Description: Avoiding the temptation of jumping to conclusions and strengthening the discipline to consistently look beyond surface-level impressions.
Thinking Partner Notes
What’s the fiction: Real leaders move fast and break stuff.
What's really true: The discipline to remain calm and make thoughtful decisions - especially in the face of conflict - is an essential leadership modern quality.
Things to try: 1) Practice sitting comfortably; 2) Taking a long, deep breath and exhaling it slowly while saying the word "relax" silently; 3) Closing your eyes; 4) Letting yourself take ten natural, easy breaths. Counting down with each exhale, starting with “ten;” 5) When you reach "one," opening your eyes again.
Next steps: When confronting your next stressful moment, your first action should be to proactively slow down your mind to avoid succumbing to your fight or flight instincts.
Before responding with words or external actions, your immediate response to conflict should be 10 seconds of calm breathing. Here’s what you can do.
1) Ask for a minute to collect your thoughts; 2) Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs; 3) Hold your breath to the count of “three.”; 4) Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.