In situations of high risk and unfamiliarity generate equally high levels of anxiety. How we deal with the circumstances and solutions which we provide decide whether or not mitigating crisis was successful. Our instinctive reaction as creatures of habits is to stick with what we are familiar with. With using a one size fits all mentality and not approaching new situations with a fresh outlook is usually a recipe for failure. To navigate the turbulence of unfamiliarity and stress requires decision makers to adopt a mentality which enables individuals to think with innovation, rationality and creativity – this can be done through using Deliberate Calm.
In a global climate which sees the acceleration of world crisis, decision makers face unfamiliar climates and risks which require their attention. The demand for adaptation from decision makers can trigger fear, leading to what authors of deliberate calm describe as the ‘adaptability paradox.’ Where fear triggers the resistance to change, individuals find themselves sticking to what they know which inhibits their ability to learn and innovate. As such, decision makers must be proactive to prevent the inability to adapt to combat crises.
Authors thus produced Deliberate Calm, a guide which combines psychology, neuroscience and consciousness practices with the combined experience being in an international board room and working alongside leaders around the globe. To learn deliberate calm, individuals can thrive in periods of crisis and uncertainty, combatting the adaptability paradox. The first step begins with awareness, recognising the situation an individual is in and how they are responding to it. Neuroscience describes such a phenomenon in two terms:
- Exteroception – the information which you perceive from your outside world
- Interoception – where you become aware of how you are feeling internally in both your mind and body
Being actively aware of these two sources which neuroscience describes, whilst effectively responding to them, is termed ‘dual awareness.’ Practicing dual awareness, where we actively integrate our internal and external experiences, all for decision makers to become more flexible in their response’s to challenges with rationality. Rather than being overwhelmed with anxiety and being limited to their old success models, decision makers approach moments of crisis calmly. This is due to gaining insight in the moment of decision, where you are able to use your rationality and anticipate the possible need to interrupt or override your default response to realise a better suited alternative to combatting a crisis.
Deliberate calm presents the opportunity to mediate your way through overwhelming stress to help you feel present focused and prevent anxiety overriding rationality, whilst making room for flexibility to your response to a crisis. The success of deliberate clam can be seen in a leadership program deigned and set up by the authors for a global pharmaceutical company, which put 1450 company leaders through approximately 12 weekly 30 minute sessions to measure the change in their behaviour. Comparatively to the control group participants were found to have three times more improvement in the targeted behaviours and outcomes, including leadership performance, the ability to adapt in unplanned or new situations, relational effectiveness (e.g., empathy, compassion), collaboration and teaming, as well as the overall acquisition of new knowledge and skills. Participants also noted that their sense of well-being improved 7.5 times more than that of the control group, highlighting how Deliberate Calm improves both work and home life structures. Authors note that to see such a change prioritising the development of three skills are intrinsically important to mastering deliberate calm. They are:
- Learning agility
- Emotional self-regulation
- Dual awareness
Of coarse success is not guaranteed first time, and practice does make perfect however the use of Deliberate Calm in leadership through crisis highlights the possibility to mitigate further risks and challenges arising to help us thrive in uncertain times.
Find out more about Deliberate Calm here.