How to Stay Calm in a Time of Crisis at Work

Staying calm during a crisis is important in any situation, especially when you are in the workplace. At work you are expected to maintain a higher level of professionalism than during other times in your personal life. One of the first instincts to occur during a work crisis is panic. This panic can lead to a meltdown and consistent anxiety and stress. If you are consistently allowing crisis situations in the workplace to cause you undue stress and anxiety, you will have long-term health complications. Successful people have learned how to cultivate an attitude of serenity during crisis situations so that they could rise above the stress and find viable solutions. There are several steps you can take in order to maintain a calm presence during a workplace crisis. This article will address those steps.

See also: How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

1. Step Away and Calm Down

Staying calm during a crisis situation begins with stepping away from the stressful circumstance. Taking a brief time-out will help you to mentally regroup and refocus your perspective. It is vital that you learn how to respond to the crisis rather than react to it. For major crisis situations like a fire, you obviously need to step into action quickly and get out of danger. However, for this article, we’re focusing more on crisis situations such as a PowerPoint failure five minutes prior to a big meeting or calming down an irrational colleague during a team meeting. Remember that you must remain professional at all times.

2. Focus on the Positive

It is important to focus on any positives in the situation and not to hone in solely on the negative aspects. Staying positive and maintaining that perspective throughout the crisis situation will help your mind to process the circumstances in a more effective manner. When that happens, you will be able to devise a more viable solution to the crisis. Stressful situations can be paralyzing to your concentration and creativity. It is important to stay positive and cultivate an atmosphere in the office that maintains and develops positive thinking. Staying positive during the crisis will help you to avoid imagining worst-case scenarios and getting stuck in a creativity rut.

3. Maintain Mental and Physical Health

Individuals who are sleep deprived and in poor health have a higher chance of failing to act professionally during a crisis at work. It is vital to be prepared by daily taking care of your mind and body. Get an adequate amount of sleep and eat a healthy diet. Exercising several times during the week is important, as well, to improve your physical health. Additionally, exercising stimulates endorphins in your body that will improve your mood and make you more relaxed. Individuals who are operating at optimal health levels will be more focused, self-controlled and emotionally stable in the workplace—and better able to handle crisis situations.

4. Confide in a Trusted Colleague

You must remember that you are not working alone and are most likely surrounded by a team of professionals in the workplace. During a time of crisis, contact a trusted colleague who can become a sounding board for you to bounce ideas and possible solutions off of. It is important to confide in someone that you trust, but who is also neutral so that you will gain a different perspective on the situation. Knowing that you are not alone and have received solid advice from a trusted colleague will help you to get a better handle on the crisis situation.

5. Plan for the Unexpected

The best way to handle a crisis situation is to plan ahead for the unexpected. You won’t be able to plan for every variable, but if you make a concerted effort, you will increase your chances of succeeding in the current circumstance. Brainstorm about methods to implement in the workplace where you will have a coping strategy in place for how you will handle future crisis situations. This type of crisis management plan is especially important for individuals who deal with such situations on a regular basis in the workplace. Remember that prolonged stress will negatively impact your physical health and mental wellbeing. When those two factors are negatively impacted, you will not operate at the optimal professional capacity in the workplace.

See also: How to Predict an Organisational Crisis

What crisis management tools have you used in the workplace to effectively handle stressful situations that needed immediate attention?