“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” After all, you don’t get to be the President of the United States by angrily overreacting to every little thing you don’t like or can’t control.…Or maybe you do (Touché, modern world).
Keeping Your Cool
Anyway, we all have our boiling point, but a good way to cool off is to focus on the positive things in your life, instead of caving in to the negative. As the saying goes, positivity is a habit that becomes a lifestyle.
If you can relate to the stress-inducing circumstances of your day as simply a minor part of an otherwise good life, you’ll be amazed at how high your tolerance levels can become.
Remember, you’re above all this. The person in front of you may be angry, but you don’t have to share that feeling or join their argument.
You’re a professional doing your job. View their problems from a distance and deal with them in a calm, responsible manner.
The Best Methods to Maintaining Your Composure
Maintaining composure is a skill like any other and, as such, it can be learned, even mastered, by anyone.
The trick is not to let yourself crack, and if you do start to crack, to not let the other person see it. Now is the time to work on that poker face.
Here are a few other ways you can stay cool, calm and collected.
Don’t take things personally
The person insulting you doesn’t know who you are or care anything about you. They are trying to make things personal, but they can only do this if you allow them to.
Do not give in to fear
Have faith in your training, your colleagues and, above all, yourself. Trust that the situation will be resolved soon and don’t let doubts and anxieties sway you from that belief.
Speak clearly and act decisively
Commit to a course of action and make good on any punitive measures you’ve threatened. Remain dispassionate and analytical. Such actions are the essence of composure.
Think Before you Act Speak
Words are powerful things; they shape our reality and sculpt our self-image. The right words can enhance the majesty of great moments (“I have a dream”, “that’s one small step for man” etc) and the wrong words can wreak absolute havoc on a person’s life.
Using factual, polite and non-inflammatory statements can help to diffuse a situation, as can the subtle replacement of accusations with questions.
Your words will help to determine what a person thinks of you, so if you speak clearly and ask questions, you can often find a peaceful resolution to a potentially explosive situation.
The Power of Using ‘I’ Statements
An ‘I’ statement is a way of communicating the frustration you feel towards a person or situation without necessarily forcing blame upon them.
Using a ‘you’ statement might be something like, “you’ve ruined the roast. Look at it, you’ve burned it to a bloody crisp!”
Whereas an ‘I’ statement might be more along the lines of, “I’m really frustrated that the roast is ruined. I was looking forward to eating that”
One statement focuses the ire and blame upon the person who burned the roast, while the other acknowledges the anger without aiming it at anyone in particular.
Correct use of ‘I’ statements can really help to soothe a tense situation…But, sadly it won’t save a burnt roast.
Practice Your Listening Skills
The person before you is angry, but do you know why? What caused them to behave in this manner?
Even if their behaviour is alcohol or drug related, it does not necessarily follow that alcohol or drugs have caused their feelings. In most cases, such substances are mood enhancers, meaning that the anger was already there, just below the surface.
This is where your listening skills come into play.
Your feelings of anger are most likely normal and probably reasonable enough, but this does not necessarily validate a decision to react aggressively towards others.
As Dr. Martin Luther King once wrote,
“We must not think in terms of retaliatory violence. Violence creates many more problems than it solves”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]