The pressure to perform consistently results into stress.
Talking about stress/pressure at work with the people at work is a topic non grata. Bosses don't want to know. Mostly, because they have no immediate solution at hand. Employees don't want to talk about it fearing they will be considered weak, non promotion material. People suffer and work suffers. A lose-lose situation for everyone.
But we all know it exists. Stress is an integral part of our lives both personal and professional. If not dealt with in a healthy manner and in time, stress can prove to be very costly - employees will lose morale, be demotivated, suffer from health issues; and the organization will lose in terms of low productivity, resulting in a negative environment.
Considering that the theme of the SHRM India Annual Conference and Exposition is Dare - the Bold HR, we decided to put it into practice - Be BOLD and talk about the topic non grata - bring it into the limelight - make it a discussion point.
We roped in Gavin Freeman, author and executive coach to sportsmen and corporates, and one of the keynote speakers, to initiate this dialog - answer queries about how one can perform consistently under pressure and how to deal with pressure/stress that is a part and parcel of life. If the response to the tweet chat organized with Career Builder is anything to go by, then we're sure that the bold and daring avatar of the HR is just in line with what the workplace needs - someone who can have uncomfortable discussions without any discomfort.
Here's an excerpt from the Tweet Chat with Gavin. To get the entire conversation, just visit @SHRMindia on Twitter.
Pressure defined -
Q. @busolympian What is definition of pressure, who decide/create pressure kind of situation audience/opponent/self #SHRMI16 @SHRMindia - by @ashishgakrey
A. @ashishgakrey pressure is simply the interpretation of your self doubt over a task it is self generated #shrmi16 Tweet
Tips on training yourself to deal with pressure -
Q. @SHRMindia How do we combat the feeling of anxiety in a stressful situation created during pressure? #AskGavin #SHRMI16 - by @ms_exploraholic
A. @ms_exploraholic define pressure, then practice before you are in the situation #shrmi16 Tweet
Q. @SHRMindia what is your tip on performing consistently under pressure? #AskGavin #SHRMI16 - by @GhumakkarGirl
A. @GhumakkarGirl pick your scariest activity and have a go, what is the worst that can happen #shrmi16 Tweet
Q. @SHRMindia @busolympian Why some People choke under pressure & some perform better ? #AskGavin #SHRMI16 - by @hrsanjaynegi
A. @hrsanjaynegi you need to build your mental skills as well as your capability to do a task #shrmi16 Tweet
Q. @SHRMindia how can we meet tight deadlines without dealing with pressure and disappointing our seniors? #shrmi16 #askgavin - by @GhumakkarGirl
A. @GhumakkarGirl anticipate and create work environment conducive to you thriving with tight deadlines, lots of coffee as well #shrmi16 Tweet
If pressure is an integral part of the workplace, how can organizations make it less threatening?
Q. @SHRMindia #Is it important for organisation to create a culture of urgency & pressure #SHRMI16 - by @geet0502
A. @geet0502 yes, but also one where failure is deemed an important aspect of improving #shrmi16 Tweet
Challenging the status quo and innovation is the Key!
Q. @SHRMindia How we can create smarter & more productive working environment with the increasing pressure to perform better? #SHRMi16 - by @ashi09
A. @ashi09 encourage innovation and challenging of the status quo. let people define their own path #shrmi16 Tweet
Tips on coaching your team to deal with pressure -
Q. As a leader how can you motivate & coach other to perform under pressure? @busolympian #shrmi16 by - @akshijain
A. @akshijain allow them to try and fail and try again - share your experiences and stories from others #shrmi16 Tweet
Q. @SHRMindia #Askgavin #shrmi16 @busolympian How do gr8 leaders bring out the best in their Teams 2 perform consistently under Pressure ? by - @Singh_Vandana
A. @Singh_Vandana consistent messaging, relentless training, ongoing evaluations and appropriate support mechanisms #shrmi16 Tweet
The Key Elements to manage stress -
Q. @SHRMindia @busolympian What are the major key component we all can develop to mange pressure situations? #AskGavin #SHRMI16 - by @hrsanjaynegi
A. @hrsanjaynegi 4 key elements, sustained appropriate focus, discipline, relentless persistence and motivation to succeed #shrmi16 Tweet
Building it into the organizational strategy -
Q. @SHRMindia #Askgavin #do org./leadership team need to formulate strategy on how much pressure we need to build on employees #SHRMI16 - by @geet0502
A. @geet0502 great idea, but tough to implement - how much pressure can you handle? #shrmi16 Tweet
How can HR Help?
Q. Is there a proactive role that HR can play in managing stressful employees? #SHRMi16 @SHRMindia #SHRM – by @puneetopedia
A. @puneetopedia HR can support leaders so they can support their people #shrmi16 Tweet
Why we need to discuss stress. Why leaders need to take in account their own stress levels and that of their team!
Q. Do stressed leaders create stressed organisations. Share your perspectives in our tweetchat with @busolympian #shrmi16 - by @puneetopedia
A. @puneetopedia they sure do and remember the fish rots from the head #shrmi16 Tweet
Closing note -
Q. @SHRMindia @busolympian Your simple, single & easy tip to Handle Pressure ? #SHRMI16 #askGavin - by @hrsanjaynegi
A. @hrsanjaynegi stay up all night and then see how well you react the next day#shrmi16 Tweet
Q. @SHRMindia #Ability to differentiate b/w big & small ticket items and accordingly putting energies helps manage stress #SHRMI16 - by @geet0502
A. @geet0502 dont sweat the small stuff, ask yourself if really important. no one on deathbed said, "i wish i had worked harder" #shrmi16 Tweet
Our Takeaway -
Some people thrive under pressure, some crumble. Everyone has their own tolerance levels. The solutions are different for each person. What may stress you out, may actually bring out the best in someone else. So talk about it – discuss and find a solution. As Gavin said, ask the critical questions for yourself and your team -
- Is the right person on the right job?
- Your Reason for doing this job?
- Do we have the right mindset?
Your answers will guide the way! To continue this discussion, join us at the SHRM India Annual Conference and Exposition! Register here.
We thank everyone who participated in this discussion and shared their thoughts and insights on this critical workplace issue.