Owner – Renter Tension

neighborhood

Many homeowners believe renters make bad neighbors, allowing their properties to fall into disrepair during brief stays in homes that belong to investors who only care about the rent.

 

True or false?

 

John Adams did a piece for AJC on this topic:

 

Q: Renters are tired of being treated like second class citizens, while some owners claim their neighborhoods are being ruined by renters. Who is right and who is wrong?

 

A: It’s not quite that easy. This is a struggle that’s been going on for a million years, starting with the first cave man who rented his cave to another family in the off-season. The neighbors in the adjoining cave didn’t like it and made their opinions known to the owner when he returned. People who put down roots and invest heavily in a certain location have always resented those who were able to achieve much the same benefits for almost none of the financial or life commitment. And I don’t expect that to change any time soon. Each side has a valid argument.

 

Q: What is the position of the unhappy owner-occupant with neighbors who are renters?

 

A: OK, the owners next door have sunk their life savings into the house and the community, they pay property taxes, and they live and die financially by the success or failure of the community. From their perspective, they are fully committed, both financially and socially, to the neighborhood, the schools, and the local community.

 

From their perspective, the renters are temporary occupants who benefit from the blood, sweat and tears of the neighborhood, and often contribute nothing back but a poorly maintained house and an ugly yard with overgrown bushes and a weedy lawn.

 

What are your experiences?

 

Want to Be More Productive? Sit Next to Someone Who Is

 

By Jason Corsello and Dylan Minor 

 

To increase worker performance, employers often invest in a number of things, from rewards and incentives to education and training. These traditional approaches develop employees’ skills and enrich their work experience. But we discovered a surprisingly simple way to increase productivity, one that was low-cost and had immediate impact: better office seating arrangements.

 

Research we conducted suggests that who an employee sits next to affects how they perform — and grouping the right types of coworkers together can improve productivity and work quality.

 

We analyzed two years’ worth of data on more than 2,000 employees of a large technology company with several locations in the U.S. and Europe. (The company is a client of Cornerstone OnDemand, which one of us, Jason, works for.) We created unique identifiers for each worker after merging five different data sources:

 

  • A master file that contained employee data, such as hire and termination dates, job position, compensation, and direct managers

  • Two engagement surveys conducted across the organization

  • Monthly reports on each employee’s location and assigned cubicle over time

  • Building maps and floor plans to calculate the distance between each cubicle on a given floor

  • Worker performance data broken down into three metrics:

    • Productivity. We measured the average length of time it took a worker to complete a task. For any given worker in this company, tasks were fairly similar and occured regularly.

    • Effectiveness. We measured the average daily rate at which a worker needed to refer a task to a different worker to solve. This occurred when the employee couldn’t resolve the task on their own and it was assigned to another.

    • Quality. We measured the client’s satisfaction with the task on a five-point scale.

 

For every performance measure, we looked at “spillover,” a measure of the impact that office neighbors had on an employee’s performance. Assume a worker has three coworkers: one sits next to her, one sits 25 feet away, and another sits 50 feet away. We looked at the performance of the three coworkers along with their distance from the worker, and through various data modeling techniques we measured the average spillover of their performance on the worker.make-today-a-productive-day.

 

We saw that neighbors have a significant impact on an employee’s performance, and it can be either positive or negative. In terms of magnitude, we found that approximately 10% of a worker’s performance spills over to her neighbors. Replacing an average performer with one who is twice as productive results in his or her neighboring workers increasing their own productivity by about 10%, on average.

 

One unique feature of our data is that workers were randomly assigned to teams and to desks, and they were periodically moved around in a quasi-random way due to the demand and supply of workers. A centralized human resource department sent workers to different locations based on the essentially random flow of new workers arriving at a particular time. This suggests that the effects of neighbor location on performance may be casual.

 

We categorized workers into three types: productive workers, who completed tasks quickly but lacked quality; quality workers, who produced superior work but did so slowly; and generalists, who were average across both dimensions. In our sample, 25% of people were productive workers, 25% were quality workers, and the remaining 50% were generalists.

 

Pair People with Opposite Strengths

 

In our sample, where groups of workers were clustered together, we found that the best seating arrangements had productive and quality employees sitting beside each other, because each helped the other improve. There was a spillover effect on both workers’ areas of weakness: A quality worker tried to match the speed of a productive worker, while the productive worker tried to improve their work quality. When productive workers were seated next to quality workers (and generalists were grouped together), we found a 13% gain in productivity (speed of work) and a 17% gain in effectiveness (fewer unresolved tasks) in that group.

