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A Calm Mind, Self-Confidence, and Peaceful Relations

“Happiness depends on inner peace, which depends on warm-heartedness. There’s no room for anger, jealousy or insecurity. A calm mind and self-confidence are the basis for peaceful relations with others. Scientists have observed that constant anger and fear eat away at our immune system, whereas a calm mind strengthens it. Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves.”

– The Dalai Lama

The Blood Has Left Your Brain – Not a Good Time to Make a Decision!

“Technology as yet cannot come up with any better communication system than a coffee break.” – Readers Digest

Many clients focus on managing their “triggers.” An event happens, a person says something, or a meeting goes wrong and the trigger occurs. It goes with out saying that when a leader becomes triggered, if she doesn’t take a step back and “cool off,” she runs the risk of making bad decisions and ruining relationships.

It’s more common than you think – and while the internal experience of feeling triggered won’t go away, there’s work to be done to manage the external, that is how you want to “show up” as a leader. Clients learn to trust their internal experience (what is this feeling telling me?) and to manage their external behaviors (how do I present myself to the outside world even though I feel this way?).

Strategies that have helped executives stay grounded and remain less reactive include:

  • Before a meeting, write down your goals in terms of how you want to “show up” (e.g., remain calm and non-reactive) and check in with yourself during the meeting – am I honoring my goals?
  • When you feel triggered, ask to take a coffee (or bathroom) break in order to regroup and reference your goals.
  • Take a few minutes to think about what someone might say that could make you feel defensive. Think about what you might say that could make the other person feel defensive. Focus on having a conversation that focuses on what’s best for the relationship and business.
  • Limit length of meetings that have potential to become emotionally charged.
  • Write the angry email but DO NOT SEND – SAVE IT. Never send anything that is not positive in an email (sounds like common sense, but happens all the time!). Once you’ve cooled off, you can decide how you want to handle the situation. Does this issue need to be resolved in person or over the phone? Or should I let it go?
  • Focus on self-awareness and even write down how you feel the moment you become triggered, revisit 24 hours later and ask yourself – “How do I feel now? What’s changed? What did I learn?”

This blog is part of a Mindful Leadership series: A mindful leader is someone who brings out the best in one’s self and others by showing up compassionate, present, and grounded in all situations – especially challenging ones.

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