EP 140: How pressure impacts performance

When your stress levels are very low, the cortisol in your bloodstream is low. We actually perform really poorly and it means that we don’t do very well with remembering things or problem solving or thinking creatively.  

But if you don’t have enough pressure, when it comes to a particular application in life, if there’s not enough at stake, if we don’t care enough about something, if we don’t have enough skin in the game – there are plenty of other things that are going to grab our attention and our energy. And so without very much stress or pressure at all in an area we won’t perform particularly well.   

If you increase that cortisol and get this moderate amount of pressure, we perform beautifully right. We hit things out of the park. We step up and do things that we didn’t even think that we could do. – Jolie Wills 

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • What is pressure proofing?(1:58) 
  • How does pressure and stress impact performance (2:31) 
  • What is optimal pressure (5:10) 
  • How to be intentional about setting your team up to perform under pressure without burning them out (9:20) 

Actionable Takeaway for Executives

  • To focus on things that matter in your life, keep them in your purpose and keep them in your to do or calendar so it won’t fall off. Sometimes it’s really hard to prioritize ourselves when you’re trying to buffer your team from stress, you’ve got a whole lot of challenges at play.(18:16) 

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals

  • Prolonged pressure is hazardous and risky, not just for the people and your organization. We would try to address the hazard at the source where we could. (18:40) 

Ideas Worth Sharing

“Pressure proofing - what it is we need to do to set up leaders to be able to perform under pressure, but also to equip the teams to do well under pressure. - Jolie Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode


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