Book Giveaway: Performing Under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger & J.P. Pawliw-Fry
"No pressure, no diamonds," right? So Thomas Carlyle would have you believe, but he was a rather severe Scot enamored with sorrow, and he could have just as easily said "No pressure, no coal."
And the truth is that it is far easier to end up as fuel for others to burn (coal) than the sparkling gems we wish—and know we could, even ought—to be. Today, we face a constant barrage of pressures that can lead to either result, and they create what Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Frythe, authors of Performing Under Pressure, call pressure anxiety. It is:
the perpetual feeling of uncertainty, fear, even dread about whether or not you can produce, whether or not you have what it takes to make the grade, knowing that if you can't or don't, you might be "weeded out" or, at the very least, have your career or professional goals stymied.
And we don't really have a choice of if we experience this pressure in our daily lives anymore:
We live in a high-pressure time, where every day we feel we are on the line. More than ever before, working folks feel the heat ... that they have to produce, perform, get results or else ... And so we do. Every decision, meeting, presentation, negotiation, or pitch that we make feels as if it has a major impact on our career. A single misworded or hasty e-mail can spell disaster. In an age where many of us can lose our jobs at any time, a single ill-considered utterance can derail years of hard work ...
Many factors have increased the perceived pressure in our lives: the recent economic meltdown, the fierce competition for jobs, the advent of the global economy, the erosion of job stability, the intensified competition to get into top colleges, universities, and graduate programs.
The only choice we now have is how we experience the pressure—and how we react to it. The idea that these stresses make us somehow better is a little silly, and scientifically unsound, but we have to face them somehow. Letting them overwhelm us is certain defeat, but the mythology of "rising to the occasion" isn't much more helpful. So we have to begin with the facts. Those facts, as the authors have found through their experience as researchers and consultants (one as a psychologist and the other as a high performance coach) for over twenty years:
- Pressure adversely impacts our cognitive success.
- Pressure adversely impacts our behavioral performance.
- In pressure moments, most people don't do their best.
- Pressure is often camouflaged.
- Today we feel increased pressure in our lives.
Regardless of how well we have done up until this point in our lives and career, or how long we've been doing it, most of us still battle this "perpetual feeling that [we] have to perform, and the underlying doubts as to whether or not [we] can continue to produce ... " which leads to stresses at work and home. And, whether we're closers in the major leagues, closing a sale, on the line in a restaurant kitchen, managing an assembly line, or simply on a deadline at work, we all have to perform in spite of the pressure—or find a way to reduce it.
Performing Under Pressure offers twenty-two specific strategies for doing just that, and will show you how to build your own COTE of Armor using confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm.
So, sign up, win yourself a copy, armor up, and head out for another day of battle. We have 20 copies available.
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