 

On the other hand, seating two productive workers together did not significantly increase their productivity — nor did placing quality workers together increase their work quality. And since generalists were average in both categories, they were less affected by spillover effects from either side.

 

An interesting finding, for this particular technology firm, is that workers who were strong on one dimension (task quality or task speed) tended not to be sensitive to spillover on that dimension, while workers who were weak on that dimension were sensitive to spillover. This is why putting a fast worker next to a slow worker tends to speed up the slow worker instead of slowing down the fast worker.

 

Separating Toxic Workers

 

Toxic workers in our sample were employees who ended up being terminated for reasons related to toxic behavior, which included misconduct, workplace violence, drug or alcohol abuse, sexual harassment, falsification of documents, fraud, and other violations of company policy. Toxic workers negatively influenced their neighbors’ performance.

 

If toxic employees were near each other, it increased the probability that one of them would be terminated by 27%. But in contrast to productivity and quality spillover, any type of worker seemed susceptible to toxic spillover. If a toxic worker sat next to a nontoxic worker, the toxic worker’s influence won out, and the nontoxic worker had an increased chance of becoming toxic. This suggests that companies should pay close attention to employee engagement surveys to understand how employees feel about their work environment. Surveys can root out toxicity by providing an early warning for managers and HR to intervene.

 

What Drove These Spillover Effects?

 

We found that these effects occurred almost immediately but vanished within two months. (Performance was measured daily or weekly, depending on the metric of interest, and then averaged by month.) This suggests that, instead of employees learning from one another, which would likely take some time, the effects were driven by a combination of inspiration and/or peer pressure from sitting near high-performing workers. Of course, we could not distinguish which factors truly drove the effect.

 

Our study leads us to believe that better spatial management of workers can enhance individual and team performance. But managers need to first look at employees’ performance and see where they would want spillover to occur. We estimate that a strategic seating chart could bring in $1 million in annual profit from greater productivity for an organization of 2,000 workers.

 

To be sure, different organizations will have different tasks and different kinds of spillover; the optimal seating arrangement for the firm we studied may not be the best for all firms. But it illustrates how office design can influence performance. Once an organization identifies which spillovers exist, management can plan the space of the organization to produce better outcomes. In this way, physical space, which companies can manage relatively inexpensively, can be an important business resource.

 

 

Jason Corsello is Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development for Cornerstone OnDemand, a global leader in cloud-based talent management software that helps organizations to recruit, train, and manage their people. He is responsible for driving the company’s product innovation, go-to-market strategies and new corporate initiatives.

 


 

Dylan Minor holds an assistant professorship at the Kellogg School of Management. Professor Minor received his PhD in business administration from UC Berkeley. His research explores the nexus between organizations and social and ethical issues

 

Up For Debate: Chickens or no Chickens?

chickens-web

An Arizona community is considering an ordinance that would allow chickens in most residential backyards.  The proposal has some up in arms.  Newly elected councilwoman Joyce Clark equated the council’s difficult decision to the biblical story of Solomon: ‘It’s like dividing the baby, only we have to divide the chickens this time.’”  Are your communities pro-chicken or anti-chicken?  Sound off in the comments.

 

Check out the story here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2017/02/10/how-backyard-chickens-prompted-civil-war-glendale/97659674/

 

CMCA Resources

 

As a CMCA, you have shown a commitment to your profession by staying informed about current community association issues and holding yourself to a high standard of professional conduct.

 

 

CAMICB Board of Commissioners

 

The Community Association Managers International Certification Board Names Drew Mulhare Chair Of The Board Of Commissioners

 

 Sandy Denton and Lori Loch-Lee Join The Board

 

 Falls Church, Virginia – February 15, 2017 The Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) named Drew Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM Chair of its Board of Commissioners. His two-year term as Chair began in January. Mulhare joined the CAMICB Board of Commissioners in 2014 and served as Vice Chair for two years. He is currently the co-owner and President of Realtec Community Services, the management agent company for the Ford’s Colony Homeowners Association in Williamsburg, VA.

 

Mulhare served on the CAI Board of Trustees for five years. He is a long-time volunteer for CAI manager education and serves on the CAMICB Exam Development Committee and Chairs the CAMICB Standards of Professional Conduct Compliance Committee.

