Keep Calm and Carry On

Since I have three work events next week, I have a little bit of a short fuse. Unfortunately it happens to the best of us.  I catch myself being a little shorter than usual with friends and colleagues, and I rush through projects and expect people to keep the same pace.  As a PR professional, we are expected to be poised and understanding, but it is hard to manage after the client sends you 100 of the wrong product,  the printer is going to be late with your press packets, or your intern has made a mess of the gift bags.

Barbara Stanwyck posing with boxing gloves

Put the gloves away, girl. No need for a fight.

Once you feel the steam coming out of your ears, it’s easy to let loose and blow up at the “guilty” party, especially if there are other stress points adding pressure to the situation.  But you need to keep the ‘tude in check.  No one wants to work with the crazy girl on important events or client situations. If you get a reputation as a hot head, you’ll be left out of some great opportunities.  Here are a couple things to keep in mind once you feel your blood boiling:

Remember, this isn’t about you – As much as it feels like this unfortunate event is happening to YOU, it isn’t.  We’re a team in the PR world, so we’re all in this together.  Don’t take any negative situation personally.

Imagine the other person’s position – If it’s a team member who has made a mistake, think about how embarrassed/frustrated/disappointed they must feel in the situation they are in.  We have all been there once!  And life happens.  Breathe.  If you’re working with an outside vendor, be understanding but it’s fair to be firm to find a solution.

If you need to vent, do it to an outside party – The best way for me to blow off steam is to talk it out.  The worst thing you can do is start gossip in the office – don’t do it.  Go to a trusted friend who can listen to your issues, or call your mom/sister/aunt/sorority sister.  Even if they don’t understand your PR jargon, sometimes it’s helpful to just spill out exactly what you’re feeling without holding back.

How do you keep your cool when a situation heats up?

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