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  • feedwordpress 09:00:31 on 2019/12/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Pressure,   

    Why Do The Best Leaders Downplay Pressure 


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    All leaders feel pressure. You may experience it by just showing up at work, by sitting in a million meetings a day, by feeling that you’re constantly in problem-solving mode, by juggling the day-to-day demands of management. There is always something to fret or worry about, always something that is urgent. Unmanaged, pressure can leave you feeling ready to burst.

    As an executive coach who works with prominent leaders in their respective industries, I see the pressure many people constantly live under—as well as its consequences. A few years ago, when one of my clients told me how the constant anxiety of his job was truly getting the best of him, I made a simple suggestion: if you cannot change the situation you must change your mindset about the situation.

    Instead of looking at everything as a problem, I told him, look at situations as opportunities. Instead of taking everything so seriously, look for situations you can have some fun with. This mindset shift was a game changer for him.

    When you cultivate the ability to downplay pressure, you reap significant benefits:

    Lowered stress. When you feel pressured you feel trapped, and when you feel trapped you experience physical responses that are harmful to your body and mind. The best leaders understand that when they defuse pressure, they lower their own damaging stress responses and those of everyone on their team.

    Improved focus. Sometimes when pressure is intense it can make you feel that you are literally spinning out of control. Great leaders know that by reducing external pressure they can cultivate a sense of internal calm. They teach their people to eliminate distractions and remove unnecessary diversions, helping to keep them calm, focused and productive.

    Increased courage. When you’re in leadership, big decisions are an everyday part of your job—and big decisions require courage. Often it’s this ability to take a courageous risk that makes a difference between good enough and greatness—and stress may make you more likely to shy away. Great leaders intuitively understand that when you downplay stress you can allow yourself to feel bold, which in turn helps you embolden their team to do great things.

    We all experience pressure—not only leaders but workers at every level. But if you can follow the example of great leaders and learn to downplay the pressure, you and your team can better cultivate the skills you need to be successful. It’s a best practice that all of us can use.

    Lead from within: The greatest leaders downplay pressure to up play success.

     


    #1   N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: istockphoto

    The post Why Do The Best Leaders Downplay Pressure appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:22 on 2019/07/04 Permalink
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    How to Guarantee Strong Performance Under Pressure 


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    It’s easy to do great work when you have access to plenty of resources and time. The true test of your leadership skills, ability and confidence is your ability to function at your best when pressure is high and important decisions need to be made quickly.

    You won’t generally have a say in when or how a high-pressure situation will strike, but you can learn to function well when it does by understanding what motivates and energizes you.

    Visualize the destination, not the journey. Take a moment to visualize the calm after the storm: the work is done and done well, and you’re celebrating with your team. Positive visualization can alleviate pressure and help you relax and stay focused, reminding you that even the most intense situations eventually resolve.

    Motivate yourself with a reward. You likely already have a reward system in place for your team, so why not for yourself? Research shows that people who know their hard work will be tangibly rewarded tend to perform better than those who don’t. Whether it’s a vacation, something you’ve been wanting to buy, or dinner at your favorite restaurant, pick a reward that will keep you going and pretend it’s already yours.

    Create a system and focus on your actions. Pressure and anxiety result when things seem out of control, when you feel you have too much to do and you don’t know how you can accomplish it all. The solution is to craft a routine or system for getting the work done. Focus on your daily actions and carry out your plan with discipline and determination. A routine can help prevent panic and distraction, allowing you to focus on the task at hand.

    Remember the difference between being busy and being productive. Most of us are guilty of thinking we’re accomplishing something as long as we’re busy doing things, but that’s not necessarily the truth. It’s a matter of doing the things that help us accomplish our goals. Look at the things you’re doing and delegate or eliminate all the unnecessary activities that are taking up your time and interfering with your success.

    Slow down to speed up. How many times do we rush into things because we feel pressured to do something? The better approach is to slow down, think about what you want to do and take some time to formulate a plan. Give yourself the space to be creative, innovative and productive instead of just reacting in the moment.

