Attorney Hunter Patterson, the president and CEO of The Property Advocates, says it’s incumbent on business leaders to maintain a calm mindset at all times, especially when crises happen. It’s like the age-old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
It’s natural for people to feel anxious, uneasy, impatient, and fearful when the future is uncertain. All around the world, people have been experiencing this first-hand in their personal and professional lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is an extreme example of a crisis, but businesses will face various challenges that could instill fear in people up and down the organizational chart.
“To get through challenging times, business leaders must display mental toughness and resolve,” says Hunter Patterson of The Property Advocates, a full-service insurance law firm that helps Floridians resolve all issues related to property insurance claims. “One of the best ways to do this is by employing the calm mindset.”
By remaining calm, business leaders can make timely and effective decisions even during the most challenging times.
Put the Situation in Perspective
This starts with the most crucial step in the calm mindset: Take a step back and fully assess the situation. Successful leaders are able to take a deep breath and put everything into perspective before they act.
“Crises require leaders to take definitive action to keep the ship sailing,” Hunter Patterson said. “But, impatience and fear can cause leaders to take quick actions that aren’t always well-informed.”
Keeping calm under pressure is only possible if leaders can understand the challenges ahead of them, how they will affect them, and what specific actions they could take to counter them.
Business leaders must realize this is something they must consistently and constantly do throughout the crisis. Leaders can’t just step back and assess the situation at the outset. They must revisit it throughout the entire crisis.
Manage Your Own Emotions
To remain calm, leaders must also be in touch with their emotions and what’s causing them. This is a two-part process.
Part one is taking the time to step back and recognize when they’re feeling a particular emotion. If their heart starts pounding or their mind starts running a mile a minute, they may be anxious. If they start breathing heavily and sweating, they may be fearful.
“Whatever emotion you are feeling, it’s important to identify it correctly,” Hunter Patterson said. “Only then will you be able to address the emotion.”
Part two of the equation is just that — addressing the emotion. What is the reason for the feeling of anxiety, fear, confidence, or any other emotion? Understanding the root of the emotion will help business leaders actually address it.
People who create and maintain a calm mindset are able to identify and address their emotions consistently. This allows them to stay centered and not let any one individual emotion take them out of control.
Be Confident, But Not Overconfident
Throughout crises, employees look to leaders for reassurance that things will be OK. It’s essential that business leaders exude a sense of confidence so that the employee base can feed off that.
There is a danger, though, in being overconfident during a crisis. A business leader needs to be realistic and mix that well with confidence.
“Business leaders should be open and honest about the real challenges ahead while also communicating their confidence in the ability of the team to tackle those challenges,” Hunter Patterson said. “Authenticity engenders trust in others and helps them adopt the calm mindset as well.”
Overconfidence can do the exact opposite — instill more fear in employees who may think the leader either doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation or is trying to downplay it.
By combining these tactics, business leaders can maintain a calm mindset through any crisis while also helping their employees, customers, and clients do the same.
About Hunter Patterson
As President and Chief Executive Officer of The Property Advocates, Hunter Patterson offers distinctive leadership and top results to clients and stakeholders. Hunter aims to level the playing field between insurance companies and policyholders through consistent education, empowerment, and professional excellence. Hunter has earned the prestigious CPCU insurance designation and graduated Magna Cum Laude as well as Valedictorian of his class at the Barry University School of Law.