By Joni Lindquist

I love this article in Forbes by Travis Bradberry on how successful people stay calm.  Bradberry is co-author of the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, which I have found very useful in working with leaders to develop their emotional intelligence competencies in order to become more effective leaders.

Research shows that 90% of top performers are skilled in managing their emotions during stressful times.  They rely on their Emotional Intelligence skills – which tend to separate great leaders from merely good leaders.  Bradberry’s article details 10 tips that successful leaders use when facing stress.  I particularly like five of them – they are practical and under our own control:

  • They Disconnect – they unplug from work to re-energize.
  • The Limit Their Caffeine Intake – stress stimulates adrenaline. Caffeine also stimulates adrenaline and too much adrenaline can make you “amped-up” and less likely to remain calm.
  • They Sleep – we need our rest.
  • The Squash Negative Self-Talk – this kind of thinking can really drag you down.
  • They Re-frame Their Perspective – they put things in context. Often we find that what we’re worrying about is not as big a deal as we initially thought – it’s likely not the end of the world.  Don’t dwell only on the worst-case scenario without also considering the best-case outcome and remember, reality is likely somewhere in between.

These five tips have something else in common –  maintaining good physical and mental health.  Disconnecting, limiting caffeine, and getting enough sleep will likely make us physically feel better, while the last two require us to have mental discipline.  Taking care of our health puts us in better shape to deal with stress successfully.  Read the entire article to learn more about these tips and others to help you stay calm.

For questions about what stresses you out, visit us at or contact Joni Lindquist at 913-345-1881 or

Photo credit: Ian Muttoo / Foter / CC BY-SA