“We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.” ~ John Gardner, Author
During trying times sometimes troublesome situations at work do seem mountainous and insurmountable: shrinking budgets, staffs, client lists, time, etc. As a leader you're likely facing the daily charge of producing more with less.
A key leadership attribute is demonstrating “Grace Under Fire”. And, here are a few tools for helping you get there.
Utilize Filter Statements – A filter statement, like “it is what it is”, “this too shall pass”, or “it's a moment in time", filters the largess of the situation and immediately accomplishes two things.
- It brings people into the present moment narrowing the lens through which you look at the circumstance, so they don’t compound it into something it isn’t
- It centers the conversation, putting a calming prospective to things and allows you to get back to focusing on the problem rather than any ancillary side effects that you have no control over
Control Emotions – This is where the notion of Emotional Intelligence comes into play. Author Daniel Goleman wrote in his still relevant book, "Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ." It’s a controversial subject debated by scientists and academics alike, but thematically EI creates strong leaders. So, take time to recognize and manage your own emotions.
- Understand your own emotions through self-awareness – slow down and check in with yourself before you react. Learn your own touchstones.
- Study the emotions of those around you – read the room and those in it. Manage the way you handle emotions – it enables you to handle conflict and to be the most effective with peers and subordinates.
In other words, utilize your emotions in a positive way.
Practicing grace in a grizzly situation is a brilliant way to control it and will position you as a go-to person when it comes to problem solving and dealing with conflict. Not a bad position to be in!