When times are good, people tend to behave better. Not to make sweeping generalizations but the better off the circumstances someone is in, as in things are easy going and life is on the up and up, the better they act. We’re nicer, friendlier and more apt to work harder. However, once trouble rears its ugly head, these niceties tend to fly out the window in a scramble to stay on top. Call it the Lord of the
Flies syndrome but humans tend to tear each other apart during stressful situations. How can you keep your cool at work when things start to go against you?
First and foremost, try and distance yourself from the problem. Identify what you’re up against. Is a particular client or customer giving you a hard time? Try and understand why. Depending on where you work this may be easier said than done. If you are face to face with a person it’s a bit harder to keep your cool compared to the safe distance of email where you can gather your thoughts. Understanding their actions is better than reacting to them since it lets you strike at the root of the problem rather than the symptoms.
Is a co-worker giving you crap about this or that, making snide comments or complaining about you behind your back? Don’t let the problem simmer in the back of your mind, eating away at you and causing undue stress. Confront the individual about their actions. Try and have some other employees present who can back you up if a supervisor needs to get involved.
Are layoffs looming on the horizon and making you go nuts with worry? Step back for a minute and evaluate your performance. If you’ve been following along with this website you should be in good shape. However, the key is to maintain distance between the problems of the workplace and your own personal life. Don’t let the bad vibes of work disrupt your patterns.
The reason behind all of these suggestions is that stress happens in the workplace. It’s unavoidable. Dealing with the stress, handling it and moving past it allows you to function better as a worker. In time, demonstrating an ability to step back from a problem and to objectively deal with it will pay off. Your boss will notice. Hopefully. Your co-workers will likely hone in on your positive energy. First and foremost, however, you’ll be able to save your sanity when things get rough at work. Shrug it off and don’t sweat the small stuff.
How are things for you down at the office? Can you keep cool under pressure? Leave a comment below.