Playing cool

Working as part of a team can be tough, yes: composing with diversities of personalities while managing multiple projects at the same time can make some situations more delicate than others. And confrontation (ooh, strong and bad word) comes into play. Not fun, obviously. Mind you, we are all humans, with pet peeves and “areas to improve”. The good thing is that, yes, we are human, and depending on how our buttons are pushed, and how (and probably by whom too), automatic pilot is not an option.

Keeping one’s cool is an instinctual gift to some (or a talent), and an almost suffocating term to others. It is a skill that can be taught and developed. It belongs to the “student” to hone and improve it. Like anything else in life to be comfortable with, it takes practice, and persistence (as opposed to insistence). In a logistics or supply chain environment, this is essential (I almost think it should be part of the requirements on a job posting, but it is only me). That can actually save time, and incidentally, money too. Part of the deal is to calm down stressed out people around as well: being aware of the emotions and not let them run the show. Easier said than done? I would have said “yes” to that, 15 years ago. Today, I have reached that point where I can confirm: it is feasible, realistic and still human to choose to respond to a situation and not go crazy with any piece of so-called bad news thrown at me. Clarifying, and underlining though: I am not pretending I am hyper-confident, and therefore do not need anybody to tell me different, or I am a know-it-all. I have just learned that overspending my energy on details because they looked scary or alarming does not get me anywhere but in more trouble (and stress). The capital of my energy is not expandable: it is my responsibility to nurture and preserve it without abusing it, like anything else I have respect for, really. It is a choice I have, and I pick my battles: the ones that are worth my time, energy and investment. It is not all about money (well, outside of the 98% of the time…), I look at it as a form of respect to the person/team/group I deliver to (and, inherently, myself too). It is about judgement (indeed, being judgemental can clarify things, sometimes, especially when it is to evaluate and define the right and the not-so-right), and what resonates with my values (yes, I go that far back).

So, next time you feel overwhelmed with what seems like a “logistics from hell” to get to, take a step back, a deep breath and check your local martial arts dojo just in case. Everything is possible, and you can even have fun doing your Everything. I do, and I keep pressing the “Refresh” button to keep it that way.