Overcoming the Sabotaging Effect of Pressure on Performance

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“The (un)Self-Aware Leader” Webinar, October 22nd, 1:00 EST Register Now

Our research at the Institute for Health & Human Potential shows how poorly many people perceive and rate their own behavior and performance. In our data, we found that for many individuals, their self-assessment was significantly different from how other people see and rate them. In fact, in some cases those who gave themselves the highest ratings (on specific behaviors and overall performance) had the lowest performance as judged by their manager.

This shocking lack of self-awareness points to the larger sabotaging effect of pressure on performance.

Under pressure, people can lose the self-awareness that they normally have. They are less aware of their impact on others. They are less able to make good decisions, listen effectively, read social cues or accept feedback. They are more likely to become reactive and get defensive. The consequence for anyone in a leadership position is they can lose engagement and discretionary effort of the people on their team.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Building self-awareness is the first step in helping a leader better manage pressure. It is the first step to helping a manager or leader connect to and engage the people around them. The result will be people giving the kind of discretionary effort that makes all of the difference to the performance of an organization.

In our upcoming book Performing Under Pressure, we share latest neuroscience that reveals why pressure has this sabotaging effect – not only on self-awareness, but also on our performance and leadership capabilities.  What we know from our research and the latest brain science is that nobody performs better under pressure – that’s a myth.  What great performers do is limit the degree to which pressure derails them, so they can perform up to their best capability.

How can you build your self-awareness, especially under pressure? Start by asking yourself these questions: do I recognize when pressure is having a negative effect on me? What are the signs that pressure is starting to derail my best abilities? Do I know my default behaviors when I am under pressure? Do I know when I need to apply techniques that will allow me to have access to my best cognitive thinking and decision making?

To learn more about Performing Under Pressure visit: www.pressurebook.com