Indispensable Assistants: Stay Focused, Calm, and Productive

8036438_sNone of us knows how we will handle a situation until the situation is “real.”  We can plan, practice, role-play, and anticipate, but until the situation hits us head on we don’t know how we will respond as the emotion of a situation can create confusion.

Do you have a reputation in the workplace for staying calm and reassuring others when they become upset or unsettled?

Through reading leadership books and partnering with CEOs for nearly two decades, I have learned the importance of distancing myself from situations temporarily to gain perspective and to not take things so personal.  I work hard to not create or dwell in chaos by constantly trying to look ahead at the “big picture.”  I choose to be more strategic, explore different routes, and seek to find the best solution.

I spend time listening, observing, and asking questions of the CEO to better understand how I can support him/her and the team.  The more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know.  My intent is genuine, and I listen to understand the why.  These techniques have helped me to stay centered, focused, and moving forward.  A CEO needs and wants a steady work partner, and the team needs a calm team member.

Indispensable assistants are impressive in more ways than one.  They are poised, diplomatic, and even-tempered.  They exhibit the ability to adjust quickly to changing priorities.  Indispensable assistants take lead roles and meet challenging work demands.  They are excellent communicators and care about the success of people and business.  Indispensable assistants stand out because they are different.  They are grounded.  They remain calm and productive when the demands of work are pulling them in many different directions at the same time.

In today’s modern world of business competition, organizational changes, and advances in technology, the ability to remain and stay flexible is key.  However, change can create feelings of unrest and uncertainty. Therefore, it’s important for assistants to remain levelheaded when the pressure is on.  Remaining calm allows assistants to ride the ups and downs while being a valuable addition to the team.  Indispensable assistants work with a sense of urgency while making the complicated look simple despite any anxiety they might be feeling internally.

What are your tips for remaining calm in today’s workplace?


  1. Stacy: Thanks for the reinforcement! I work in a corporate office where it is usually fast-paced & you need to be flexible, adapting to changes quickly. At previous jobs, I would allow myself to get “wound” up & this resulted in physical consequences for me. I have grown by reading, watching others & positive self-talk. As a result, I am much better at coping with a changing environment, & it helps at home as well. I am currently in a job that I love & have the most wonderful boss anywhere! I love getting your emails, thanks for all that you do to keep us going! Dianne

  2. Thank you for the great post and the fantastic blog! In the past few months I have started doing Hot Yoga. It is a great way to let go at the end of day and feels especially nice on days like today when it is 0 degrees outside in Southwest Wisconsin! I have learned to use the breathing techniques taught in class when faced with stress at work. I also have an app on my phone called “Simply Being” which gives me a quick 5 minutes of just letting go, so I can come back with a fresh mind to face a situation.

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