Back in Graduate school, I was part of a doctoral seminar on conflict and conflict resolution. There was a lot said about how to find agreement and negotiate to peace. But one of the most indelible things that our professor said during the seminar was, “Never let them see you running, or in a hurry.”
I’ve heard the old saying, “Never let them see you sweat.” But not, “Never let them see you running or in a hurry.” He went on to say that leaders walk steadily, methodically, and paced toward the goal. The point being, a leader can’t communicate to his team that he is in the panic mode, or that he doesn’t understand what is going on. He can’t become too emotional and distraught.
One of the greatest challenges to leaders is to manage their passion in such a way that their passion doesn’t get mistaken as anger or vindictiveness. How people interpret you is one thing. How you behave is always under your control.
So remember this: leaders don’t run, they walk. They don’t panic, they prepare. They don’t react, they respond 100% of the time. And if you can do that, you can navigate and negotiate any crisis.