Game Face

The first quarter of 2011 provided many opportunities for investors to react emotionally to unexpected and disturbing events, and another example of the dangers of doing so.
-Richard Gershen, City National Bank

What a great quote. I read it today after attending a lunch hosted by City National Bank. 

A recent subject of conversation around our offices is the idea of presenting a confident and poised demeanor to our customers. As our company, like so many others in the current economy is doing more with fewer staff, the notion of an overworked workforce is no longer just a notion; it is reality. Fed statistics support the idea of hours per worker increasing, while unemployment persists at higher than desirable levels. Undoubtedly the system is stressed, wherever you look.

I was on a sales call recently and watched the reaction of the customer to someone talking about how they were buried with work. It led to questions, voiced concerns and raised doubts about the quality of service. Customers who perceive their sales and support staff as frazzled, harried, on the edge, over the edge or burning out are likely to take on some of that agita and become more high maintenance to compensate for their shaken confidence. Presenting that kind of an exterior to the world does two things; it creates concern (and thereby, more work!) and spreads the disease. Adopting the I’m Stressed attitude is highly contagious. If you engage in it, you will find yourself surrounded by people saying and doing the same things and feeding off each other. This is documented to result in increased stress, diminished vitality, greater exposure to infections and stress-related conditions and depression. It will sap physical health.

So, Game Face.

Urban Dictionary describes it so:
#1) a confident swagger you bring out when you are about to get ready to tackle something difficult, or when you are about to take on a challenge. Or when you are getting ready to get down to hard business.
#2) When you are ready and pumped up to party really hard.

#1) Person1: “Tomorrow’s your job interview, right? Are you ready?” Person2: “Yea son, I’m bringin’ out my GAME FACE.”

Keep Calm and Carry OnDuring World War I, the slogan Keep Calm and Carry On appeared on subway posters in London as the monarchy tried to enforce calm under fire in the city. Literally. Today, seeing the logo of the crown and those stately words can have the same effect. As contagious as paranoia and stress may be, the opposite is just as contagious. Exhibiting a demeanor that is cool, calm, confident and to go a step further, smiling or inspirational is highly contagious as well.

In calming stressful situations, the idea of pacing and leading disturbing behavior is highly effective. Watch the dog whisperer. You can match the voice tone, level and cadence of a person (or pet) going off and bringing that down to normal levels by demonstrating the changed state. It is used widely in conflict resolution with great success. If you act with calm, you will create a climate of calm.

Let’s create more of this and less of the other!

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