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WSJ: How Busy Colleagues Spread Secondhand Stress

Smart executives take their time and speak thoughtfully…  But there’s always one of these lurking nearby – help them slow down, it’s better for the whole team.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

Every office has (at least) one—the colleague who is always walking fast, finishing other people’s sentences and racing from meeting to meeting while fielding email, texts and voice mail on multiple devices. That person can appear very important.

They may not know it, but they’re usually causing secondhand stress.

Rushing blocks thoughtful communication and creates worries among colleagues that “maybe I should be doing that, too, or maybe my stuff isn’t as important as his, or maybe he’ll be irritable if I interrupt,” says Jordan Friedman, a New York City stress-management speaker and trainer.

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