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3 Ways To Be A Calm Leader During Stressful Times

Pandemic fatigue, rising inflation, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and changing consumer behaviors. All these things can cause a stressful work environment, and the burden is on leadership to manage these stresses with their teams. How can you be a leader who maintains a calming and healing presence even under times of great stress? What does that look like? Here are some suggestions you can put into practice to feel calm during times of turmoil and allow your team to follow suit.

1. Be Present At A High Level

What does it mean to choose presence at a high level consciously? Consciously choosing to be present means refraining from the need to immediately fix, offer advice, or even say anything at all. Being present for someone else at a high level means deeply listening to what a person is saying to you. There’s so much pressure on leaders to always have answers that sometimes they can appear to be distracted or not fully present because they are busy formulating responses. Remember Steven Covey’s advice, “listen to understand not to respond?” Take it a step further than that.

Being present at a high level requires that you listen to bear witness. If you truly want to be present for someone else, then practice listening in order to silently acknowledge that the other person’s experience truly exists for them. By doing this, you are helping that person feel seen and validated. When you practice this, it allows you to quiet the internal turmoil that makes you feel as if you must fix something, or you must jump to a solution at that moment. There will be time for that later. What a gift it is for you to not have to feel the burden of having to know what to do right away or feel guilty because you couldn’t help somebody with amazing words of wisdom at that very moment. If you want to go deeper on practicing presence at a high level. Take a listen to How To Practice Presence At a High Level on the Create Magic At Work podcast, where I discuss this with Aaron Tabacco, a highly skilled expert in this area.

2. Practice Detachment

One of the definitions of detachment is a “permanently-organized separate unit.” Try to view yourself as a separate unit from what is going on around you. You don’t have to take on the problems of others as your own in order to solve them. You don’t have to force solutions onto problems, which sometimes creates more problems. Allow people the freedom to be as they are. If you rigidly impose your idea of how things should be onto others, you could receive a heightened resistance rather than a solution. The person may feel as if you are forcing them to accept your way of thinking, believing, and doing things.

Additionally, they will be less likely to act on the solution or advice because it’s not coming from their own inner wisdom. We all take different paths in our lives to end up where we want to go. Just because your path worked for you, does not mean those exact same steps are going to work for someone else. Celebrate the different pathways that people take to get the results they need.

Try this new way of leading, where you don’t impose your views rigidly in order to force outcomes. Imagine what can happen from that. Imagine the possibilities that you can’t even conceive because you’re allowing space for innovation and creation. That is how to be a calming, healing, and present leader. You detach from outcomes, knowing there is no way possible for you to conceive what the end results can truly be.

3. Do Not Tolerate Fake Positivity

Have you heard of companies terminating employees for being negative or having bad attitudes? While I completely understand the ramifications of someone’s fear, anger, or apathy bringing the energy of a team down, it’s extremely important that you don’t promote toxic or fake positivity in the workplace. When leaders create an atmosphere where they are dismissive of negative emotions it creates an environment where people feel dismissed and causes a lack of rapport. If you lose rapport with your team, productivity and engagement will decline. If you only surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear, you cut yourself off from valuable critical feedback that could move you and your team forward in a significant way. Ultimately, what you don’t want is ego-induced drama.

There’s always going to be drama in the workplace and at home. If you learn how to operate from leadership skill levels such as emotional and spiritual intelligence, the ego-induced drama will decrease. People need to have a voice and be allowed to speak. Create an example and an environment where feedback is coming from everyone’s inner wisdom versus their ego. Do this and you will be a true quantum leader.

Bonus Approach: Get Support

If you want to learn more about being a calming and healing presence and have a little fun while doing it, I have a framework that allows you to see what your skill level currently sits at as a calm leader during stress and crisis. I offer a safe, nonjudgmental, 1:1 private coaching space for you to explore these integral leadership skills and meet you specifically where you are on your journey.

I can help you become a leader who is a truly calming and healing presence. I also teach these skills to companies in workshops & training. Schedule a coffee chat with me by sending me an email at


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