challenging times?
How do you cope with a situation that is fast spinning out of control? Or a person who is pushing every one of your buttons, all at the same time?
Do you go right into battle? Do you think about how you will counteract their aggressive accusations or downright rudeness? Or do you remain composed, take a step back, and carefully consider your response?
Confrontations can be extremely unsettling; they challenge our sense of what is right and fair, they can make us feel uncertain about ourselves and our capabilities.
While these situations are often confronting and uncertain, what is certain is that maintaining your composure will give you better results, both short term and long term.
While fighting back, giving a strong retort or response may be satisfying and justified, some things are better left unsaid. Once those words have been given a voice, they are irretrievable. They usually lead to regret.
It is possible to maintain a cool, calm and collected composure even when you’re under attack. It requires self-control and mindfulness; both of these are possible when you have a strong sense of self-awareness. Do you have the self-awareness required to handle conflict while remaining composed?
Consider the following tips so you are prepared for the next time you have to deal with a trying situation or person. Note how much more positive the outcome is as a result.
Be aware of your emotions and the impact they are having on others.
Try to appreciate where the other person is coming from. Put yourself in their shoes.
3. Listen Carefully
Is there intent to upset you or is the other person simply getting frustrated because they are not being heard?
4. Keep Perspective
Sometimes when we are caught up in a situation it can appear to be a bigger issue than it actually is. Try to mentally take a step back, look at the bigger picture, how important is this issue really?
5. Don’t Walk Away
It is incredibly rude to turn your back and walk away from another person. Unless the situation becomes abusive, stay put and calmly state your case and respectfully listen to the other person.
6. Focus on Your Breathing
When you feel as though things are escalating it is a good idea to focus on your breathing until you are in full control again. Conscious controlled breathing can help you to be mindful and focused and to maintain your composure.
7. Keep your Emotions in Control
We are emotional beings, we feel. We can observe our own behaviour and acknowledge and express our emotions without them becoming out of control. Maintaining your composure is not possible if you are going to let your emotions take over the situation.