5 Steps to Performing Well Under Pressure

November 13, 2019


Everyone deals with pressure from time to time at work.


For some of us, especially those of us in management or C-Suite roles, that pressure can feel overwhelming. 


Below are five ways you can stay calm under pressure and keep your performance from suffering as a result of all you have to do:

1. Remember that humans work well under pressure


Humans are a species who thrive in challenging situations. Even those of us who aren’t naturally gifted in performing under pressure can learn to adapt and even thrive.


When presented with a stressful situation, re-frame it as an opportunity to continue to learn and develop your abilities even further. 


Remember: every challenging situation is a chance to strengthen your skills!

2. Evaluate the risks and challenges you take


One of the easiest ways to avoid situations where we feel pressured is to say “no” as often as you say “yes.” If you know a task can be done, say so.  If you think it can’t be done, evaluate why you think it can’t be done, and find a way to solve the problem or accomplish the task. 


Breaking a task down into smaller steps and deliverables is an easy way to stay solution-oriented when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and can lead to more creative outcomes!

3. Plan ahead and be prepared


Being adaptive instead of reactive is essential for performing well under pressure. After all: even the most detailed plans can change completely from one stage to another.


Have a recovery plan in mind when you first start planning for a challenge ahead. Think of alternatives, even if you don’t think you’ll need them. 


The simple act of being prepared can help calm anxious thoughts and keep you feeling clear-headed and productive when working under pressure.


4. Control your emotions


How you react to change is part of your learning process, and sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back when facing a challenge. 


This is especially important if you manage teams, as your reaction to a situation sets the tone for how your team reacts. 


We recently shared a few easy ways to improve your emotional intelligence each day, which can go a long way towards helping you regulate your emotions when you’re feeling pressured.

5. Be kind to yourself


It can be hard to maintain our cool when we’re trying to perform under pressure, especially at work. But it’s essential to remember that how we do anything is how we do everything.


Developing your ability to deal with pressure at work will also make you better-equipped to handle pressure in personal situations. 


Learn more about how you react to change, and how to manage it. Contact us to arrange for your personal Change Style Indicator report.  Or for your on-demand Change Style Indicator and Change Navigator certification to enhance your toolkit


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