For purposes of this post, let's assume (so as to preempt trivial answers) we are in a workplace where both urgency (ie. time) and efficiency/quality of work (not wasting materials and producing quality results) is of importance. Naturally, these two concerns are at odds; there is a tradeoff that must be optimized by the apt team.
Suppose I have discovered a critical issue in a project. This issue could translate into an increased cost (perhaps something must be rebuilt, and thus the materials used for it are now wasted) or falling behind schedule (even if the schedule allowed for unforeseen setbacks, a major issue could still mean this reserve is depleted and future setbacks could be dangerous). Obviously, I immediately communicate with my supervisor about this, so that we may come up with a plan to address the crisis.
My question: When I communicate this crisis to my supervisor, should I speak in an urgent tone, or try to be calm?
To my mind, this immediately evokes the idea of astronauts who are trained to remain perfectly calm even in the most precarious, hopeless catastrophe. The reason is obvious, creating panic does not promote clear thinking, and even if one is agitated, this should not be allowed to spread to others.
But real life is (usually) not a space shuttle mission. If I seem excessively stoic about an accident that just cost my boss a lot of money, effort or client goodwill, they may feel that I'm being cavalier and careless with important matters. An urgent tone of voice can also have the psychological benefit of creating a state of alertness in everyone involved.
Is there a rule of thumb for how urgent and troubled one should sound when discussing an urgent, troubling matter?