Leadership Barometer 189 Remain Calm

One important trait of a great leader is to remain calm while others panic. There could be an extreme case where the leader has a laissez-faire attitude to mortal danger. Most of the time when a leader remains composed it demonstrates a calming influence over others.

Remain Calm and model a constructive behavior

Good leaders often are able to remain calm in the face of panic or crisis. By doing so, they can help others to feel more secure and confident. They may make better decisions in the moment.

When people are panicking, they tend to become reactive and impulsive. That reaction can lead to poor decision-making and irrational behavior. In contrast, leaders who remain calm can think more clearly and logically. They are better equipped to find solutions to the problem at hand.

Some tips to build the personal skills

  1. Use meditation and mindfulness practices. Meditation and mindfulness can help leaders stay calm and centered. They learn to focus on the present moment and let go of distractions and worries.
  2. Get regular exercise. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall health. That habit helps leaders stay calm and focused.
  3. Try deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and calm the body and mind in high-pressure situations.
  4. Use positive self-talk. Positive self-talk can help leaders stay calm and confident by reminding them of their strengths and abilities. They focus on solutions instead of problems.
  5. Seek support. Leaders can stay calm by seeking support from trusted colleagues or mentors who can offer guidance and perspective.
  6. Utilize time management. Time management helps leaders stay calm by reducing stress and anxiety associated with missed deadlines or overwhelming workloads.
  7. Embrace uncertainty. Leaders who can embrace uncertainty and adapt to change stay calm and maintain their composure in challenging situations.
  8. Take breaks. Leaders who take regular breaks, whether it’s a short walk or a vacation, can recharge and stay focused.

Remain calm and connect with your people when they are stressed out

Connecting with people who are stressed out can be challenging, but here are some tips that can help.

  1. Listen actively. Give the other person your full attention, ask clarifying questions, and summarize what they say to show you understand. This action helps the stressed person feel heard and validated.
  2. Show empathy. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and understand how they are feeling. Let them know that you understand and that their feelings are valid.
  3. Offer support. Ask how you can help or offer specific suggestions. You might take on some of their workload or help them find resources to manage their stress.
  4. Be patient. People who are stressed out may be irritable or easily frustrated. It is important to be patient and avoid taking their behavior personally.
  5. Avoid judgment. Do not judge the stressed person or their situation, even if you disagree with their choices or behavior.
  6. Be positive. Offer words of encouragement and positivity to help the stressed person feel supported and more hopeful.
  7. Respect boundaries. If the stressed person does not want to talk, respect their boundaries. Let them know you are available if they change their mind.

Remember, everyone experiences stress differently, so it’s important to be flexible and responsive to the person’s needs. Observe their body language carefully for clues to their feelings.


Stress is an unfortunate fact of life, and it does not seem to be getting easier. It is important for leaders to help their teams deal with their stresses and rise above frustration.  It is an important aspect of leadership we all need to remember.


Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.

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