Leaders are faced with conflict on a daily basis. We typically hear of conflict from another source, who has their own perception of the situation that is typically charged with emotion. A key part of our role is to immediately start validating and during that process we must remove the emotion that may have come with the initial discovery. We must gather the facts and start to understand the real impacts before charging forward with a resolution. Doing so will help avoid all of the side effects (more conflict) that arise out of acting on the initial opinions of others, who have not taken the time to fully understand the situation or had the capability to control their own emotions.
In summary, when others freak out, never follow suit – only bad things happen when we do not react responsibly. Stay calm, be positive, find facts, diagnose, and resolve in a way that makes the organization and people better than they were before the situation occurred.