You’re sailing along and things are going well, and out of nowhere – POW! – something happens that knocks you over. As you pick yourself up and regain composure, though, it’s important to manage your emotions. As a leader, you’re subject to scrutiny.
The courage you demonstrate at times of distress can even define you as a leader. Think about times you have observed this in others. An angry executive makes it uncomfortable for everyone else. People start to tiptoe around this leader, not wanting to trigger an explosion.
How do you react when it’s important to be composed under pressure or cool under fire? It’s human to express disappointment, but if you pout or go into hiding or act defensive, chances are your team or co-workers will not view you the same.
Even if you’ve been dealt a rotten hand, grace under fire is always better than letting loose and acting like a victim.
Self-regulation is an aspect of emotional intelligence that builds your backbone and helps you moderate your external persona and your internal emotions. Leaders who work to improve self-regulation are cooler under pressure.
These leaders are also great role models for their staff and colleagues. When co-workers see how they respond to adverse circumstances, consciously or unconsciously, they admire their grace and it might even encourage them to be less reactive when bad news affects them.
When something unexpectedly bad happens to you, process it outside of the workplace and when you return, put on your game face and be the professional everyone expects you to be. Remember that the worst moment is when it first happens, and thereafter, it will get better….unless, of course, you’d rather play the victim.