    Take control where you can and let go where you can’t. In any moment of pressure, there are factors you have control over and factors outside that control. When you focus on the things you can’t control, the pressure—and your anxiety—are intensified. Focus on the things you can control and let the rest take care of itself. Take a deep breath and remember the traditional prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    When the stakes are high, it’s easy to let your nerves get to you. But remember that your character is revealed most clearly when the pressure is highest, so be the person who handles pressure thoughtfully and with grace.

    Lead from within: Pressure is normal; it is what you do with that pressure that truly matters.


    #1  N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Guarantee Strong Performance Under Pressure appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:25 on 2018/09/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Pressure, Succcess, , ,   

    How to Think on Your Feet When You’re Speaking Under Pressure 


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    Anyone in any kind of leadership position needs to master the skill of adept thought and speech in stressful high-pressure circumstances. In my work as an executive leadership coach with clients that include top leaders around the world, it’s an area I’m asked about often.

    Here are some tips and tactics to help you think on your feet. The secret is to be prepared: learn and practice a set of skills you can rely on in situations that put you under pressure.

    Repeat what you just heard. One of the hardest parts of contributing to a conversation is answering a direct question, especially when you can’t honestly give the expected answer. Allow yourself to pause and think; don’t feel that you need to fill the space with words right away. A tentative or uncertain reply won’t help your case. To calm your nerves and buy yourself a little time, simply repeat the question that was asked. As an added benefit, you can double-check your understanding of the question.

    Always be thoroughly prepared. Plenty of highly intelligent people aren’t good at speaking spontaneously, but with enough preparation you can still be brilliant. Learn every fact and figure, every prominent person in your field and their perspective, the background of the issue. A prepared mind is a smart mind.

    Learn to organize your thoughts. Constantly ask yourself the following questions: What do I not understand which could be better clarified? What question could I ask that would advance the discussion? What perspective or insight do I have that’s shareable? Don’t worry about being the smartest—sometimes it’s best to be the most organized and effective.

    Ask for clarification. Asking for clarity will compel those who are speaking to be more specific. Don’t give cause for your query to be interpreted as a challenge, but keep it neutral: “When you say X, can you please clarify. . . .”

    Project confidence. Adept thinking in the moment boils down to self-confidence. Speak in a strong voice, make lots of eye contact, and keep your tone and body language positive. Remind yourself how much you know about your job, your organization and your industry, and how many people you work with successfully.

    Summarize and stop. Wrap up lengthy responses with a quick summary statement. After that, resist adding anything more.  Be silent. Pause and allow people to fill the silent spaces. They’re absorbing the information you just presented, and speaking during that time can cause confusion.

    Lead from within: When you have to think on your feet and you want to sound smart, make use of the tips to help alleviate the pressure.

     

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Think on Your Feet When You’re Speaking Under Pressure appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:21:19 on 2018/06/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Pressure, Succeed, ,   

    How to Perform Under Tremendous Pressure and Succeed Anyway 


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    Most of us can handle pressure–up to a point. And there are some people who seemingly thrive on it. But it’s not the pressure that makes them perform better–it’s how they handle it. And the good news is that those are skills anyone can learn.

    Here are 7 powerful ways to handle pressure and keep yourself at peak performance.

    1. Don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed.
    You never really get to know yourself until you are under pressure. Don’t see pressure as a threat to your confidence or abilities–change your perception and view it as an invitation to challenge yourself.

    2. Take back control.
    When the pressure is too much to handle, take back control where you can. You may not be able to control events, but you can control your responses.

    3. Don’t aim for perfection.
    Perfectionism is a leading cause of stress. The greatest pressure we place on ourselves is the pressure to be perfect, but perfectionism sets you up to fall short even if you succeed.

    4. Focus on one task at a time.
    People under pressure don’t work better–they work with greater focus. When you have an important task to accomplish or an important goal to reach, the worst thing you can do is become overwhelmed. Perform at your best by closing in on one task at a time and doing it well.

    5. Create a road map.
    Always, always have a plan. The worst thing that can happen when you are pressured is that you lose yourself in a labyrinth of endless tasks with no strategy. The best way to combat pressure and perform better is to create a detailed road map to follow (and change if needed) as you work on completing your project or task.

    6. Manage your mood.
    Moods are contagious, which may be a good or a bad thing. Don’t allow moods or strong feelings to take over–feel what you feel, but learn to manage your moods to bring out your best.

