Are you a tension-diffuser or a tension-enhancer?

One of the key criteria used to evaluate senior bankers in my old group at Morgan Stanley is whether you’re a tension-diffuser or a tension-enhancer: When an unexpected deadline or major obstacle crops up, are you able to stay calm and proceed to break the problem down into manageable parts, or do you get agitated and raise the blood pressure of everyone you come in contact with?

It’s an often under-recognized facet of leadership that encapsulates many intangible qualities about someone’s working style.

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