 

Drew has been a leader in the community association management profession for more than three decades,” said CAMICB Immediate Past Chair Judy Rosen, CMA, AMS, PCAM.  “His level of expertise, coupled with his long-standing commitment and service to the field will be invaluable in advancing the goals of CAMICB and in providing leadership to the Board of Commissioners.”

 

“I’m excited to serve as the Chair of the CAMICB Board of Commissioners, joining a long line of dedicated and committed professionals who have worked tirelessly to support and elevate our profession,” said Drew Mulhare, CMCA, LSM, PCAM.  “I’m passionate about continuing education, the strength of our credentialing program, and furthering best practices in homeowner association management.  I look forward to working with the CAMICB staff and Board of Commissioners to further professionalism in our field, domestically and internationally.”

 

Wendy Taylor, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Commissioners and Ronald Duprey, CMCA, AMS, PCAM will continue in his role as Secretary-Treasurer.  Taylor, who is the General Manager at South Riding Proprietary Inc., also serves on the Continuing Education Review Committee. In addition, both Taylor and Duprey are subject matter experts on the CAMICB Exam Development Committee.

 

Also joining the CAMICB Board of Commissioners are Sandy Denton, CMCA, LSM, PCAM and Lori Loch-Lee, CMCA, AMS, PCAM.  Denton is currently the General Manager for the Sienna Plantation Associations in Missouri City, Texas.  Sienna, a large master planned community encompassing over 10,000 acres, has approximately 7,200 houses, with another 6,500 planned.  Prior to joining Sienna, Denton was the Executive Director for First Colony Community Association (FCCA) in Sugar Land, Texas, a large master planned community consisting of over 10,000 acres and approximately 12,500 units.

 

Loch-Lee is currently the Vice President of Client Relations for Associated Asset Management (AAM) in Tempe, AZ.  AAM manages over 600 communities comprised of more than 175,000 units and employs over 530 team members throughout its eleven regional offices.

 

CAMICB is governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners. Six commissioners are certified community association managers and three represent the public’s interests.  In addition to Mulhare, Duprey, Taylor, Denton and Loch-Lee, other CAMICB Board of Commissioners include:

 

Dennis Abbott, CMCA, AMS, PCAM

 

Marilyn Brainard, Public Interest Member

 

Jeevan J. D’Mello, CMCA, AMS, LSM, PCAM

 

Wil Washington, Esquire, Public Interest Member

 

 

About CAMICB

 

The Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB) is a 17-year old independent board that sets the standards for community association managers worldwide. CAMICB (formerly NBC-CAM) administers the Certified Manager of Community Associations® (CMCA) examination, a rigorous, three-hour test that measures managers’ knowledge of community management best practices. Passing the CMCA examination and maintaining the standards of the CMCA certification is proof that a manager is knowledgeable, ethical and professional. CMCA-certified managers have the skills to safeguard the assets of homeowners’ associations, giving homeowners peace of mind and protecting home values.

 

 The CMCA credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) which means it complies with NCCA’s stringent international standards for a professional certification program. NCCA accreditation provides independent validation that the CMCA program meets or exceeds twenty-one standards concerning various aspects of the certification program including its purpose, structure, governance, psychometric foundation, policies and procedures. Accreditation validates the integrity of the CMCA program and is a mark of quality. For more information, go to www.camicb.org.

 

CAMICB CE Policy

The CAMICB Board of Commissioners met yesterday and approved a new continuing education policy for individuals seeking CMCA recertification.  The policy is as follows:

CMCA recertification requires the completion of 16 hours of continuing education within a two-year certification period.  Current CAMICB policy states credit hours may be earned only for education that meets either of the following criteria:

  • It pertains to community association operations or management
  • It contributes to the professional development of the CMCA

Further continuing education credit specifications include:

  • Educational courses are offered by approved course providers.
  • One half of the continuing education credits may be obtained through in-house training courses.
  • Local law seminars and local college or university courses pertaining to accounting, business practices, computers, or foreign language will count toward the continuing education requirement
  • Courses related to buying and selling real estate are not acceptable.
  • Self-study credit must be pre-approved by CAMICB and is limited to no more than four hours every two years.
  • Teaching a course related to community association management can qualify for credit.
  • Publishing an article in a regional or national community association publication may qualify for credit.
  • One hour of credit equals one hour attended.
  • Credit for a course may only be submitted one time per recertification cycle.
  • Online learning must be interactive.  Interactive coursework is defined as requiring proof of participation.

