We all know that the eye of the hurricane is totally calm. It’s the same for the deep of the ocean, no matter what is going on at the surface, the waters are calm below. Whatever your role(s) are in life, you can be a huge help to those around you if you can remain calm when all about you is in chaos.
For many years I have coached managers to be in control of their emotions. This doesn’t mean that you don’t celebrate a victory; it means you don’t get rattled by the appearance of defeat, let alone actual defeat. Sure we’re all human and there is a period of disappointment or grieving after a loss, but for the manager, for the parent, for the community leader, etc., you must be the first to bounce back.
While the chaos is about you, you must remain cool calm and collected. This holds especially true during the crisis, or the battle, or the game when defeat seems imminent. Many managers become managers because they are good firefighters. If they do more managing and planning there would be less firefighting needed, but that’s another story (see archived article “Hair on Fire” at www.allenhatton.com). There are talents that the firefighter manager has, such as an ability to make rapid fire decisions, but none that is more important than remaining calm during the storm.
Can you imagine watching a sporting event and the opposing team is threatening to win the game or better yet is already winning the game and we see the manager freakin’ out. What does that do to the team? It has a negative effect so in the face of possible defeat the manager needs to remain calm and positive. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
When one of your direct reports or one of your children bring a major problem to you, are you going to start wigging out or are you going to help walk them through it. As both a manager and parent, it is far better, if there is time, to help them through it rather than solving it for them. Best to teach them how to fish or they will be in deep doo doo when you’re not around. When I say, “if there is time” that applies to battlefield circumstances, it does not apply to everyday business or parenting. Many managers and parents simply do not take the time to walk their directs or kids through the problem, or even ask them what they think is best. They just solve it and wait for the next problem to surface – and surface it will.
The big question for those of you who are not able to remain calm, is how do you become the eye of the storm. And I also want to take this to the next level and ask – how do you do it and not go home that night, after being composed at work, and then fall apart, or jump in the bottle, or eat an entire box of chocolates? We can’t just hide the emotions and we can’t just stuff them. Those are not long term solutions. In time they will bite you in the rear for sure.
What is needed is a sense of wellbeing and an ability to release those emotions of fear that prohibit us from being and staying in “The Eye.” The easiest way is to develop an attitude of “let go and let God.” We make our plans, fight our battles and make our best efforts, but we never can control the ultimate outcome. And that is where so many of us stress out by either attempting to force control, worrying about the outcome or regretting what has already happened. It is very difficult to develop this mindset without a “Thy Will be Done” attitude. Please note that we are not sitting around waiting for “Thy Will -to be Done,” but we certainly can try to align ourselves with it to begin with. Some call this aligning with Source Energy, some call it praying and some call it aligning with infinite intelligence or your higher self. Matters not what we call it, only that we practice doing it.
Another way to remain calm is to practice HeartMath (www.heartmath.com). I prefer using both methods. Actually, by utilizing HeartMath we are tapping into “The Divine” or “Source”. It is also a great idea to meditate, practice yoga or exercise to not only relieve stress, but to help us establish the state of being that is “The Eye of The Storm”.