Keep Your Cool

Today was my first day working on a job-site with the start-up that I have been helping. Right out of the gate we had a problem which appeared disastrous. But level heads prevailed, showing just how important it is to keep your cool.

Imagine the pressure of working on your first honest to goodness contract with a city. They are trusting you to take a new investment they purchased and in a sense “make it better.” Months of preparation, pairing of the right materials for the job, training, and planning are at stake. Not to mention the reputation of a new company with an awesome mission who is just trying to get off the ground.

Then when the actual work begins, seeing things “not working” as they should and in all truthfulness, potentially all going bad… It is like watching your own birthday cake collapse while it is baking it in the oven. What do you do?

For starters you can panic, which never solves anything. You can quit the project altogether and give up, again not a solution… or you can keep you cool, pause for a moment, troubleshoot, and come up with a solution.

Today, yes, there was a touch of panic. But we took a step back and looked at our options. The first order of business was to repair what was damaged which was easy enough thankfully. Second came the troubleshooting effort. Phone calls were made to manufacturers and chemists, pictures taken, and double checking previous work to try to isolate root cause.

Within minutes, we came up with a good enough workaround while waiting for the “experts” to get back with us. We gave it a go and the issue was eliminated. Once the experts got back to us, they understood what was happening and why, and agreed that the solution for that tiny part of the job would do the trick.

Crisis averted, everyone was happy, and the work resumed. Albeit with a new, unplanned, and time-consuming step thrown into the equation.

Being able to keep your cool in any situation is always the best route. That is the first rule they tell you to follow in case you ever find yourself lost in the wilderness, “do not panic.” Panicking never solves anything and in all truthfulness, it usually just makes things worse.

So the next time things go south and you feel yourself begin to spin up, just remember to keep your cool. Take a deep breath, and reassess the situation. Choose to respond rather than react to whatever is going on.

Are you able to keep your cool when it hits the fan? What do you to keep yourself and others calm and in check when things begin to spiral out of control and panic is imminent?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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