 

The CAMICB Continuing Education Review Committee has reviewed and approved a list of coursework for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.  This list can be found on our website.

 

Coursework approved by a state regulatory agency for manager licensing requirements will be approved for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.  These states currently include: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia.

 

Community association management company in-house training material must be reviewed and approved by the CAMICB Continuing Education Review Committee. Only one half or eight (8) continuing education credits may be obtained through pre-approved in-house training courses.

 

CMCA prerequisite coursework is also approved for continuing education.  CMCAs may not use the coursework to meet both examination eligibility and continuing education requirements.  For example, if a CMCA used CAI’s M100: The Essentials of Community Association Management as their prerequisite education to sit for the CMCA examination, they may not submit it for CMCA recertification continuing education credit.

 

Coursework which meets the standard criteria may be submitted for review and approval to CAMICB. If proposed coursework is judged to meet the criteria set forth, it will be approved for a two-year cycle.

 

Coursework which has been previously approved by CAMICB, may be re-submitted for staff approval in consecutive years, if the coursework has not been altered between years.

A CMCA may seek approval from CAMICB for a course not provided by a pre-approved course provider.  CAMICB staff will review the learning objectives and credit allocation to determine eligibility.  CAMICB staff may consult a member of the Continuing Education Review Committee when necessary.

The changes mostly pertain to the approval of coursework.  Check to make sure your CE course providers have been approved by CAMICB by checking our online list .  If they haven’t, send over the course info (I.e. learning objectives, outline, etc.) to our Recertification Associate, Rachel LaCroix at rlacroix@camicb.org.  She will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

 

 

 

Are your Resolutions Sticking?

nyeBy Rebecca Knight

Many people have resolutions on the brain during this time of year. But it’s one thing to set goals — network more, learn to meditate, or get better at writing — and quite another to actually accomplish them. What are the right kinds of resolutions to make? How do you stay motivated? How do you turn your intentions into reality?

What the Experts Say

A lot of people set personal and professional goals this time of year but very few succeed. That’s because we often “set goals that go against our nature,” according to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of Business Psychology at University College London (UCL) and the author of Confidence. “We all have predispositions, character traits, and habits that we have built over many years,” he says. “Most of our New Year’s resolutions and goals involve breaking these patterns, which is very difficult to do and requires a lot of work.” So you have to be deliberate and strategic about setting goals and staying on track. “It’s important to have focus,” says Joseph Weintraub, the founder and faculty director of the Babson Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program. “You need to set the right goals within the right timeframe.” Here are some pointers on how to make your resolutions stick.

Be realistic

This is the time to “think small”— both in terms of the number of objectives and the timeframe in which you plan to accomplish them, according to Weintraub. He recommends setting no more than three goals — more than that is “too overwhelming” — with a deadline of a year or less. “For most companies and individuals, it’s hard to think five years ahead,” he says. Be ambitious — but not overly so, adds Chamorro-Premuzic. Choose things that challenge and stretch you but aren’t impossible.  Also, make sure you’re setting “a goal that matters and is relevant” to you. “It’s so much work to create change, you have to really want it,” he says.

Focus on the positive

While at least one of your goals ought to involve developing an area of weakness, Weintraub cautions against getting hung up on self-improvement. “Too often we focus on what we need to do better,” he says. Instead: “Consider things you’re good at and set goals that leverage those strengths.” Say, for instance, you’re a strong writer or an effective public speaker; you should create goals that involve helping colleagues sharpen their presentations skills or using your writing abilities to earn a promotion. Your ultimate aim is to “move your organization forward and propel your career,” he says.

Commit publicly

Once you’ve decided on your goals, write them down and share them with others, including your manager, peers, direct reports, and friends and family. “When you make your goals public, you’re committing to them,” says Chamorro-Premuzic. Openness also enables others “to hold you accountable.” Weintraub explains that candor is especially important when your goal has an immediate impact on the people you work with. If, for instance, your goal is to reduce your micro-managerial tendencies, explain to your team that you will be delegating more often. “Tell people: ‘This is what I’m working on and here’s how I am trying to do it,’” he says. “Be explicit and overt about your intentions.”

