A Marine veteran explains how to be ‘warrior tough’ at work

Andrew Wittman has been in some situations that would make pretty much anyone sweat.

He’s a Marine veteran, a former police officer and federal agent who has provided security for high-profile individuals including former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, King Abdullah of Jordan and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s also a personal trainer, holds a Ph.D. in theological studies and is a father of three teenagers.

Now, he’s taking on stress and danger on a different battlefield: the modern workplace.

He’s a speaker and consultant and teaches organizations how to be “warrior tough” at work, after starting a mental-toughness coaching company in 2013.


Courtesy of Andrew Wittman

Wittman served in the Marines during Operation Desert Storm.

“All during the time I was in the Marines, a police officer and a federal agent, I was obsessed with peak performance and maximizing my own potential,” he said. “It’s kind of a natural evolution from my own personal obsession to helping others.”

MarketWatch asked him about some of the stickiest situations employees and consumers find themselves in, and how to stay cool under pressure.

What to do when bartering to close the deal on a home, for example?

“It’s OK to want this particular house, but never OK for you to need this particular house,” he said.

Never concede on a sticking point until asking out loud, “I’m wondering how we can make that work?” he said. After asking that question, say nothing until the other party speaks, he said. Continue asking questions such as, “I’m just thinking, how am I supposed to do that?” until the seller makes as many concessions as possible. At that point, you’re in a better spot to negotiate.

What if you find yourself starting to get upset, and maybe even crying, at work after a conflict?

Wittman calls that feeling “an emotional seizure.”

“If you have the hormone dump, excuse yourself for the next 20 minutes, and let it leave your system,” he said. “The best way to handle a conflict is to ramp it? down at the first sign of conflict.”

See his answers to other sweat-inducing situations in this video.

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