Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stress.... and its ugly head!

Lately, i have found myself in various arguments. They have ranged from conversations to heated discussions and in one case a person banging their hand on the conference table. All of these have been in a professional setting and i can sense the stress of the impending deadline on everyone!
However, it did make me take a step backward and realize how differently people behave and talk while under pressure.
A cool as a cucumber person can suddenly jump up and down, be all defensive, aggressive and unpredictable. A generally hot tempered person, might just regress and for once count one to ten over and over again! An introvert suddenly blossoms as a public speaker. A general talker starts to stutter! And so on. In anger, embarrassment and accusations, the cheeks turn pink, the fists get curled and the palms get sweaty. Some keep tapping on the foot (Yes i hate it!!!), some keep circling the pen (Me!!), some scribble profusely, some bite their lips, some turn red.. and very very few, stay the same!
Every person has their own demeanor in their moment of work stress. Reason i am calling work stress out specifically since, i know personal stress can cause you to behave in a completely different way.
Well, at least that’s the case with me! At home, with a deadline approaching, i get i my zone, don’t want disturbances. I don’t think twice before ordering the people around me. As per some, turn into a spiteful control freak. ;-) Yes.. That’s me! I can giggle right after, but for that one minute, i am the boss from hell! (Self declared boss- mind you!)
At work, with a deadline approaching, i am a completely different person. I am "more collaborative", generally the calmer one, and will not think twice before getting cookies for "the" meeting to keep everyone slightly less hmm temperamental. I still am "more vocal", more "fact specific" more "direct" but generally i will be fine.
I cant say whether i work better under pressure or worse. All i can say, is professionally, i will be fine! Yes my walk home will be longer to vent the frustration, the caffeine intake will increase and of course, i will be more dressed up! (I believe, when sad, when upset, when stressed, dress better: the process has a calming effect).
But mind you, in my field of work, the stress and the deadlines are all cyclic. We will see a spurt of activity for 2 continuous weeks and then a regular day at office for four weeks. So its well paced and i love it.

Arguments, discussions, stress... everyone has a different mechanism of coping or not coping with it. In one meeting, i will be relaxed, but the one right after i might actually get agitated. At home, for i might be nastier or for the other one, be a case of giggles. Its all spread out and varied.
Thank god for Post Its! It avoids my over-whelming moments from over-whelming me! How about you?
How do you behave in stress? How do cope with it... and above all- do you change under stress?

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