Create a plan of action

To accomplish any goal — personal or professional — you need a step-by-step strategy. After all, says Weintraub, you wouldn’t expect to succeed at losing weight without systematically changing your eating and exercise habits. So “you need to think about tactics. Ask yourself: What actions do I need to demonstrate to accomplish this?” If your goal is nebulous — say, for example, to develop a more trusting relationship with your direct reports — you’ll need to think about  specific behaviors that will help you, such as taking each of them to lunch individually and engaging with them on a more personal level. “And if you’re not seeing results,” says Chamorro-Premuzic, “you should also have a Plan B.”

Recruit support

An encouraging and supportive network is critical to reaching your goals, says Chamorro-Premuzic. Your support system could include colleagues, mentors, your significant other, a professional coach, or even peers outside your organization. They can be both your cheering squad and sounding board. “They will motivate you and encourage you, and when your morale is low, they will boost it.” Your support system will also help “reinforce that your goals are important to you and your career,” adds Weintraub. “The more you engage others in the process, the more likely you are to accomplish the goals you set for yourself.”

Set milestones

When you launch into working toward  a new goal, you feel inspired and energized. But as the weeks and months trudge on, that initial excitement wanes, and it can be a struggle to find the time or motivation for it. To ease this problem, work toward short-term targets that bring you closer to your end goal. The success you achieve along the way should help you feel good about “the incremental progress” you’re making, says Chamorro-Premuzic. “You want to see change in a positive direction and small improvements,” he says. “The point is not to get better than others, it’s to get better than the old version of yourself.” To stay on track, “you need regular signals” that reinforce what you’re working toward, says Weintraub. It could be a reminder on your smartphone or a recurring “meeting” on your calendar where you “take the time out of your day to think about what your goals mean to you and your career.” At a practical level,” says Weintraub, you need “simple things to keep you going.”

Keep perspective

Nothing elevates cortisol levels like an approaching deadline. In some ways, the stress works in your favor, according to Wientraub. “It helps you focus on the goal,” he says. “It’s like when you know your doctor is going to put you on the scale at your next checkup, or when you know your boss is going to ask you about the status of a project at your next team meeting.” But while stress can drive performance, it’s important that you “don’t lose perspective” when unforeseen circumstances arise. “Don’t be too harsh on yourself,” says Chamorro-Premuzic. “You don’t want an unhealthy level of obsession about reaching your goals.” If a colleague needs you on a project or your personal life becomes unexpectedly complicated and completing your goal within the given timeframe becomes too difficult, cut yourself some slack. And don’t forget Weintraub’s golden rule of goal setting: “Strive for excellence, but sometimes good enough is good enough.”

Principles to Remember

Do:

  • Create goals that leverage your existing skills to move your organization and career forward
  • Share your goals with others and ask for support and encouragement when you need it
  • Create milestones along the way that help you appreciate the incremental progress you’re making

Don’t:

  • Become overwhelmed by a long list of goals; focus on no more than three at a time
  • Set yourself up to fail; create goals you can reasonably achieve
  • Beat yourself up if you don’t meet every deadline; recognize when what you’ve done is good enough

CAMICB Policy Adoption

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In December 2016, the CAMICB Board of Commissioners adopted a new policy that requires CMCAs to proactively report felony convictions or a similar event. The below language will be added to both the initial and recertification applications:

Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor since your last recertification?

 Yes  No If “yes,” submit statement of explanation and relevant information including court     document(s).

Have you ever had a license, certification, registration or permit to practice any regulated profession revoked, suspended, relinquished or withdrawn?

 Yes  No If “yes,” submit statement of explanation and relevant information including court document(s).

Further, if any circumstance changes my answer to any of the questions above, including but not limited to a felony conviction, entry of a plea of nolo contendre in a felony case, or revocation of a state or professional credential or license I will notify CAMICB by providing a written statement and detailed explanation within 30 days of the event in question. I will address the statement and detailed explanation to: CAMICB, 6402 Arlington Blvd., Suite 510, Falls Church, VA 22042 or info@camicb.org

 

Improve Your Response to Stress

By Michelle Gielan

One morning while anchoring The Early Show in New York, one of my coanchors got mixed up and tossed the show to me five minutes before I was slated to appear for my next segment, which was covering breaking news on political corruption in Washington. The teleprompter was cued to a different story, which, if I remember correctly, was about cats at a local shelter. I found myself live on national television in front of millions of viewers — with the wrong setup, and with a video of shelter cats instead of fat cats in Washington.

