When The Heat Is On

She was caught off guard in a meeting that was filled with intensity, accusations and assumptions. To be defensive, combative, and aggressive would be the normal or even expected response. Her body was reacting to the fight or flight situation. Her blood pressure was rising, her heart rate quickened and she could feel her temperature increasing. The issue at hand was serious and had life changing implications. 
When this executive was sharing her story, I could tell the impact of the meeting was still weighing heavy on her mind and soul. I asked her how she responded to this stressful situation. She said, "I knew that my response was critical. I also realized that I was in a very volatile moment. I had a million things I wanted to say. However, I was aware that those responses would not be helpful. So instead, I paused. I withheld my reaction and slowed my response so that I could better analyze the situation. Once I had taken a few moments, I engaged. So now my actions were calculated and intentional." 
What an example of strong and effective leadership! It is so easy to engage in a heated discussion or meeting without taking the time to become aware, analyze the situation and then act. This takes discipline along with making the choice to not allow our emotions to drive our behavior. 
No matter what circumstances we find our selves, choosing to lead with self-control and wisdom will make a difference!