Calmness – Inside and Out
Rudyard Kipling may have said it best… way back in 1895… in his poem “If”. Was he thinking of Tech Managers?
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If-  – read more
Sound familiar? I am sure that it does to most of you. There are times when everyone seems to think that the entire systems is falling apart and that you should have prevented it. There are times when everything that others try to do to fix things, jsut makes them worse.
Then you arrive… bringing calmness when things get tough.
A CAD/BIM Manager has to remain calm and reduce the stress level of everyone involved. How do you project calmness?
First you have to actually be calm. Internally you are confident that you can fix the problem, or get people back on track quickly. You know how to dissect troubles and find the root cause. You can make things better. If you are not the calm type… work on that first. start researching ways that you can remain cool as others heat up.
Then you have to have the outward expressions of calmness. Here are a few:
You take on relaxed mannerisms – not tensed up. You are not grabbing things from people or nudging them out of the way. Your shoulders are relaxed. Your breathing remains regular.
You use methodical approach – not just trial and error. You plan your researching steps and march through the plan. You quickly triage the problem and define possible solutions. You do not overlook the obvious (“is it plugged in?”)
You provide options. You let others know that they can do other things while you work on the problem. You define the largest looming deadline and work out a method to meet the deadline in other ways. (try another machine, send the plots to another plotter, etc.)
You defuse negative talk that travels down the “what if” path. Not letting long term conclusions be drawn from the current short term situation. (“if we miss this deadline…”). You calmly refocus conversations back to productive processes.
You don’t jump to conclusions. The methodical approach you are taking will get you through. Just stay the course.
You keep people informed. Let others know what you are going to do. If you leave the scene, let people know you are going to check on something and when you expect to be back. (“I need to check the server, I will be back in 5 minutes”). If you are gone longer, let people know or send someone back to the trouble spot to let them know. Texting works great for this now days.
You make sure folks know that you have a Plan B. (“I am going to try restarting the service on the server. It will take 10 minutes. If that does not work, I am going to restart the entire server and contact IT about the issue to get them involved.”)
You let them know you are making progress. And if you make small gains, let them know that the whole process is not fully restored yet, but that they can start using specific portions. This is a measured restoration that allows progress while you are working on a full restore.
By remaining calm and projecting a calm exterior, you will comfort everyone that is ramping up the stress levels. Stay cool.