Monday, July 14, 2014


Keep Calm and Carry On was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War. (Wikipedia)  It has recently been routing as a graphic trend on social media and is showing up on T-shirts and all kinds of products.

The Definition of Calm varies as an adjective.  My favorite is:  not showing or feeling nervousness, anger, or other emotions.  (Google definitions)

I completed references on a candidate this week and every single reference said consistently that the candidate was calm in all situations.  Through all of the conversations this calm was a quality that was highly valued and admired by the candidate’s colleagues.  Whether they were her executive leaders, cross functional partners or people who reported to her.

It made me think about my verbal and personal communication style.  I don’t think most would describe me as calm but it is something I am going to strive for.  It is unrealistic to think we can go through our careers without feeling anxiety, frustration or anger.  But a calm manner is always well respected.  That is not often true of the other emotions when they are visible in the workplace.  Does visible frustration, anxiety or anger add any benefit to a meeting or dialog?

There are many resources out there on how to stay calm.  Travis Bradberry wrote a great article for “How Successful People Stay Calm”.  

How would your colleagues and family describe your manner?  What are personal adjectives that come to mind when you think of your colleagues.  Do you think calm is a valuable quality?  Many people in our industry look for “passion” in candidates.  Can you be passionate and calm at the same time?  Kate and I would love to hear what you think as I strive to master calmness. The mental state of being free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance. It also refers being in a state of serenity, tranquility, or peace.  (Wikipedia)

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