It is known that event organizing is considered a wonderful profession, but at the same time a source of extreme stress. We certainly don’t believe it is within the ten most stressful jobs, though CarrerCast, an American recruiting company, puts it in fifth place after soldier, firefighter, plane pilot and police officer – but yes, admittedly it gives way to a good dose of anxiety.

Have we ever wondered why? We organizers don’t make heart surgery, we don’t save human lives, yet one may gather from us that during our events the world risks to get lost.

Objectively speaking, critical events can occur – a plane strike, deliveries out of schedule, problems with A/V devices – but all these difficulties have their way out.

Why then do we panic even in front of a trivial episode? Most of the time, it is anxiety to lead us into a crisis. Performance anxiety – the fear of the client’s negative assessment.

But we don’t realize that it’s often ourselves creating such a panic-oriented state of mind.

Mastering the whole of the situation, reasoning with lucidity, allows us to serenely manage the thing and reassure the customer himself, whose partner must be a problem solver, not a trouble maker.

Here’s some helpful advice to firmly and consciously deal with critical situations.

Let’s start from the breath. Have you ever noticed to be often in apnoea? The breath is chapped, sometimes even absent. In these cases it is enough to stop, take long breaths, and the stored oxygen allows us to immediately turn our thoughts fluid and positive.

Try asking yourself, “But will this disadvantage affect the good outcome of the event?”. In most cases the answer is no. Nobody realizes that a little disservice is going on. If we look quiet, our interlocutor will feel reassured because he will see us “on the pitch”.

We represent a mirror, and if we master our environment, looking shining and reassuring, those who will reflect in this mirror will feel reassured as well.

I remember a case that mythical coach Dan Peterson often talked about in his team-building interventions.

It was the time when the team he trained, Tracer, was playing the final games to win the “Big Slam”. He was terrified by the strength of his competitors, so he followed the game phases mute and immobile. His champions looked at him and kept on winning all the games, one after the other. He was always silent. At the end of all the challenges, when his team had won the trophy, questioning his champions on what had driven them to such a target, the answer was: «The coach’s calm attitude gave us the strength to move forward, because he was sure of our victory». Yet his feeling had been exactly the opposite.

Let’s then remember to be all the time the mirror of the image we want to be reflected.

Then let’s breathe and display tranquillity and mastery. But most importantly let’s remind that we are not Christian Barnard and we have no human life to save. No matter how complex the event will be, there will be no dramatic consequences, neither dead nor injured people.



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