Learn how to identify if your situation is a pressure situation. Plus, see how expectations and resources factor into a pressure situation.
- Whether you're speaking in front of hundreds of people, or interviewing for your dream job. Whether you're playing in the championship game, or running an important project, you are a person under some pressure. Even simple tasks, getting to a meeting on time, sending an email to your boss, these also have a level of associated pressure. But, we shouldn't classify easy tasks as high-pressure situations. So, how can we determine if you are in a pressure situation? Well, whatever the situation, be it a project, a performance, an interview, we have two things we need to consider.
Inputs and outputs. Inputs include you and your available resources. The output is the required or expected outcome of your efforts. Let's take a look at an example. Let's say you're a big time project manager at a high tech company. First, let's consider your inputs. What do you have going for you? You likely have money for each project, some sort of budget. You have time, each project has an expected date of completion.
Plus, we probably also have a team of people available to us. Time, money and people, plus we also bring some of our own things to the table, your professional skills and knowledge, your personality as well as your communication skills, you also have a network of professional relationships, and you wouldn't be a big time project manager without a history of success and experience. That looks pretty good, but let's see how much pressure is going to be placed upon our hero.
As a very successful project manager, you are asked to develop and launch a new program. At some point, you'll be expected to pitch your idea to a group of executives. So what are the expected outputs? A really cool and innovative idea, your plan needs to be interesting and exciting. You have to make an inspiring presentation to gain executive support, and it should have the potential to make the company a lot of money.
As you can see, there are some pretty big expectations associated with your project, that's already a lot of pressure sitting upon your shoulders, but that's not all. There's more. Your project also has rewards associated with it. Success could bring a raise and a promotion, and you may even be considered a leader in your industry. Then again, if things don't go well, you might be embarrassed, you might not get future opportunities, perhaps you could even lose your job.
Those are some pretty hefty requirements and expectations, but not every event is a pressure situation. Sometimes the expectations and rewards are minor, in other words, not a lot of pressure is being put upon us. Those are not pressure situations. Other times, even if the expectations and rewards are big, we know our personal skills and the available resources will be enough to meet or exceed expectations.
Others might feel the pressure, but we don't. On the other hand, sometimes the expected outputs will require every bit of our available resources, or perhaps the winning outcome and the losing outcome are so different that losing cannot be tolerated. These are truly high-pressure situations. So, how much pressure is being put upon your shoulders? Big expectations with limited resources equals a high-pressure situation, but perhaps there are low expectations and you have plenty of resources, why are you feeling so horrible? Is it possible you're just feeling stressed by a low-pressure situation? Not quite sure? Well let's talk about the difference between pressure and stress.
- Identify pressure situations.
- Compare and contrast pressure vs. stress.
- Define factors of a pressure situation.
- Explain how to manage your resources.
- Describe how to stay focused during a pressure situation.
- Identify how to build resilience for pressure.