Navigate Your Stress

Being able to deal with pressure in real time is a perfect example of what it means to navigate stress effectively. While its great to be clutch in really high pressure situations, its equally important to be effective in moderately or even mildly stressful situation—Your kid made a mess by spilling their food—how do you want to handle that? You just received an email from your boss to “come on down to my office, immediately”–oops now what? Sullivan points out that handling these kinds of pressures involves several useful tools–discipline in maintaing a consistent approach, focus and attention and being present in the moment. I’ve been exploring this idea of being “present in the moment” with a senior executive who find himself themselves losing his emotional balance in certain situations. As we’ve been discussing, being present in the moment means that you are attentive to what is going on around you and that it is not always necessary to respond immediately to a crisis. This translates to his taking a moment  to observe the situation, listen to what is being said, observe the body language of other speakers and participants before even considering  his choices. All too often, he told me, he blurts out his response only to wish that he could take it back once he gathers a bit more data. Baseball batters will describe how clutch performance bring about a slowed perception of the world making the pitch easy to hit since its traveling in slow time when they are present and experiencing heightened senses. Like baseball players too, we do not always have to hit the ball out of the park. Just getting singles is a good way to advance the game and eventually win the day. Stay focused and present, my friend.]]>

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