Do you sometimes fly off the handle in meetings? Do you ever find yourself reacting with more emotion than is helpful? 

If so, you’re probably a passionate person, which, when applied in the right context, can be a great enabler! But in the stressful moments, you may want to cultivate a deeper sense of calm.

Why we should cultivate calm.

When we react or speak impulsively, even our most positive intent is immediately overshadowed by the damage we wreak. But when we speak with intention, we are measured, thoughtful, and consider the impact our words will have on the moment… this relationship… the human being sitting before us. 

Speaking intentionally improves relationships and elevates understanding. It inspires everyone to open up and genuinely seek a best solution. Here are five practical tips to soothe the rager within:

  1. Pause. Take a breath. One deep breath can often be enough to avoid blurting out something you can’t take back.

2. Jot it down. Write down a few thoughts and try to stick to those when you speak. It can help you avoid free styling down a rabbit trail. 

3. Start inside out. Hear your planned words inside your head before vocalizing them outward. Do they come across as helpful? Accusing? Emotional? Calm?

4. Avoid “but”. This one three-letter transitional word negates everything that came before it.

5. Walk away. Is your head spinning? Blood pressure rising? Hands shaking? If so, remove yourself from the situation with, “I don’t think I can productively engage in this right now. I’d like to come back after I’ve had a little time.”

What are your tips to cultivate calm?