I once knew a business owner who kept losing his temper with staff, suppliers and even clients. Later, when his business was facing lean times, he couldn’t understand why people weren’t willing to support him. Have you got a hair-trigger over certain things? Does steam blow from your ears when you have to listen to Jim from the IT team as he patronises you for the umpteenth time? Maybe you get defensive when people criticise your work? All successful people know that making friends is the best way to grow in good times and protect against the lean ones.
Losing Your Cool
We all have our triggers, but an essential success skill is the ability to be effective even when you can feel your normally calm temperament slipping away. Here are some great techniques to help you switch on your inner Fonzie.
How to Cool Down
- Count to 20 (traditional but it works)
- Take a walk (another classic tip)
- Meditate (be like the Buddha and find your inner peace)
- Listen to some music (music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, after all)
- Look at it from the other person’s point of view (maybe they’ve got a point; are you sure you’re not being defensive?)
- Leave the room (just walk away for a minute or two)
- Make a list of the things you’d like to say in response (it helps to buy time to think it through instead of reacting)
- Write the other person a letter (don’t suffer in silence, letters can give a voice to quiet people; after all you don’t have to send it if you don’t want to)
- Phone a friend (sometimes you just need a sympathetic ear)
- Remember your age (don’t react like a five year old – unless you are actually five years old)
- Read a book of inspiring quotes (the wisdom of the ages can give you perspective; if you don’t have a book, just search Twitter for the #inspiration hashtag)
Prevention is always better than cure, so take these steps and you may not lose your cool in the first place.
Step 1: Hydrate
Step 2: Get enough sleep
Step 3: Ensure you have a balanced diet
Step 4: Get some regular exercise
The Next Step
If you want to develop a reputation for being cooler than an ice-cold drink on a hot summer day, just take your pick from the tips in this article. Find the ones that work best for you and pretty soon you’ll be cool as a snowman on a winter’s evening in Alaska.