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7 Ways Successful People Stay Calm At Work

Source | | Kevin Kruse

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” – Rudyard Kipling

I’ve been in business long enough to have seen it all. The senior partner who broke out in tears when a decision didn’t go his way. The project manager screaming at his team members in the face of deadlines. Colleagues rushing to the bathroom, sobbing, after a feedback session. I’ve seen thrown coffee mugs, name-calling, and disagreements almost come to blows. 

We are working at a time of hyper-competitiveness and an unprecedented pace of change, and feelings of stress may be at their highest levels ever. According to The American Institute of Stress:

  • 80% of workers feel stress on the job
  • 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress
  • 14% of respondents had felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but didn’t
  • 9% are aware of an assault or violent act in their workplace

Under Stress, We Regress

Many psychologists believe that we regress, or return to, behaviors we used in childhood when faced with an emotional threat. As a child, I would run away and hide in my room or just sit sullenly if things weren’t going my way. Today, my stress reaction is to “shut down” and to shut people out. And of course, if you were a child who threw tantrums—or objects—when things didn’t go your way, you may be a “screamer” under stress at work.

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