I had the opportunity to be a part of a webinar at The Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP) recently. The topic? You guessed it, “Managing the Pressure of Change”. During the webinar I learned a few things; after all, becoming a student of human behavior is a large part of the journey to managing pressure.

What is a pressure moment?

A pressure moment is important. It’s uncertain and you are responsible for or being judged on it.

How can I possibly manage change? Or the pressure that goes with it? I certainly can’t wish it away. Change is all around me. It’s happening to everyone, every day, everywhere in the world. You can’t stop it but can you learn to manage it?

You sure can!

I learned:

  • 91% people feel pressure – that’s not surprising to me
  • Only 5% feel equipped to face it – that’s surprising to me
  • Pressure is universal no matter where you live – I saw that one coming
  • Only 35% of people agree that their leader was effective at managing the pressure of change
  • 74% have observed leaders having a negative impact on other during times of change – that is scary

Those are some harsh statistics. It got me thinking about where I fit in. Am I a part of the 91% feeling pressure? Well, let’s see. I am:

  • A wife
  • A mother of two (mostly adorable children)
  • A full-time employee
  • A friend
  • A home owner
  • A volunteer
  • A tutor (for my mostly adorable children)
  • Plus I do like to find time to pursue my hobbies

Yes. I would say I am under a fair bit of pressure. Is it all bad pressure? No, but it is pressure and the amount of it varies from time to time. Now the big question is if I feel equip to face that pressure? Good news, I am getting better at it every day.

Here is what I learned from the webinar based on the Performing Under Pressure book:

Handling pressure is a skill set.

It takes time to learn and practice.

Recalling you at your best

The basic idea is that by visualizing your past successes in similar situations, you stimulate the same type of responses that helped you be successful before.

Be optimistic

Expect good things to happen. If we are more optimistic, we feel less anxiety and dread, and more excitement. We are willing to take more risks and work harder. That helps us to perform closer to our capability in a pressure moment.

Reframe your thinking to see things as a challenge vs. a crisis

A crisis elicits fears of failure, impairs short term memory and narrows our focus and saps our energy. When you see a situation as a challenge or an opportunity, you are far more likely to perform up to the level of your ability, increasing your chances for success.

The webinar certainly was an hour well spent. I learned a few new things and I am optimistic about what else I can learn from the New York Times bestselling book “Performing Under Pressure: Doing Your Best When it Matters Most”.

Watch the webinar recording by clicking here.

Purchase the book by clicking here.