I continue to talk to you about leading through adversity and caring for your team no matter the situation. But it just struck me that I have left something out of that conversation. I’m going to call it, don’t let them see you sweat but instead, see that you care.
You know, throughout my corporate career I have handled stress differently than most. You know, when you are doing your rotations in pharmacy school and you are in the unfortunate, heartbreaking situation of helping provide drugs to the physician to help a patient whose heart has stopped, you can’t be the person panicking, passing out, or causing drama in the room. You have to take action.
After you take action and depending on the result, you can be frustrated, you can vent, you can cry, you can then be emotional. But in the thick of it all, you have a job to do and that job requires you to be level-headed and focused on the task at hand.
Now, you don’t have to have a healthcare background to know that in the world, there are all types of situations that require that same type of behavior. You go into a war room at work because a piece of the business has blown up and you need to help solve for it, take action, be decisive, and move out of the crisis.
The way you carry yourself has to be the same. No matter if the crisis is the loss of life or the loss of revenue or the loss of a service the customers so desperately need. While all of them have varying levels of humanity and human need, all of those situations demand that you don’t let them see you sweat, but instead, show you care.
For me, when I get into a tough situation, I don’t show emotion. I handle the business at hand. I have been told at points in my career that my team needs to see me talk about emotions and essentially “care” a little bit throughout the process.
I would leave you with that same thought. You can handle your business, but you have to talk about it to your team. You have to verbalize what you are doing. I normally say things like, “Team, you are going to see me handling the business or taking care of the issues at hand. I’m going to be doing the work I need to do. It’s not that I don’t care about the people impacted. I very much do care. It’s really the fact that I want to get this situation resolved as quickly as possible, and then I will take some time to take it all in, assess it, understand it, and let the emotions come in. Don’t let my actions cause you to think I don’t care.”
In other words, I will TELL them who I am and how I handle things so they don’t assume I don’t care or that I’m a robot. I’m not going to change how I react to high-pressure situations. But I can tell people how I handle it so they know I care and the reason I’m working so hard is for just that reason, I care.
Do you turn your emotions off when you get into stressful business situations? Are you the person that people turn to when the stress is high because they know when those situations present themselves, you are the one to count on? If yes, realize some people around you may not understand how you work through that in a way that shows care and concern. Be self-aware and talk to your teams as you move through those situations so they understand you and know you care, always.