Does looking stressed and busy create a positive impression?

Home/Professional image/Does looking stressed and busy create a positive impression?

Does looking stressed and busy create a positive impression?

We’re all busy, always saying how much there is to do in so little time. Sure a bit of adrenaline is good for us, but can it really be good for us to be continually busy and stressed?

I was interested to hear the experience of a client of mine who said that a few months ago this was her. She was always run off her feet with too much to do and both inwardly and outwardly stressed about what was happening at work. She came to a point of realisation that she didn’t want to be that way anymore, that it wasn’t good for her health and well-being and didn’t communicate the right message at work, especially as she is seeking promotion. She was concerned about the perception she was creating. She is right, looking stressed doesn’t help credibility if it is consistent.

So she took some time to work on herself and says that several months later she feels so much better. Yet, it seems her boss has a different perception. She has been open with him about the journey she has been on. Yet the other day, when he raised an issue with her and she responded “Don’t worry” followed by some steps to remedy the issue, he commented she didn’t seem to care anymore! It seems he has completely reacted to the first part of her response and the manner in which it was delivered i.e. Calmly.

Of course, this is irrational and unfair. Should she go back to showing stress to communicate she is bothered? She doesn’t want to and my view is she needs to carry on in her new way, focusing on reassuring him of the steps she is taking to resolve issues when they come up. Eventually, once he can see this translating to solutions to issues, his perception will alter but it will take time. This is a classic case of people being perturbed by a change; it is now about consistency in her new way of being that needs to be the focus. After all, would you rather have a stress head in your team or someone who is calm and reflective, if the result is the same?

So what are your behaviours saying about you? How are they affecting how you feel? If you have career barriers to tackle that relate to your personal confidence and/or others’ perceptions, we can help you just contact us.

Image courtesy of freeimages.com/jwmpap

Leave A Comment