The Pressure to Perform

We keep hearing it from our clients – you are being asked to do more with less, you are being asked to handle multiple demands, you are being asked to run lean. All of this is creating pressure that you need to learn to manage if you want to lead and perform at your best. Hey, we feel it too.

IHHP has spent 20 years studying over 120,000 people to determine the impact of pressure on performance, emotions, cognition, conversations, and leadership. Our research clearly demonstrates that one of the great differentiators of high performance and effective leadership is not smarts or technical expertise, but how well you perform in your difficult moments, when the pressure is on.

Only the best performers manage these situations effectively. It starts by understanding the science behind how pressure impacts the brain and then using this insight to better manage through these situations more skillfully.

Get the Book!

Co-authored by our own JP Pawliw-Fry, Performing Under Pressure, a New York Times bestselling book, will introduce you to the concept of pressure management, offering the latest science on how your brain responds under pressure, and effective strategies to help you overcome the sabotaging effects of pressure.   Learn more by visiting the Pressure Book page.

What Exactly is a High pressure moment?

  • Knowing a decision you make will negatively impact other people
  • Needing to give someone feedback or holding them accountable
  • Managing a difficult relationship
  • Having to implement a decision that you disagree with
  • Making a mistake
  • Being offered feedback

Competitive Advantage

At the same time that pressure is increasing in organizations today, we have found that pressure is poorly understood, not well managed and one of the most ‘untapped’ sources of competitive advantage. From our research, we find three characteristics that high performers and effective leaders who can perform well under pressure have in common:

Our training curriculum has been designed to provide the insight and skills to help you become more pressure ready so that as pressure increases, your performance and leadership don’t decline, taking organizational performance with it.

In our New York Times, bestselling book Performing Under Pressure, we differentiate between the performance pressure organizations and individuals face and stress. Working with high performers and people who deal with pressure, we help them see that while there are many stressful moments in our lives, not all of them are created equal. In fact, we define “Pressure moments” as stressful moments that matter. In the book, we identify three key factors that differentiate a pressure moment from a stressful moment:

  1. The outcome is uncertain
  2. The outcome is important to us
  3. We are responsible for and being judged on the outcome

When you start treating all of your stressful moments as pressure moments, that’s when you may experience fatigue, anxiety and even negative health affects. The Performing Under Pressure book and training programs help you avoid treating every stressful moment like a pressure moment, then provide you with tools and skills to manage those critical pressure moments.