Are you imperturbable?

  • You just learned that one of your competitors has launched a new product that disrupts your market.
  • Your workload is increasing and you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Your new initiative didn't get the Board funding you had asked for.
  • You picked up the wrong coffee at Starbucks this morning.
  • It took too long to leave the house this morning because the cat/your kids/a piece of technology did something unexpected.

How do you react?

Does it ruin your day and does everyone know to avoid you?  Or can you brush it off and not get distracted from your goals and priorities?

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We all know that person, who cannot be knocked off course by any issue large or small and they remain calm and collected in a crisis.  But if you are easily riled like a dog protecting his bone, then you may benefit from these tips to stay focussed and serene:

Write it down.

Taking time to write how you are feeling will help you acknowledge and deal with the issue.  Be specific: what was the issue, how does it make you feel and what was your trigger to frustration or distraction?

Get perspective

Really, how important is this and will you remember the significance of this in one month or one year?  Probably not, so its time to move on.

Laugh about it

Last week, I was pulling out of a car park and a driver behind me was unhappy with me for some unknown reason.  He drove along side me and started shouting at me, questioning my driving skills and complaining that all Mercedes drivers were the same.  I rolled down my window, and smiled at him. I could have shouted back with all sorts of comments, but instead, I just laughed.  It amused me on the whole of my drive to meet a client in Santa Monica, I am sure his drive was not as pleasant.

Post your daily and annual goals in front of your desk

Having a visual focus for your time will help prioritize your activities. When you feel yourself getting distracted, take a look at your daily and annual goals and check if what you are currently focussing your time and energy on will make a difference to your results.

Know who to call

Having an enviable inner circle of people you can talk to is essential in times of frustration and distraction.  If you don't have three people on speed dial for candid advice when you get knocked off course, it is time to rebuild your inner circle.

Take a moment

Listen to your favorite music, go for a walk or just sit and breathe.  Know what it takes to calm you down when you get frustrated and be disciplined to take the time when you need a moment to yourself.

Channel the energy into action

Instead of wallowing in your own self pity or indignation, spend the time considering what can you do to prevent this happening again.

Or as Elsa says in Frozen:

Let it go, LET IT GO!

What other tips to you have for remaining imperturbable?  Please share them in the comments.

If you want to hear more ways to increase your communication skills, listen to my webinar Best Practices for COO's Communicating with their Executive Team.

Contact me if you want to talk about what breaks through your barrier!


Val Wright