It is moments like these that test a person. And it’s not the problem itself, but our response to it, that matters in our careers and in our lives. In my work now as a positive psychology researcher, I study the mindset of people who overcome high-stress challenges both big and small and who thrive amid adversity. The conclusion of our most recent study: 91% of us could get better at dealing with stress.Zebra-Lossing-Strips2

In a study we conducted in partnership with Plasticity Labs, my research colleagues, Shawn Achor (my husband) and Brent Furl, and I found that it’s not so much why we worry that’s important; it’s how we respond to stimuli in the environment that matters. When a challenge strikes, our response can typically be categorized along three specific, testable dimensions:

Cool under pressure. Are you calm and collected, giving your brain a chance to see a path forward, or is your mind filled with anxious, worried, and stressful thoughts that wear you out?

Open communicator. Do you share your struggles with people in your life in a way that creates connections, or do you keep them to yourself and suffer in silence?

Active problem solver. Do you face challenges head-on and make a plan, or do you deny the reality of what’s happening in your life and distract yourself?

These three dimensions are central to optimally responding to stress and are highly predictive of our long-term well-being and success at work. In short, it’s what you think, say, and do that have the biggest impact on your well-being. By understanding our personal pitfalls when it comes to responding to problems, we can shift our thinking and behavior to respond better and pay less of an emotional cost after the stressful event is over.

Understanding your current default response to stress is the first step to crafting a more adaptive cognitive pattern. After testing more than 5,000 people using our validated assessment, the Stress Response Scale, we found that the majority of respondents at work have two suboptimal responses to stress: 27% of people are what we lovingly call “Venters” and 26% are “Five Alarmers.”

We all know a Venter at work. Venters are highly expressive and therefore very open about stressful events in their lives, which is actually a very positive trait. Previous research shows that talking to others about challenges (without overdoing it) can connect us more deeply with the people around us and is connected with having more friends and close colleagues as well as greater happiness. However, Venters don’t fare as well along the other two dimensions: being able to maintain a cool head under pressure and active problem solving to devise a plan. In other words, while Venters are able to acknowledge and communicate about their stress, that is where they stop. They vent without providing or creating a positive action to respond to the stress. Our study found that Venters have a correlation with decreased well-being, performance, and long-term career successes at work, as well as with less overall happiness in life.

vacastress_introFive Alarmers also are very good at communicating that they are stressed (everyone hears about it) but while Venters stop there, Five Alarmers take concrete actions to solve the problem. This sounds great, but because Five Alarmers do not differentiate between low stresses and high stresses, instead responding to every stress as if it is a five-alarm fire, they suffer a massive emotional cost when all is said and done. Being a Five Alarmer is exhausting. Experiencing consistent emotional spikes is also predictive of higher burnout and exhaustion, and guilt after you’ve made a decision.

So while more than half of individuals at work fall into one of these two categories, there is a much more adaptive response to stress and challenge. People who are what we call “Calm Responders,” those who rationally and calmly respond to challenges, test high on the three measures and generally enjoy the highest levels of happiness and success. Calm Responders typically have a handful of trusted advisors, and after tapping one or two, quickly move to the action phase. Studies have shown those who are more expressive — without being so expressive that they get stuck in the venting phase — often have more close friends and are happier overall.

The most important part of this research is that all three of these dimensions are malleable, and therefore can change over time if we focus on them. If you’d like to train your brain to be calmer the next time a stressful event arises, make a list right now of five stressful events from your past that you were successful at solving (for example, maybe you got through the breakup of a relationship or made a tight deadline on a big project), and then look at the list the next time you feel your heart starting to race, to remind yourself of those accomplishments. If you tend to bottle up stress or deny negative events, phone a friend the next time a stressor arises. If you’re distracting yourself instead of creating an action plan, get yourself to choose a “now step,” a small, meaningful action you can take right away that might not solve the whole problem but that will get your brain moving forward.

Rewriting our response to stress can take time, but it is possible, and that effort can have a lasting effect on our success and happiness for the rest of our lives. For me, learning the skill of being cool under pressure helped me better navigate unexpected situations both on TV and off, and that has made all the difference in my life and my career.

Michelle Gielan, a national CBS News anchor turned UPenn positive psychology researcher, is now the bestselling author of Broadcasting Happiness. She is partnered with Arianna Huffington to research how transformative stories fuel success.