"Stay Cool Under Pressure — Without Appearing Cold"

"The American Institute of Stress reports that 40% of workers believe their jobs are “very or extremely stressful.” During the pandemic, this perception has intensified; an American Psychological Association survey reports that the economy is a “significant” source of stress for seven in ten adults. Yet not everyone feels the effects of stress the same way. If you’re a manager who handles stress with ease, while your boss and team become ever more tightly wound, you may give the impression that you don’t care about the work or your colleagues. Being cool under stress is an asset, but your colleagues may read your unruffled nature as “nonchalance” or indifference. This perception could hurt your career trajectory. Here are three ways to change it:

Address the Situation

Public speaking is a stressor for many — but not all — people. If you don’t sweat presentations, you may view a virtual town hall, for example, as an easy way to highlight your department’s story. But if you aren’t exhibiting outward signs of stress, your manager could assume you aren’t taking the presentation preparation seriously.

Teach Your Process

Many leaders have coping mechanisms that help them handle stress. These include overpreparing, changing their mindset, repeating positive affirmations, biting off small chunks of big tasks, and taking imperfect action. Whatever methods you employ, one aspect of your job as a manager is to help your team alleviate stress, so it’s important to share your process. Remember that your teammates might mistake your level-headedness for aloofness. If you share your stress-alleviation techniques, your team and manager will see that you care for the wellbeing of your peers."

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