    7. Let purpose lead the way.
    You can do anything under pressure if you have a commitment to the purpose. When you understand the “why” you can bear almost any “how.”

    Feeling pressure is never fun. But if you learn how to handle it, you can breeze through–and even gain a reputation as someone who can’t be rattled.

     


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post How to Perform Under Tremendous Pressure and Succeed Anyway appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:17:35 on 2018/02/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Pressure,   

    How to Lead Under Pressure and Remain Calm 


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    All of us face pressure—every working professional, regardless of position, profile, title, experience, or gender. Pressure is real and it’s often a constant.

    It may take the form of having so much to do that you don’t even know where to begin. Or it may come from burdensome expectations imposed on you, or disappointment with the progress you’ve made on something.

    Whether the pressure is coming from yourself, from those above you in your organization, from your teammates, or from the situation itself, it’s stressful. Ongoing pressure can be harmful to your sense of well-being and even your physical health.

    A recent study revealed that 80 percent of employees complain of experiencing pressure at work, and nearly 60 percent want to quit their jobs because of high stress levels.

    We all know that leadership is difficult and comes with a certain amount of pressure built in. And those who are called to leadership are often the ones who drive and pressure themselves. But the leaders who are most effective are those who know how to deal with pressure in healthy and productive way.

    Here are some of the thoughts I share with the top leaders I coach about leading under pressure:

    Manage yourself. Learn to build your internal capacity to cope with pressure by pivoting from negative to positive, from stress to coping, and from panic to assurance. Only when you can manage yourself under pressure can you manage manage others in the same situation.

    Be purpose-driven. When pressure is high, one of the best ways to combat stress is to tap into the sense of purpose that fuels your drive. Attaching meaning to your work will give you the power to push forward. It was my mentor Victor Frankl who said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with almost any ‘how.’”

    Control your expectations. High-pressure situations sometimes develop because of unrealistic expectations—whether your own or those of others. The best leaders know how to manage expectations—they know when to say yes and how to say no.

    Stay focused and alert. Even with tremendous pressure in every direction to get things done, if you keep your mind firmly focused you can complete the task at hand. And if you can go on to bring that same focus to completing the next task, and the next, in time you will find relief from the pressure and stress of having too many things to get done.

    Forgo perfectionism. As a leader, there’s a good chance you believe you have to be perfect. But you can’t, of course. And the faster you let go of trying, the less pressure you will feel. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for progress and aim for excellence. It’s a vicious cycle: perfectionism leads to procrastination, and procrastination adds to your pressures. Learn to let it go.

    Follow the 80-20 rule. Faced with a problem, most people spend about 80 percent of their time and energy dwelling on the problem. Instead, devote 80 percent to a solution and 20 percent to the problem. When you turn it around, you’ll likely find you’re less stressed and more productive.

    Set clear boundaries. When you’re a leader, everyone wants a piece of you. There are those who think you’re the only one who can answer the question, solve the problem, save the day. Be daring and firm about setting up boundaries. Having the courage to be good to yourself even when you risk disappointing others makes you a healthier person—and a better leader. Healthy boundaries are not walls; they’re gates that allow you to alleviate pressure.

    Keep things simple. The most effective leaders know how to boil things down. They understand their priorities and work only on the things that really matter. When you return to basics you can keep things uncomplicated and less stressful. It’s that simple.

    Deal with ambiguity. Any high-pressure position or situation often comes with a degree of uncertainty. Teach yourself to become more adaptable, to respond to events and ambiguity objectively rather than becoming overwhelmed by your emotional vulnerabilities. Focus on what you have to do and get it done instead of being overwhelmed what you don’t know.

    Delegate what you can. As a leader, you don’t have to do everything yourself. You don’t have to control or micromanage. The most productive leaders know how to delegate and let someone else get that task or project to done.

    Create a longer-term perspective. Leaders know the crisis of the moment can make us all feel that the world’s about to end. But the best leaders, the most productive, understand that most issues will takes care of themselves in time, and they focus on dealing with the issues in the present that will serve them best.

    Lead from within: Pressure can be a useful catalyst in your leadership if you can use it to challenge and stretch your limit to go beyond so purposeful things can be achieved but it only works if you stay calm.


    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post How to Lead Under Pressure and Remain Calm appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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