Most leaders have those days where they feel great pressure. Maybe you have an employee who is angrily questioning you about their performance. Or maybe you have been asked to give the most important presentation of your life before your company’s board of directors.
Whatever the pressure, it’s nothing like the guy in the below video faced. How do you deal with it? Here are three quick tips on effectively staying cool under pressure.
1. Rehearse. In most situations you can predict an adverse reaction or the types of things that may make you feel pressure. I personally run through the entire event I will be facing and think through each direction it could go.
I even go as far as to rehearse it like it is actually happening and throw in the twists and curves that might come my way. The better you prepare, the greater the confidence and the better you will be at handling the pressure.
2. Don’t React. At least not initially. Reacting too quickly can lead to regret. You may say something you wish you wouldn’t have, or you might make a decision you wish you hadn’t. Instead take a deep breath and try to relax. Pressure will naturally increase your heart rate due to the “fight or flight” response, taking a deep breath will help calm you down a little bit.
3. Adjust Perspective. The reality is that those worse case scenarios never come to pass, most people really want you to succeed and most issues take care of themselves. In other words, it is often worse in our heads than it really is.
Instead of focusing on the negative, try instead to dwell on the positive. Work hard to overcome your fear by seeing positive outcomes, not negative. Certainly, as mentioned above, you need to prepare for the worst, but once you have, then it is time to focus on the more likely outcome – the best.
The following video is amazing. I am not sure if it is even possible to do what this pilot did, but it really got me thinking any way. Let me know your thoughts. How do you deal with pressure as a leader?